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

For The Record  

FTR #603 I Told You So Part III Update on the Subversion of Operation Green Quest

Record­ed July 8, 2007
MP3: Side 1 | Side 2

Illus­trat­ing inves­tiga­tive and his­tor­i­cal method­ol­o­gy, this pro­gram excerpts sev­er­al of Mr. Emory’s broad­casts record­ed from 2001 to 2004. The excerpts doc­u­ment the sup­pres­sion of the 9/11 mon­ey trail. Begin­ning with FTR#310, the pro­gram high­lights the con­se­quences of the appoint­ment of Robert Mueller as FBI direc­tor. In that pro­gram, Mr. Emory sug­gest­ed that Mueller’s appoint­ment may have been real­ized in order to cov­er up the BCCI milieu. If prop­er­ly inves­ti­gat­ed, the BCCI case would have revealed the elder George Bush’s involve­ment with drug and weapons traf­fick­ing and the younger George Bush’s busi­ness con­nec­tions to the fam­i­ly of Osama bin Laden. In the Jus­tice Depart­ment of the elder Bush, Mueller proved less than vig­or­ous in pur­su­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion. In the spring of 2002, Mr. Emory record­ed FTR#356, which not­ed the pro­found links between the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, the GOP hier­ar­chy and the indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions bust­ed in the 3/20/2002 Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids on sus­pect­ed ter­ror­ist fund­ing sources. Bush asso­ciate Talat Oth­man inter­ced­ed with then Trea­sury Sec­re­tary O’Neill on behalf of the tar­gets of the raid. (Oth­man him­self is a pro­tégé of the BCCI milieu.) Much of this broad­cast con­sists of excerpts from sub­se­quent For The Record broad­casts chron­i­cling the FBI and Jus­tice Depart­ment obstruc­tion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest, just as Mr. Emory fore­shad­owed in FTR#310. Note: this mate­r­i­al is pre­sent­ed to illus­trate inves­tiga­tive method­ol­o­gy, as well as crit­i­cal infor­ma­tion link­ing the 9/11 mon­ey trail to asso­ciates of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion. It is not pre­sent­ed as an exer­cise in con­ceit or puffery.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The fact that Mr. Emory’s pre­dic­tion about Mueller’s appoint­ment aired right across the riv­er from the World Trade Cen­ter the night before the attacks; dis­cus­sion of the frus­tra­tion of John O’Neil­l’s inves­ti­ga­tion of the attack on the U.S.S. Cole; O’Neil­l’s death the night after the air­ing of FTR#310 on WFMU; Bush asso­ciate Talat Oth­man’s links to GOP big­wig Grover Norquist and his Islam­ic Insti­tute; the FBI and CIA’s sur­veil­lance and harass­ment of Rita Katz and oth­er Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tors; the con­tin­u­ing cov­er-up of the 9/11 mon­ey trail by ele­ments of the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty; the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s ear­ly attempts at frus­trat­ing inves­ti­ga­tions of Sau­di financ­ing of ter­ror­ism.

1. The pro­gram begins by review­ing infor­ma­tion from FTR#310. Record­ed in ear­ly July of 2001, the pro­gram was broad­cast on Mon­day, 9/10/2001 at 6pm on WFMU-FM, right across the riv­er from what was to become Ground Zero the next day. Note that John O’Neill died in the attacks on 9/11. Mr. Emory’s broad­cast fore­shad­owed many aspects of the 9/11 inves­ti­ga­tion. In the ear­ly sum­mer of 2001, George W. Bush select­ed Robert Mueller, a mem­ber of his father’s Jus­tice Depart­ment, to be FBI direc­tor. (“S.F. Pros­e­cu­tor Mueller Picked to Lead FBI, Mend Its Image” by Zachary Coile and Bob Egelko; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 7/6/2001; pp. A1-A12.)

2. In his work for the Bush Jus­tice Depart­ment, Mueller was less than vig­or­ous in his role over­see­ing the pros­e­cu­tion of Gen­er­al Nor­ie­ga of Pana­ma and the BCCI case. (“In the Run­ning for FBI Direc­tor” by Sta­cy Finz; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 7/1/2001; pp. A1-A6.) Both the BCCI case and the Nor­ie­ga case over­lap the Iran-Con­tra inves­ti­ga­tion and the elder Bush was prin­ci­pal­ly involved in the Iran-Con­tra imbroglio. Full dis­clo­sure con­cern­ing the BCCI case could lead to inves­ti­ga­tion of James R. Bath, the Texas busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Bin Laden fam­i­ly and one of the financiers of George W.‘s first oil ven­ture. (See also: FTR #‘s 182, 186, 248, 256, 277, 292, 308, 315.) Bin Laden’s forces have for­mal­ly tak­en cred­it for bomb­ing the U.S.S. Cole dur­ing the cam­paign.
(“Islam­ic Mil­i­tants Brag They Bombed War­ship Cole” by Diana Elias [AP]; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 6/20/2001; p. A8.) Mr. Emory has spec­u­lat­ed (here and here) that the Cole bomb­ing may have been exe­cut­ed for the ben­e­fit of the Bush cam­paign.

3. In that con­text, the broad­cast sug­gests the pos­si­bil­i­ty that some of the dif­fi­cul­ties that the FBI (among oth­er insti­tu­tions) has encoun­tered in con­nec­tion with the inves­ti­ga­tion of the Cole bomb­ing may result from obstruc­tion by the Bush camp. An inves­ti­ga­tion of the Sau­di back­ers of Osama bin Laden leads to indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions con­nect­ed to the GOP and pow­er­ful Amer­i­can-based transna­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions.
(“U.S. Faces Hur­dles in Approach to USS Cole Probe” by David S. Cloud and Neil King, Jr.; Wall Street Jour­nal; 7/6/2001; p. A10.)

4. Next, the pro­gram high­lights infor­ma­tion orig­i­nal­ly pre­sent­ed in FTR#356, record­ed in April of 2002. On April 4 of 2002, Trea­sury Sec­re­tary O’Neill met with pow­er­ful Islamist Repub­li­cans, whose spheres of inter­est over­lap those of the insti­tu­tions and indi­vid­u­als tar­get­ed by the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids on March 20, 2002.
(“O’Neill Met Mus­lim Activists Tied to Char­i­ties” by Glenn R. Simp­son [with Roger Thurow]; Wall Street Jour­nal; 4/18/2002; p. A4.)

5. A prin­ci­pal fig­ure in the group that inter­ced­ed on behalf of the (alleged) Al Qaeda/Al Taqwa-con­nect­ed tar­gets of the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids was Talat Oth­man, a close busi­ness and polit­i­cal asso­ciate of Pres­i­dent Bush. As Mr. Emory fore­shad­owed in FTR#310, when the mon­ey trail to 9/11 was inves­ti­gat­ed, it revealed links between the ter­ror financ­ing struc­ture and the milieu of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion. Oth­man is deeply involved with the BCCI milieu. Again, for more about the Othman/BCCI milieu, see FTR#356 (For more about the Bush/Othman rela­tion­ship and the GOP/Islamist con­nec­tion, see—among programs—FTRs 356, 368, 447, 454, 462, 464, 467, 515.) “Among the Mus­lim lead­ers attend­ing [the meet­ing with O’Neill] was Talat Oth­man, a long­time asso­ciate and sup­port­er of Pres­i­dent Bush’s fam­i­ly, who gave a bene­dic­tion at the Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia in August 2000 . . . But he also serves [with Barz­in­ji] on the board of Amana Mutu­al Funds Trust, an invest­ment firm found­ed by M. Yac­qub Mirza, the North­ern Vir­ginia busi­ness­man who set up most of the enti­ties tar­get­ed by the Trea­sury and whose tax records were sought in the raid.” (Idem.)

6. Oth­man has links to Gaith Pharoan of the BCCI. “Sheikh Abdul­lah Bakhsh, in turn, was a busi­ness asso­ciate of BCCI front man Gaith Pharoan; he bought a chunk of Harken’s stock and placed his rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Talat Oth­man, on Harken Ener­gy’s board of direc­tors.” (“Bush Fam­i­ly Val­ue$: The Bush Clan’s Fam­i­ly Busi­ness” by Stephen Piz­zo; Moth­er Jones; September/October 1992; accessed at www.motherjones.com/news_wire/bushboys.html .)

7. As Mr. Emory hypoth­e­sized in FTR#353, the Norquist/GOP/Islamist links are part of the Repub­li­can Par­ty’s eth­nic out­reach pro­gram. Again, one should note that these ele­ments are direct­ly con­nect­ed to Al Qae­da and exem­pli­fy the Saudi/petroleum/GOP/Bush struc­tur­al eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal rela­tion­ships at the core of the cor­rup­tion of inves­ti­ga­tions into Al Qae­da and 9/11. “The case also high­lights con­flicts between the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s domes­tic polit­i­cal goals and its war on ter­ror. GOP offi­cials began court­ing the U.S. Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty intense­ly in the late 1990’s, seek­ing to add that eth­nic bloc to the par­ty’s polit­i­cal base.” (Idem.)

8. The Amana orga­ni­za­tion (on the board of which Oth­man serves) has numer­ous areas of over­lap with orga­ni­za­tions described as being impli­cat­ed in ter­ror­ism and the milieu of Al Que­da. “Two non­prof­its affil­i­at­ed with Mr. Mirza and named in the search war­rant, the SAAR Foun­da­tion Inc. and the Her­itage Edu­ca­tion Trust Inc., held large blocks of shares in Amana’s mutu­al funds in 1997, accord­ing to SEC records. The SEC doc­u­ments and oth­er records detail­ing con­nec­tions between Mr. Oth­man and the Islam­ic Insti­tute [on the board of which Mr. Oth­man serves] and the raid­ed groups were com­piled by the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty News Ser­vice, a Wash­ing­ton based non­prof­it research group.” (Idem.)

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

10. Oth­man’s links to Bush are pro­found. “Mr. Oth­man has ties to the Bush fam­i­ly going back to the 1980’s, when he served with George W. Bush on the board of a Texas petro­le­um firm, Harken Oil & Gas Inc. Mr. Oth­man has vis­it­ed the White House dur­ing the admin­is­tra­tions of both Pres­i­dent Bush and his father George H.W. Bush.” (Idem.)

11. Next, the pro­gram reviews oth­er areas of inter­sec­tion between the labyrinthine net­work attacked in the 3/20 raids, the Al Taqwa milieu, and the Repub­li­can Par­ty. (FTR#342 doc­u­ment­ed the role of six mem­bers of the Bin Laden fam­i­ly in the found­ing of Al Taqwa.) A recent Wall Street Jour­nal arti­cle described some of the orga­ni­za­tions tar­get­ed in the raids: “These include Al-Taqwa Man­age­ment, a recent­ly liq­ui­dat­ed Swiss com­pa­ny the U.S. gov­ern­ment believes act­ed as a banker for Osama bin Laden’s al Que­da ter­ror­ist net­work. . .Two peo­ple affil­i­at­ed with the com­pa­nies and char­i­ties are linked by records to enti­ties already des­ig­nat­ed as ter­ror­ist by the U.S. gov­ern­ment. Hisham Al-Tal­ib, who served as an offi­cer of SAAR, the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought and Safa Trust Inc., anoth­er Mirza char­i­ty, dur­ing the 1970’s was an offi­cer of firms run by Youssef M. Nada, records show. Mr. Nada is a Switzer­land-based busi­ness­man whose assets have been frozen by the U.S. for alleged involve­ment in ter­ror­ist financ­ing, and is alleged by U.S. offi­cials to be a key fig­ure in the Taqwa net­work. . .Jamal Barz­in­ji, an offi­cer of Mr. Mirza­’s com­pa­ny Mar-Jac and oth­er enti­ties, also was involved with Mr. Nada’s com­pa­nies in the 1970’s, accord­ing to bank doc­u­ments from Liecht­en­stein. A mes­sage was left yes­ter­day for Mr. Barz­in­ji at his address in Hern­don. Mr. Barz­in­ji and Mr. Tal­ib live across the street from each oth­er. A third busi­ness asso­ciate of Mr. Nada, Ali Ghaleb Him­mat (who also has been des­ig­nat­ed by the Trea­sury as aid­ing ter­ror­ism), is list­ed as an offi­cial of the Gene­va branch of anoth­er char­i­ty oper­at­ed by Mr. Mirza, the Inter­na­tion­al Islam­ic Char­i­ta­ble Orga­ni­za­tion. [Empha­sis added.]” (“Funds Under Ter­ror Probe Flowed From Off­shore” by Glenn R. Simp­son [with Michael M. Phillips]; Wall Street Jour­nal; 3/22/2002; p. A4.)

12. Review­ing infor­ma­tion from FTR#343, we note that Nada him­self is alleged to have been agent of the Abwehr, the mil­i­tary intel­li­gence ser­vice of the Third Reich. “But Yussef Nada is even bet­ter-known to the Egypt­ian [intel­li­gence] ser­vices, who have evi­dence of his mem­ber­ship in the armed branch of the fra­ter­ni­ty of the Mus­lim Broth­ers in the 1940’s. At that time, accord­ing to the same sources, he was work­ing for the Abwehr under Admi­ral Canaris and took part in a plot against King Farouk. [Empha­sis added.] This was not the first time that the path of the Mus­lim Broth­ers crossed that of the ser­vants of the Third Reich.” (Dol­lars for Ter­ror: The Unit­ed States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copy­right 2000 [SC]; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; pp. 140–141.)

13. Next, the pro­gram reviews infor­ma­tion first pre­sent­ed in FTR#432 [5/30/04], and ana­lyzed at greater length in 454 [4/4/04]. This part of the broad­cast high­lights the admin­is­tra­tion’s frus­tra­tion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest–the law enforcement/intelligence com­mu­ni­ty oper­a­tion aimed at inter­dict­ing fund­ing for Islamist ter­ror­ists, includ­ing Al Qae­da. 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.)

14. Among the many con­crete efforts by the Bush admin­is­tra­tion on behalf of Sau­di-relat­ed ele­ments impli­cat­ed in Al Qae­da activ­i­ties was the admin­is­tra­tion’s redac­tion of 28 pages of a con­gres­sion­al report on 9/11. Those pages relat­ed to Sau­di char­i­ties and indi­vid­u­als believed to be financ­ing Al Qae­da and oth­er ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions. “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.)

15. ” . . . 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.)

16. 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—FTRs 433, 435.) 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. This has large­ly neu­tral­ized the Oper­a­tion Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tion. (For more about this, see—among oth­er programs—FTRs 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. As fore­shad­owed by Mr. Emory, Mueller and his bureau have been less than vig­or­ous in their inves­ti­ga­tion of the finan­cial trail to the 9/11 attacks, as well. “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.)

17. In the con­text of the frus­tra­tion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest, the pro­gram notes again the con­nec­tions between the insti­tu­tions and indi­vid­u­als tar­get­ed in the 3/20/2002 raids and the GOP. ” . . . 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.)

18. As dis­cussed above, Talat Oth­man (a close asso­ciate of Both Georges Bush) inter­ced­ed on behalf of the tar­gets of Oper­a­tion Green Quest. “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.)

19. “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.)

20. Recap­ping infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in FTRs 425, 569 (among oth­er pro­grams), the broad­cast notes how the FBI and CIA turned on the inves­ti­ga­tors of Oper­a­tion Green Quest, includ­ing inves­ti­ga­tor Rita Katz, the author of Ter­ror­ist Hunter. Rita’s asso­ciates in Green Quest were inves­ti­gat­ed and harassed by the FBI. In FTR#310 (record­ed in July of 2001) Mr. Emory hypoth­e­sized that Robert Mueller was appoint­ed head of the FBI in order to safe­guard the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s links with the milieu of the BCCI and George W. Bush’s busi­ness links to the Bin Laden fam­i­ly. ” . . . For two months after the raids I did­n’t hear a word from Green Quest. Then one day Mark sud­den­ly called and asked to see me. ‘Why?’ I said cyn­i­cal­ly. ‘Your inves­ti­ga­tion is over. You don’t need me any­more.’ He under­stood. ‘Please don’t be cross,’ he said. ‘I could­n’t talk to you. I too was under inves­ti­ga­tion. I was being fol­lowed, my phones were tapped, and I was ques­tioned. I was mis­er­able. They gave me a very hard time. Please don’t give any more grief. I don’t deserve it.’ What was this, I thought, anoth­er rerun of the sto­ry with John Can­field? What’s wrong with these peo­ple who keep inves­ti­gat­ing the inves­ti­ga­tors? ‘If you don’t believe me,’ he con­tin­ued, ‘talk to the U.S. attor­ney you worked with. He’ll tell you. He and every­one else on the team were under inves­ti­ga­tion.’ Mark, I knew, was not a guy to make some­thing like that up. But I was curi­ous, and I called the U.S. attor­ney to get his take. I did­n’t press him too, much, because the whole thing was—and prob­a­bly still is—under inves­ti­ga­tion. But he did ver­i­fy every­thing Mark had told me. Prac­ti­cal­ly every­one involved with the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tion had been under sur­veil­lance. The FBI was among the agen­cies con­duct­ing that inves­ti­ga­tion.” (Ter­ror­ist Hunter by “Anony­mous” [Rita Katz]; CCC [imprint of Harp­er Collins]; Copy­right 2003 by Harp­er Collins [HC]; ISBN 0–06-052819–2; p. 327.)

21. Note that the FBI gave more doc­u­ments to Zacarias Mous­saoui for his defense than to the Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tors. “No won­der! The FBI had long set its sights on this inves­ti­ga­tion, which became so major and so famous. The Bureau had already been med­dling in the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tion in a man­ner less than gen­tle­man­ly; after the raids, peo­ple who had infor­ma­tion about the SAAR net­work called to offer their tips. Unaware of who was in charge of the inves­ti­ga­tion, some of those peo­ple called and gave their tips to the FBI. The FBI, instead of for­ward­ing the tips to the peo­ple in charge—Green Quest—kept the leads to them­selves and ini­ti­at­ed their own probes into those leads, shar­ing nei­ther with Cus­toms. More­over, at some point, the two FBI agents in Vir­ginia stopped help­ing Green Quest abrupt­ly and com­plete­ly. It was obvi­ous that they’d been instruct­ed to do that. The FBI con­tin­ues to refuse to give Green Quest doc­u­ments need­ed for its inves­ti­ga­tion. The FBI treats Green Quest worse than it does the ene­my; Zacarias Mous­saoui received from the FBI more doc­u­ments per­tain­ing to his investigation—including a good num­ber of clas­si­fied documents—than did Green Quest! And of course the ulti­mate scan­dal is that all this is tak­ing place after 9–11. . . .” (Idem.)

22. The incon­ve­nient GOP ethnic/Green Quest con­nec­tion cit­ed in para­graph #5 may well explain the FBI’s and CIA’s hos­tile inter­est in the inves­ti­ga­tors of Oper­a­tion Green Quest. “Yet the FBI was­n’t the worst part in that sticky affair. The CIA was. 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? . Now—I was being watched 24/7. It’s a ter­ri­ble sen­sa­tion to know that you have no pri­va­cy. . . . and no secu­ri­ty. That strange click­ing of the phones that was­n’t there before. . . the oh-so-crude­ly opened mail at home in the office. . .and the same man I spied in my neigh­bor­hood super­mar­ket, who was also on the train I took to Wash­ing­ton a week ago. . .Life can be mis­er­able when you know that some­one’s always breath­ing down your neck.” (Ibid.; pp. 328–329.)

23. “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.)

24. “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.)

25. The pro­gram con­cludes with review of infor­ma­tion from FTR#462 [5/30/04]. Sup­ple­ment­ing pre­vi­ous dis­cus­sion of the FBI’s fail­ure to coop­er­ate with oth­er agen­cies in pur­su­ing Oper­a­tion Green Quest (FTRs 432, 433), the pro­gram notes that the effort has large­ly been frus­trat­ed, cour­tesy of the Bureau. “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 causus bel­li of this 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; accessed at: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3068377/ .)

26. “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. 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.)

27. 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.)

28. ” ‘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.)

29. 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! Ptech devel­oped the threat-assess­ment soft­ware archi­tec­ture for the Air Force, the FAA, NORAD and the Depart­ment of Ener­gy (among oth­er agen­cies). It is Mr. Emory’s belief that the Ptech sit­u­a­tion may well have had much to do with the anom­alous per­for­mance of air-defense units on 9/11. For more about Ptech, see—among oth­er programs—FTRs 462, 464, 467. Note that the FBI dragged its feet in the Ptech inves­ti­ga­tion and it was the Cus­toms depart­ment that ulti­mate­ly moved on Ptech, despite indi­ca­tions that the com­pa­ny had been financed by peo­ple linked to ter­ror­ism, Al Qae­da in par­tic­u­lar. “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. [Empha­sis added]. 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.)

30. 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 [Sami] 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.)

31. “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.)

32. 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.’ [Empha­sis added].” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

33. “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.)


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