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FTR #535 Death Trap, Part III – Italian Fascism, Bogus Intelligence and the Iraq War

Record­ed Novem­ber 20, 2005

Lis­ten: MP3  One 30-minute seg­ment [1]

NB: This stream con­tains both FTR # 535 and an old­er pro­gram, FTR #514 Con­ver­sa­tion with John Lof­tus About the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood [3], orig­i­nal­ly aired and blogged on June 21, 2005. Each is a 30 minute broad­cast. See also FTR #527 Death Trap Part II [4] &
FTR #471 Death Trap [5].

Intro­duc­tion: In a sup­ple­ment to FTR#’s 471 [6], 502 [7], 527 [8], this pro­gram presents infor­ma­tion about the bogus intel­li­gence used by the Unit­ed States to jus­ti­fy the inva­sion of Iraq. This broad­cast high­lights the role of the fas­cist-influ­enced Ital­ian intel­li­gence agency SISMI in the gen­er­a­tion of the Niger yel­low-cake ura­ni­um canard that gen­er­at­ed the Valerie Plame case. As not­ed, dur­ing the run-up to the Iraq war, Ital­ian for­eign min­is­ter Gian­fran­co Fini—the head of Italy’s fas­cist polit­i­cal par­ty (the Allean­za Nationale) and a coali­tion part­ner of prime min­is­ter Sil­vio Berlusconi—met in Switzer­land with lead­ers of Euro­pean fas­cist polit­i­cal par­ties, includ­ing Achmed Huber, a direc­tor of the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s Bank Al Taqwa. The broad­cast asks the hypo­thet­i­cal ques­tion: Did Fini and his cohorts work to delib­er­ate­ly lure the US into a trap in Iraq, using the SISMI to help plant the bait? In that con­text, the pro­gram also reviews numer­ous oth­er con­nec­tions between the milieu of the Allean­za Nationale, Berlus­coni and the P‑2 Lodge and the Al Qaeda/Al Taqwa/Muslim Broth­er­hood nexus. The pro­gram con­cludes with a look at an Al Qae­da defec­tor who was believed to be delib­er­ate­ly mis­lead­ing his Amer­i­can inter­roga­tors with infor­ma­tion point­ing in the direc­tion of Iraq. All of this infor­ma­tion is viewed against the back­ground of Mr. Emory’s work­ing hypoth­e­sis that the Al Qaeda/Al Taqwa/Muslim broth­er­hood milieu and the allied Under­ground Reich was lur­ing the US into a trap that would enmesh the US in a cost­ly, drain­ing war with the world’s Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion. Note that this pop­u­la­tion will have access to WMD tech­nol­o­gy as a result of the inva­sion of Iraq (see FTR#527 [8].)

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Review of the “dooms­day” arrange­ment between Al Qae­da and Sad­dam, in which Iraq would give tech­ni­cal know-how about WMD’s to bin Laden’s forces, which would then act as a “back-up” unit in the event of an Amer­i­can over­throw of Sad­dam; review of the numer­ous con­nec­tions between the Al Taqwa nexus and the milieu of the P‑2 Lodge, Sil­vio Berlus­coni and the Allean­za Nationale.

1. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, both the pro-war and anti-war sides have got­ten it wrong with regard to Saddam’s rela­tion­ship with Al Qae­da. Although there is no indi­ca­tion that Iraq or Sad­dam were involved with 9/11, the two enti­ties did have a “dooms­day back-up” arrange­ment. Sad­dam and bin Laden worked out an arrange­ment in which Iraq—in order to pro­vide for a pay­back capa­bil­i­ty if the U.S. oust­ed him—gave infor­ma­tion about WMD’s to bin Laden’s peo­ple. Al Qae­da, in turn, was to act as a back-up unit for Saddam’s Iraq, strik­ing at the Unit­ed States if it knocked out Sad­dam. Of course, pre­cise­ly that sce­nario has tran­spired. The Unit­ed States has walked into this “Death Trap,” and a dis­turbing­ly large per­cent­age of the Mus­lim and Arab com­mu­ni­ties appear ready to join the con­flict.

“It appears, how­ev­er, that this ver­sion is the pub­licly admis­si­ble one, the one that can pass polit­i­cal muster. Accord­ing to the same sources, there was anoth­er sce­nario more. In keep­ing with the cal­cu­lat­ing men­tal­i­ty of Sad­dam Hus­sein and his secret ser­vices. In 1998, after declin­ing all offers that had been made to them through offi­cial diplo­mat­ic chan­nels, those ser­vices are report­ed to have estab­lished a secret oper­a­tional ‘con­nec­tion’ with bin Laden in Mani­la and in Kash­mir. It was indeed dif­fi­cult for Iraq to ignore an Arab like Osama bin Laden who so effec­tive­ly humil­i­at­ed the Amer­i­cans.’ Colonel Khairal­lah al Takir­i­ti, the broth­er of the head of Mukkhabarat, the intel­li­gence ser­vices, is report­ed to have been named case offi­cer for the con­nec­tion. The arrest of two Mor­roc­can asso­ciates of bin Laden in Rabat on Novem­ber 11, 1998, made it pos­si­ble to estab­lish to estab­lish the link with cer­tain­ty. Accord­ing to West­ern sources, the Iraqi ser­vices have sought to secure the assis­tance of bin Laden’s net­works, in case Iraq were again to be attacked by the Unit­ed States, in order to car­ry out attacks against Amer­i­can tar­gets in Arab coun­tries.”

(In the Name of Osama Bin Laden; by Roland Jacquard; Copy­right 2002 [SC]; Duke Uni­ver­si­ty Press; ISBN 0–8223-2991–3; pp. 112–113.) [9]

2. “Accord­ing to Arab sources, in antic­i­pa­tion of a fore­see­able rever­sal of alliances in Kab­ul, bin Laden had been in dis­creet con­tact since Sep­tem­ber 2000 with asso­ciates of Oudai Hus­sein, anoth­er of Saddam’s sons; the ground for agree­ment was the anti-Israeli and anti-Amer­i­can bat­tle. Bin Laden and the Iraqis are said to have exchanged infor­ma­tion about chem­i­cal and bio­log­i­cal weapons, despite the oppo­si­tion of some of the Bagh­dad lead­er­ship, includ­ing Tarik Aziz”

(Ibid.;p. 113.)

3. Much of the pro­gram focus­es on an Ital­ian media report that the SISMI intel­li­gence agency in that coun­try was the source of the bogus claim that Sad­dam Hus­sein was seek­ing yel­low-cake ura­ni­um from Niger in order to pur­sue the devel­op­ment of nuclear weapons. This spu­ri­ous claim was one of the main pieces of false intel­li­gence used to jus­ti­fy the move into Iraq. Much of the broad­cast exam­ines the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Ital­ian fas­cist ele­ments asso­ci­at­ed with the P‑2/Alleanza Nationale milieu may have delib­er­ate­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in the decep­tion. Note that this milieu is direct­ly descend­ed from Mussolini’s fas­cists. For more about the P‑2 Lodge and the AN Par­ty of Gian­fran­co Fini, use the search func­tion [10]. As will be seen below, Fini, Prime Min­is­ter Berlus­coni (a for­mer mem­ber of the P‑2) and oth­er fig­ures in the P‑2/Alleanza Nationale milieu are linked to the Al Taqwa com­plex, involved with—among oth­er things—the fund­ing of Al Qae­da. As seen in FTR#413 [11], the Al Taqwa com­plex also han­dled some of the illic­it funds spir­it­ed out of Iraq by Sad­dam Hus­sein. Is it pos­si­ble that fig­ures involved with Al Taqwa may have intro­duced Al Qae­da and Baathist ele­ments, so that they could con­clude the “dooms­day” agree­ment dis­cussed above?

“Behind the CIA leak scan­dal lies a bizarre trail of forged doc­u­ments, an embassy break-in and inter­na­tion­al decep­tion that helped pro­pel the Unit­ed States to war in Iraq. While Amer­i­can pub­lic atten­tion focus­es on spe­cial coun­sel Patrick Fitzger­ald’s inves­ti­ga­tion into the leak, U.S. and Ital­ian law­mak­ers are prob­ing a series of bogus claims of Iraqi ura­ni­um pur­chas­es in Africa that were the open­ing chap­ters in a saga that result­ed in the dis­clo­sure of the iden­ti­ty of CIA offi­cer Valerie Plame.”

(“Seeds of Leak Scan­dal Sown in Ital­ian Intel­li­gence Agency” by Robert Col­lier; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 10/30/2005; p. E3.) [12]

4. “In the past week, the respect­ed, left-of-cen­ter Ital­ian dai­ly La Repub­bli­ca pub­lished a three-part series of inves­tiga­tive arti­cles claim­ing that doc­u­ments pur­port­ing to prove that Sad­dam Hus­sein was seek­ing yel­low­cake ura­ni­um in Niger had been forged by an Ital­ian free­lance spy and then were fed by the Ital­ian intel­li­gence agency to eager offi­cials in Wash­ing­ton and Lon­don. On Capi­tol Hill, Sen. Har­ry Reid, D‑Nev., the Sen­ate Demo­c­ra­t­ic leader, and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D‑Mass., are ask­ing for pub­lic hear­ings into the forg­eries and their role in Bush admin­is­tra­tion claims that Hus­sein was devel­op­ing nuclear weapons.”


5. “The Ital­ian Par­lia­ment is sched­uled to hold hear­ings about the La Repub­bli­ca alle­ga­tions on Thurs­day, with intel­li­gence chief Nico­lo Pol­lari expect­ed to come under heavy grilling. The arti­cles relied heav­i­ly on sources in the Ital­ian spy agency, the Mil­i­tary Infor­ma­tion and Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice, known as SISMI. They pro­vide a tan­ta­liz­ing account — cred­i­ble to some observers, base­less spec­u­la­tion to oth­ers — of how Pres­i­dent Bush and Prime Min­is­ter Tony Blair were snook­ered by fab­ri­cat­ed intel­li­gence about Hus­sein’s alleged nuclear pro­gram. The alle­ga­tions in La Repub­bli­ca’s arti­cles lead far into the murky depths of Italy’s intel­li­gence agen­cies, a realm of con­spir­a­cy claims and coun­ter­claims. In Italy this nether­world is called dietrolo­gia — a word that loose­ly trans­lates as the wide­spread belief that polit­i­cal, secu­ri­ty and crim­i­nal forces are con­stant­ly engaged in secret plots and maneu­vers, not­ed Hen­ry Far­rell, a pro­fes­sor of inter­na­tion­al affairs at George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty in Wash­ing­ton and a blog­ger on the Crooked Tim­ber Web log, which has dis­sect­ed the Ital­ian angle to Plamegate”


6. The arti­cle notes that, dur­ing the Cold War, the SISMI coop­er­at­ed close­ly with the US. In the wake of the Cold War, has that changed? Are the Ital­ian fas­cists mov­ing away from the “Atlanti­cist” posi­tion they held dur­ing the cold war? (By “Atlanti­cist,” we mean a pro‑U.S., pro-NATO stance.)

“ ‘It’s hard to say if (the Repub­bli­ca infor­ma­tion) is the truth, truth with some dis­tor­tion, or mis­in­for­ma­tion from the offi­cials who are lead­ing this,’ Far­rell said. ‘But it cer­tain­ly rais­es some very trou­bling ques­tions.’ Far­rell not­ed that dur­ing the Cold War, the U.S. and Ital­ian spy agen­cies coop­er­at­ed close­ly on under­cov­er work. Bush and Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Sil­vio Berlus­coni are close allies, and Berlus­coni has strong­ly sup­port­ed Bush’s Iraq pol­i­cy, sta­tion­ing 3,000 Ital­ian troops south of Bagh­dad.”


7. The dis­cus­sion high­lights some of the fas­cist con­nec­tions of the SISMI orga­ni­za­tion. For more about SISMI and the Ital­ian ter­ror­ist land­scape, use the search func­tion [10] and look for infor­ma­tion about the “strat­e­gy of ten­sion”.

“SISMI has long been accused of involve­ment in right­ist con­spir­a­cies, includ­ing work in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Pro­pa­gan­da Due, or P‑2, a Mason­ic secret soci­ety, and the Armed Falange, a neo-fas­cist ter­ror­ist group. SISMI ‘does not have an immac­u­late his­to­ry at all,’ said Gian­fran­co Pasquino, a polit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sor at the Bologna, Italy, cam­pus of the School of Advanced and Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies of Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­si­ty. ‘It has been purged and reor­ga­nized very often.’ Pasquino called SISMI ‘friend­ly to the right wing and will­ing to offer its ser­vices for right-wing pur­pos­es.’”


8. “Accord­ing to La Repub­bli­ca, the forged doc­u­ments were orig­i­nal­ly pro­duced in 2000 by Roc­co Mar­ti­no, a for­mer mem­ber of the Cara­binieri para­mil­i­tary police who then became a free­lance agent for both SISMI and French intel­li­gence. SISMI com­bined these fakes with real doc­u­ments from the 1980s show­ing Hus­sein’s yel­low­cake pur­chas­es from Niger dur­ing that peri­od — in the process, con­duct­ing a break-in at the Niger Embassy in Rome to steal let­ter­head and seals. Soon after­ward, La Repub­bli­ca report­ed, Ital­ian oper­a­tives passed news of their scoop to the CIA and the British intel­li­gence agency, MI6. When the CIA expressed doubt about the verac­i­ty of the claims, SISMI began seek­ing to ped­dle it direct­ly to the most pro- war fac­tion of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion.”


9. “SISMI chief Pol­lari met in Rome with Michael Ledeen, an influ­en­tial Wash­ing­ton neo­con­ser­v­a­tive who has long been reput­ed to play a back-chan­nel role between U.S. and Ital­ian spy agen­cies. Pol­lari also met in Wash­ing­ton with Stephen Hadley, deputy nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­er, to dis­cuss the new infor­ma­tion, La Repub­bli­ca report­ed. On Thurs­day, a Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil spokesman con­firmed that the Hadley- Pol­lari meet­ing had tak­en place The elab­o­rate hoax final­ly suc­ceed­ed. In late Sep­tem­ber 2002, Sec­re­tary of State Col­in Pow­ell cit­ed Iraq’s alleged Niger deal­ings as proof of Hus­sein’s nuclear ambi­tions. In his Feb­ru­ary 2003 State of the Union address, Bush declared that British intel­li­gence had ‘learned’ Sad­dam Hus­sein had been seek­ing to buy nuclear mate­r­i­al in Africa. Through­out the peri­od, Blair made sim­i­lar claims.”


10. “British offi­cials have insist­ed that they had oth­er evi­dence in addi­tion to the forged doc­u­ments that con­firmed Iraqi ura­ni­um pur­chas­es in Niger. The British have declined to show this evi­dence, how­ev­er. La Repub­bli­ca quot­ed a SISMI offi­cial as say­ing of this alleged cor­rob­o­rat­ing evi­dence, ‘If it ever were brought for­ward it would be dis­cov­ered, with red faces, that it was Ital­ian intel­li­gence col­lect­ed by SISMI at the end of the 1980s and shared with our friend Hamil­ton McMil­lan’ — the top MI6 counter-ter­ror­ism offi­cial dur­ing that peri­od. . . . .”


11. The alle­ga­tions in La Repub­bli­ca were sub­se­quent­ly con­firmed b by Italy’s spy­mas­ter, Nico Pol­lari.

“Italy’s spy­mas­ter iden­ti­fied an Ital­ian occa­sion­al spy named Roc­co Mar­ti­no on Thurs­day as the dis­sem­i­na­tor of forged doc­u­ments that described efforts by Iraq to buy hun­dreds of tons of ura­ni­um ore from Niger for a nuclear weapons pro­gram, three Ital­ian law­mak­ers said Thurs­day. Gen. Nico­lo Pol­lari, direc­tor of the Ital­ian mil­i­tary intel­li­gence agency known as SISMI, dis­closed that Mar­ti­no had been the source of the forged doc­u­ments in closed- door tes­ti­mo­ny to a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee that over­sees secret ser­vices, the law­mak­ers said. . . .”

(“Ital­ian Spy Chief Dis­clos­es Source of Forged Doc­u­ments” by Elaine Sci­oli­no and Elis­a­bet­ta Pov­ole­do [New York Times]; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 11/4/2005; p. A12.) [13]

12. Next, the pro­gram revis­its a point of infor­ma­tion dis­cussed in—among oth­er programs—FTR#’s 378 [14], 456 [15]. In the spring of 2002, as the prepa­ra­tions for the Iraq war were under­way, Al Taqwa direc­tor Achmed Huber net­worked with oth­er Amer­i­can and Euro­pean fas­cists and far right­ists, includ­ing Gian­fran­co Fini, head of the Ital­ian Allean­za Nationale. Might the meet­ing have had some­thing to do with Iraq? Had the “Atlanti­cist” ori­en­ta­tion of the P‑2 milieu been super­seded by an anti‑U.S./Third Posi­tion ori­en­ta­tion in the Ital­ian fas­cist milieu? Did this meet­ing have any­thing to do with the feed­ing of false intel­li­gence to the US in order to lure the coun­try into a drain­ing, expen­sive and (ulti­mate­ly) fatal war with the Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion of the “Earth Island”? Note in this regard, that Fini is cur­rent­ly the Ital­ian for­eign min­is­ter. Is it pos­si­ble that the man (Fini) who char­ac­ter­ized Mus­soli­ni as “the great­est states­man of the 20th cen­tu­ry” has not changed his stripes? Is it pos­si­ble that he was con­fer­ring with the oth­er Euro­pean fas­cist lead­ers in order to help lure the US into a trap? (For more on Huber, see—among oth­er pro­grams—FTR#’s 343 [16], 354 [17], 357 [18], 359 [19], 377 [20], 456 [15].)

“Per­haps the most recent remark­able sto­ry con­cern­ing Huber comes from a brief item in the Swiss tabloid Blick that in an April 26, 2002 arti­cle by Alexan­der Saut­ter that Huber was involved in a meet­ing of far-right lead­ers from Europe. A pho­to show­ing Huber with Jean Marie Le Pen accom­pa­nies the arti­cle. The Blick sto­ry (avail­able on the web) is as fol­lows: ‘Mon Pelerin VD: Chris­t­ian Cam­buzat, the pro­mot­er (Scharf­mach­er) of the right extrem­ist Jean-Marie Le Pen (73): The guru assem­bles togeth­er some of the top lead­ers of the Euro­pean right. On the idyl­lic Mont Pelerin, they debate their crude ideas. At his secret vis­it to a spa in Switzer­land, Le Pen hard­ly remained alone. Right­ist lead­ers from all over Europe trav­eled to meet the extrem­ist pres­i­den­tial can­di­date who was host­ed by Cam­buzat. Franz Schon­hu­ber (79). Founder of the Repub­li­can Par­ty in Ger­many and a for­mer mem­ber of the SS. He talked with Le Pen who con­sti­tutes togeth­er with Schon­hu­ber the ‘Front Nation­al’ Fac­tion in the Euro­pean par­lia­ment. Gian­fran­co Fini (50). Ital­ian post-fas­cist, Mus­soli­ni admir­er, and founder of the Alleanze Nationale. He also was at the meet­ing with Le Pen and Schon­hu­ber. Ahmed Huber (74). The Swiss is on the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion black­list . . . ‘I met le Pen at Mont Pelerin as he went to Chris­t­ian Cambuzat’s spa,’ Huber told Blick yes­ter­day. At the extrem­ist ren­dezvous an Amer­i­can far right politi­cian was also sup­posed to have tak­en part. [Note: the Amer­i­can is not fur­ther identified.—KC] Chris­t­ian Cam­buzat said that Le Pen (after the elec­tion) had again become the sharpest weapon of the ‘Front Nation­al’ because Le Pen changed his image from a ven­omous old man to a ‘kind­ly U.S. TV evan­ge­list.’ Proud­ly Cam­buzat brags, ‘With me Le Pen can relax well’ [from his polit­i­cal endeavors—KC]. And open­ly link up with new con­tacts. [Although the Blick sto­ry does not give details, Cam­buzat runs a spa for the very rich, the Lemanique de Revi­tal­i­sa­tion, inside a hotel on the famous Mont Pelerin.]’”

(“Report on Islamists, The Far Right, and Al Taqwa” by Kevin Coogan; pp. 14–15.) [21]

13. In the con­text of the April, 2002 meet­ing of Euro­pean fas­cist lead­ers at Mt. Pel­lerin, it is impor­tant to note that (in addi­tion to Fini) oth­er Ital­ian fas­cists from the AN/P‑2 milieu are to be found with­in the Al Taqwa orbit. Allessan­dro Ghe is a mem­ber of the fas­cist Ordine Nuo­vo, head­ed up by Pino Rauti. Rauti is a vet­er­an of the SS-con­trolled Salo Repub­lic that was estab­lished in North­ern Italy after Mussolini’s capit­u­la­tion in 1943. Rauti is also a part of the suc­cess­ful elec­toral coali­tion of Sil­vio Berlus­coni and Gian­fran­co Fini.

“The goal of the meet­ing with the notary was the found­ing of ‘al-Taqwa man­age­ment Orga­ni­za­tion SA’ that said it would be con­cerned with import­ing and export­ing var­i­ous goods. ‘Taqwa man­age­ment Orga­ni­za­tion SA’ that said it would be con­cerned with import­ing and export­ing var­i­ous goods around the world. 333 of the 1000 shares (at 100 Swiss Francs a share) went to Mohammed Man­sour and his wife. 332 went to Huber. Nada and Him­mat took the rest. Man­sour was named the pres­i­dent but rarely was the clause in the con­tract papers men­tioned that each deci­sion must be co-signed by the minor­i­ty hold­ers Nada and Him­mat . . . Among the 500 share­hold­ers besides Huber, Him­mat and Nada were ‘also a noto­ri­ous right extrem­ist from Italy’ [not fur­ther iden­ti­fied but this is Alessan­dro Karim Abdul Ghe] and three mem­bers of the bin Laden fam­i­ly.”

(Ibid.; p. 8.)

14. More about Allessan­dro Ghe, and Ordinie Nuovo’s links with Moslem rad­i­cals and (alleged­ly) Bin Laden:

“Anoth­er Con­nec­tion involves al-Taqwa group share­hold­er Alle­san­dro Ghe, an Ital­ian rad­i­cal who has been ques­tioned by his country’s secu­ri­ty forces about his links to Bin Laden. Ghe was a mem­ber of the Ital­ian neo-fas­cist ‘Ordine Nuo­vo’ that began cou­pling up with Moslem rad­i­cals in the 1970’s, says Ely Kar­mon. [Empha­sis added.]”

(“A Ter­ri­fy­ing Alliance” by Yael Haran; 1/14/2002; Enduring-Freedom-Operation.org; pp. 4–5.) [22]
(For more about the links between Ordine Nuo­vo and the cur­rent gov­ern­ing coali­tion of Italy, see, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR#’s 307 [23], 320 [24], 321 [25]. For more about con­duits run­ning between Al Taqwa and Sil­vio Berlus­coni, see FTR#’s 342 [26], 351 [27], 357 [18].)

15. The Al Taqwa orbit con­tains one Gus­ta­vo Selva—a par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Fini’s Allean­za Nationale. “Gus­ta­vo Sel­va belongs to Nasreddin’s wider cir­cle. The for­mer jour­nal­ist and today par­lia­men­tary mem­ber of the post fas­cist Partei Allean­za Nationale, Sel­va was until April 19, 1999, involved in the Roman-based busi­ness, the Arab-Ital­ian Con­sult­ing House. Six months before it went under, on Sep­tem­ber 18, 1998, a cer­tain Ser­gio Mari­ni was named the firm’s offi­cial receiv­er. Mari­ni was, togeth­er with the Nasred­din Inter­na­tion­al Group Lim­it­ed Hold­ings, also part of the Milan-reg­is­tered Line Invest­ment Srl. Since 1988, Mari­ni was CEO of ‘L.I.N.E. Devel­op­ment Light Indus­try and Envi­ron­ment Devel­op­ment Srl’ in Rome whose admin­is­tra­tive direc­tor was Abduhrahim Nasred­din along with his deputy Ghaleb Him­mat, him­self a founder of Al Taqwa Group.”

(“Report on Islamists, The Far Right, and Al Taqwa” by Kevin Coogan; p. 9.) [21]

16. Anoth­er evi­den­tiary trib­u­tary lead­ing in the direc­tion of the Ital­ian far right con­cerns areas of over­lap between the Al Taqwa milieu and that of Sil­vio Berlusconi—former mem­ber of the fas­cist P‑2 lodge and the head of the Ital­ian coali­tion gov­ern­ment of which Fini’s AN is part.

“The deep­er inves­ti­ga­tors dug, the more sense­less it seemed. For exam­ple: The Liecht­en­stein-reg­is­tered Nasred­din Inter­na­tion­al Lim­it­ed Hold­ings on Octo­ber 20, 1994, decid­ed to change its name to Mid­dle East and Turkey Invest­ment Hold­ing Ltd. And then eight days lat­er it returned to its orig­i­nal name. There is also the fact that Nasred­din at the found­ing of the Nasred­din Inter­na­tion­al Group Lim­it­ed Hold­ing in Jan­u­ary 1997 appointed—next to Dr. Enri­co Walser as trustee—of all peo­ple the Tessi­no lawyer Dr. Ercole Doninel­li to the admin­is­tra­tive board. Doninel­li, until his death, was seen as the ‘soul’ of the Lugano finance soci­ety Fimo that was wide­ly involved in the finan­cial scan­dals of the 1990’s. Fimo helped Ital­ians to send up to 250 mil­lion Swiss francs year­ly in cap­i­tal flight. Even more defin­i­tive is the role Fimo has played since 1968 in the financ­ing into the mil­lions [of] the first projects of the (at the time utter­ly unknown) con­struc­tion builder from Milan, Sil­vio Berlus­coni. The knowl­edge of how cap­i­tal from the mar­ried pair of Ercole and Ste­fa­nia Doninel­li went from Eti Hold­ings in Chi­as­so to more stops in the Inter­change Bank and from there to Ital­cantieri, a com­pa­ny head­ed by two Berlus­coni straw men, final­ly end­ed with the mass bank­rupt­cy of Fimo.”

(Ibid.; pp. 9–10.)

17. Anoth­er per­son bridg­ing the worlds of Berlus­coni and Al Taqwa is Pier Felice Barchi, an attor­ney for both Berlus­coni and Yussef Nada. (For more about Barchi, see FTR#’s 357 [18], 359 [19].)

“The Aki­da Bank of Nasred­din was also sup­posed to be con­cerned with the spread­ing of Islam­ic bank­ing prac­tices. The Lugano-reg­is­tered affil­i­ate of the bank list­ed along with its founder Nasred­din, the Tessi­no-based Pier Felice Barchi. This attor­ney had great expe­ri­ence with rich and influ­en­tial for­eign cus­tomers. Barchi was also con­cerned with the Tessi­no finan­cial inter­ests of Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Berlus­coni and the Sau­di minor­i­ty part­ner in Berlusconi’s media group Medi­aset, Prince al-Waleed al Talal.”

(Ibid.; pp. 10–11.)

18. Anoth­er detail con­cern­ing the bogus intel­li­gence that was used to jus­ti­fy the Iraq inva­sion involves an Al Qae­da cap­tive who was eval­u­at­ed by the Defense Intel­li­gence Agency. That agency opined that he was very like­ly giv­ing his Amer­i­can inter­roga­tors infor­ma­tion that he felt they want­ed to hear. Is it pos­si­ble that he was also help­ing to lure the US into a trap? Bin Laden him­self stat­ed that the US over­throw of Sad­dam was a boon for his orga­ni­za­tion. Is it pos­si­ble that Mr. al-Shaykh was delib­er­ate­ly work­ing to lure the Unit­ed States into the “dooms­day back-up” trap that had been laid by Al Qae­da and Iraq?! This is a pos­si­bil­i­ty to be seri­ous­ly eval­u­at­ed.

“Who in the White House knew about DITSUM No. 044–02 and when did they know it? That’s the new­ly declas­si­fied smok­ing- gun doc­u­ment, orig­i­nal­ly pre­pared by the Defense Intel­li­gence Agency in Feb­ru­ary 2002, but ignored by Pres­i­dent Bush. Its declas­si­fi­ca­tion last week­end blows anoth­er huge hole in Bush’s claim that he was act­ing on the best intel­li­gence avail­able when he pitched the inva­sion of Iraq as a way to pre­vent an al Qae­da ter­ror­ist attack using weapons of mass destruc­tion. The report demol­ished the cred­i­bil­i­ty of the key al Qae­da infor­mant the admin­is­tra­tion relied on to make its claim that a work­ing alliance exist­ed between Sad­dam Hus­sein and Osama bin Laden. It was cir­cu­lat­ed wide­ly with­in the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment a full eight months before Bush used the pris­on­er’s lies to argue for an inva­sion of Iraq because ‘we’ve learned that Iraq has trained al Qae­da mem­bers in bomb-mak­ing and poi­sons and dead­ly gas­es.’”

(“Lying with Intel­li­gence” by Robert Scheer; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 11/9/2005; p. B13.) [28]

19. “Al Qae­da senior mil­i­tary train­er lbn al-Shaykh al-Libi — a Libyan cap­tured in Pak­istan m 2001 — was prob­a­bly ‘inten­tion­al­ly mis­lead­ing the debriefers,’ the DIA report con­clud­ed in one of two para­graphs declas­si­fied at the request of Sen. Carl Levin, D‑Mich., and released by his office over the week­end. The report also said: ‘Ibn al-Shaykh has been under­go­ing debriefs for sev­er­al weeks and may be describ­ing sce­nar­ios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their inter­est.’ He got that right. Folks in the high­est places were very inter­est­ed in claims along the lines Libi was ped­dling, even though they went against both log­ic and the pre­pon­der­ance of intel­li­gence gath­ered to that point about pos­si­ble col­lab­o­ra­tion between two ene­mies of the Unit­ed States that were fun­da­men­tal­ly at odds with each oth­er. Al Qae­da was able to cre­ate a base in Iraq only after the U.S. over­throw of Hus­sein, not before. ‘Sad­dam’s regime is intense­ly sec­u­lar and is wary of Islam­ic rev­o­lu­tion­ary move­ments,’ accu­rate­ly not­ed the DIA. Yet Bush used the infor­man­t’s already dis­cred­it­ed tall tale in his key Oct. 7, 2002, speech just before the Sen­ate vot­ed on whether to autho­rize the use of force in Iraq and again in two speech­es in Feb­ru­ary 2003, just before the inva­sion.”


20. “Lead­ing up to the war, then-Sec­re­tary of State Col­in Pow­ell tried to sell it to the Unit­ed Nations, while Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney, nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­er Con­doleez­za Rice, White House spokesman Ari Fleis­ch­er and Under­sec­re­tary of Defense Dou­glas Fei­th repeat­ed it breath­less­ly for home­land audi­ences. The con worked, and Amer­i­cans came to believe that Hus­sein was asso­ci­at­ed with the Sept.11, 2001, hijack­ers. Even CIA Direc­tor George Tenet pub­licly fell into line, ignor­ing his own agen­cy’s dis­sent that Libi would not have been m a posi­tion to know what he said he knew. In fact, Libi, accord­ing to the DIA, could not name any Iraqis involved, any chem­i­cal or bio­log­i­cal mate­r­i­al used or where the train­ing alleged­ly occurred. In Jan­u­ary 2004, the pris­on­er recant­ed his sto­ry, and the next month the CIA with- drew all intel­li­gence reports based on his false infor­ma­tion.”


21. Note the ref­er­ence here to “Curveball”—the code-name for an infor­mant who chan­neled sig­nif­i­cant ele­ments of the bogus intel­li­gence to the US. As dis­cussed in FTR#502 [7]: “Curve­ball” was a pro­tégé of Ahmed Cha­l­abi, him­self believed by the NSA to be an agent for the Iran­ian fun­da­men­tal­ists. In addi­tion, “Curve­ball” was at all times in the cus­tody of Ger­man intel­li­gence. The US was nev­er per­mit­ted to inter­view “Curve­ball” until after the start of the war. In FTR#502 [7] we exam­ined the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the han­dling of “Curve­ball” by the BND–the suc­ces­sor agency to the Rein­hard Gehlen spy outfit—may have been anoth­er part of the hypo­thet­i­cal Under­ground Reich “death­trap” being dis­cussed here.

“One by one, the exot­ic intel­li­gence fac­toids Bush’s researchers culled from raw intel­li­gence data files to pub­licly bol­ster their claim of immi­nent threat — the yel­low­cake ura­ni­um from Niger, the alu­minum tubes for pro­cess­ing ura­ni­um- the Prague meet­ing with Mohamed Atta, the dis­cred­it­ed Iraqi infor­mants ‘Curve­ball’ and Ahmad Cha­l­abi — have been exposed as pre­vi­ous­ly known frauds. When it came to sell­ing an inva­sion of Iraq it had want­ed to launch before Sept. 11, the Bush White House sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly ignored the best avail­able intel­li­gence from U.S. agen­cies or any oth­er reli­able source. . . .”