Category Archives: Relation to CIA/FBI

Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast

The New York Times, Thursday October 28, 1993 Page A1

Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast

By Ralph Blumenthal

Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.

The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad Salem, should be used, the informer said.

The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of hours of tape recordings that Mr. Salem secretly made of his talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as being in a far better position than previously known to foil the February 26th bombing of New York City’s tallest towers.

The explosion left six people dead, more than a thousand people injured, and damages in excess of half-a-billion dollars. Four men are now on trial in Manhattan Federal Court [on charges of involvement] in that attack.

Mr. Salem, a 43-year-old former Egyptian Army officer, was used by the Government [of the United States] to penetrate a circle of Muslim extremists who are now charged in two bombing cases: the World Trade Center attack, and a foiled plot to destroy the United Nations, the Hudson River tunnels, and other New York City landmarks. He is the crucial witness in the second bombing case, but his work for the Government was erratic, and for months before the World Trade Center blast, he was feuding with the F.B.I.

Supervisor `Messed It Up’

After the bombing, he resumed his undercover work. In an undated transcript of a conversation from that period, Mr. Salem recounts a talk he had had earlier with an agent about an unnamed F.B.I. supervisor who, he said, “came and messed it up.”

“He requested to meet me in the hotel,” Mr. Salem says of the supervisor.

“He requested to make me to testify, and if he didn’t push for that, we’ll be going building the bomb with a phony powder, and grabbing the people who was involved in it. But since you, we didn’t do that.”

The transcript quotes Mr. Salem as saying that he wanted to complain to F.B.I. Headquarters in Washington about the Bureau’s failure to stop the bombing, but was dissuaded by an agent identified as John Anticev.

Mr. Salem said Mr. Anticev had told him,

“He said, I don’t think that the New York people would like the things out of the New York Office to go to Washington, D.C.”

Another agent, identified as Nancy Floyd, does not dispute Mr. Salem’s account, but rather, appears to agree with it, saying of the `New York people’:

“Well, of course not, because they don’t want to get their butts chewed.”

Muslim terrorists recruited by the CIA

I used to be in charge of the Visa Section at the CIA’s consulate at Jeddah, the principle city of the Hejahs in Western Saudi Arabia. There, for a year and a half, I issued visas to terrorists recruited by the CIA and its asset, Osama Bin Laden. At the time I thought it was basically visa fraud. Somebody was paying $2500 bribes to State Department officials. I was ordered by these same high State Department officials to issue the visas, to shut up, to do my job and ask no questions. http://www.unansweredquestions.org/transcript.shtml

Written Transcript
9-11 and the Public Safety :
Seeking Answers and Accountability

Meeting held in Washington, D.C. on June 10, 2002 at the National Press Club

Michael Springmann:
..
I used to be in charge of the Visa Section at the CIA’s consulate at Jeddah, the principle city of the Hejahs in Western Saudi Arabia. There, for a year and a half, I issued visas to terrorists recruited by the CIA and its asset, Osama Bin Laden. At the time I thought it was basically visa fraud. Somebody was paying $2500 bribes to State Department officials. I was ordered by these same high State Department officials to issue the visas, to shut up, to do my job and ask no questions.

And this wasn’t simply a difference of opinion as was alleged later on. It wasn’t one of these things where they wanted to visit their father in America and there was a question of where they worked, that sort of thing. It was basically two Pakistanis came to me one day and said, “We want to go to a trade show in America.” And I asked, “What’s the trade show?” They didn’t know. “What city is it going to be held in?” They didn’t know. And I asked a few more questions and I said, “No. Visa denied. You haven’t proved to me that you’re going to come to the United States, accomplish your business and then return home.” Well a few minutes later I had a phone call from a CIA case officer assigned to the commercial section. “Issue the visas.” I said, “No.” He said, “Well, it’s important they get a visa.” And I said, “No.” And a few minutes later he was over talking to the chief of the consular section, reversed me, issued the visas and these guys took off. And this was typical. I had a Sudanese who was unemployed in Saudi Arabia. He was a refugee from the Sudan and I said, “You don’t get a visa” And he kept coming back and coming back and coming back. And after a bit I started getting calls from a woman I believe was a case officer who was in the political section. “We need this guy.” And I said, “No. He hasn’t proved to me that he’s going to America and he’s going to come back, as the Immigration and Nationality Act says and that the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual says.” Well, in short order I got reversed again and he got his visa for national security reasons. And this went on for a year and a half. I had people, not every day perhaps, but every week. And I estimate as many as 100 people got visas through me getting overruled on my analysis of their ability to go to the United states and then return.

And I protested this. I protested to the Counsel for Consular Affairs in Riad. I protested to the Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington. I protested to the State Department’s Inspector General. I protested to the State Department’s Office of Diplomatic Security. I talked about this to the FBI, to the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, and I went to a couple of Congressional Committees. And by and large I was told, “Shut up. You don’t know what you’re talking about. This is a difference of opinion. You don’t know what you’re doing. You’re far to junior to question the Counsel General in Jeddah’s interest in doing this.”

And I came back to Washington after a trip to Germany and I was assigned to the Bureau of Intelligence Research in the State Department. And eventually my appointment was cancelled. After this and after I tried mightily for several years to find out what had happened to me, and the Freedom of Information Act requests were being stonewalled on the basis of national security, I ran across a journalist, Joe Trento. And about the same time I ran across two people, one of whom was a government official and the other was a person attached to a local university here in Washington. All three confirmed that what I was protesting was not visa fraud but people being rounded up by the agency and Osama Bin Laden to come to the United Sates for training as terrorists to be sent to fight in the war against the then Soviet Union in Afghanistan. They used roughly a million dollars in liquor sales a year from the consulate in Jeddah to fund this. And you might ask, well, as the Washington Legal Times did, that was then, this is now, fifteen years later. Well, from what I read in the Los Angeles Times, fifteen of the nineteen people who allegedly flew airplanes into buildings in the United States got their visas from the same CIA consulate at Jeddah. And according to a journalist in Florida, Sidney Friedberg, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, they got this through the Visa Express program where you handed in your documents and they packed them off in a bunch of other documents, people traveling to the States for legitimate reason with a legitimate travel agency. Well Sevarino Castillo, the former DEA officer, told me this was common practice for the CIA in Central America. They put their guys in, hoping that the paperwork would be overlooked, that they wouldn’t get too many questions asked. And when I raised this with the Los Angeles Times, with the New York Times, with the Washington Post, with 60 Minutes, nobody wanted to talk about it.

 

US is Allied with and Actively Supports Al Qaeda

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-is-allied-with-and-actively-supports-al-qaeda/5309866

US is Allied with and Actively Supports Al Qaeda

By Prof. James F. Tracy and Kourosh Ziabari
Global Research, October 27, 2012
Iran Review 24 October 2012

American political commentator professor James F. Tracy believes that the United States has been constantly allied with Al-Qaeda and has supported it militarily and financially.

“Major media have recently had to acknowledge that US-NATO interests are aligned with Al Qaeda in Syria, of course overlooking the fact that the US and Sunni States also recruited and armed these soldiers of fortune. What the Obama administration has sought to do with the alleged murder of Bin Laden in May 2011 is to close the chapter on the old, villainous Al Qaeda and open a chapter on the new and friendly Al Qaeda. This narrative is slowly unfolding, while Americans are instructed on a different bogey to fear, which now appears to be homegrown terrorism,” he said in an exclusive interview with Iran Review.

Prof. James F. Tracy is the Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, where he teaches courses on media history and the role of journalism in the public sphere. Tracy’s scholarly work and commentary on media and politics have appeared in numerous academic journals, edited volumes, and alternative media news and opinion outlets. He is editor of Democratic Communiqué, journal of the Union for Democratic Communications, an affiliate of Project Censored, and a regular contributor to GlobalResearch.ca. Tracy’s latest work assessing Western press coverage of US-NATO military ventures and the human costs of war appears in Censored 2013: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2011-2013 (Seven Stories Press, 2012).

Prof. Tracy took part in an interview with Iran Review to answer some questions regarding the influence of advocacy organizations on the U.S. government and the mutual relationship between these entities, the further limitation of civil liberties and individual freedoms in the United States, the challenges ahead of progressive, alternative journalism in the United States, Western mainstream media’s coverage of Iran and Syria affairs and the prospect of U.S. military expeditions in the Middle East.

Q: What do you think about the role of influential American think tanks and public diplomacy and advocacy organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations or the National Endowment for Democracy in creating unrest and instability in the countries which are opposed to the United States policies? Do you find traces of their footsteps in the ongoing violence in Syria? Do they have plans to destabilize Iran so as to realize their mischievous objective of regime change in Tehran?

A: One can contend that the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Endowment for Democracy are much more than advocacy organizations. The question suggests the popular view that Western states and especially the United States are above such organizations in terms of decision making power and responsiveness to the populations they purportedly serve.

This is the idealization of a transcendent governing apparatus upheld in public opinion and touted in Western mainstream media. This is the myth the CFR specifically perpetuates about itself and the liberal state. In fact, the CFR is a branch of the Royal Institute of International Affairs and it has more or less dictated US foreign policy from within entities such as the US State Department since before World War Two.

This is not to say that every member of the CFR is involved in such maneuvers. Some are in the organization because they’re flattered to be asked and they see it as prestigious and fashionable, or they wish to network with other influential figures. Yet it is no mistake that membership is exclusive and participants all occupy strategic positions of power in major global corporations, in academe and the media, and in government, and thus can be mobilized to exert their influence as the CFR inner circle desires. They also openly share in the ideology of weakening the nation state and privileging global-regional and international bodies, such as the European Union and the United Nations.

It is through such organizations that they can get their policies enacted with little if any interference from the common people or their representatives at the national level. The CFR’s interests and activities, alongside the interests supported by the major philanthropic foundations such as the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundations, and the Gates Foundation, are demonstrable manifestations of the deep state that truly runs the world, has priorities that differ greatly from the bulk of humanity, and has sought to exert itself since the 1920s.

The “Arab Spring” appears to be largely a maneuver of organizations such as the CFR and NED. This was evident from the onset with the high degree of Western media exposure afforded the fairly modest demonstrations in Tahrir Square that preceded Mubarak’s ouster by the Central Intelligence Agency. The same media outlets unquestioningly covered the Western and Sunni-backed deployment of Al Qaeda mercenary forces and NATO airpower against the most modern and socially progressive state on the African continent under the Obama administration’s “Responsibility to Protect” cover. A central bank was reportedly created in the back of a mercenary pickup truck. This was a colossal war crime that Western public opinion is left largely in the dark about. It also underscored liberal-progressive hypocrisy and credulousness in the US, evident in the pronouncements of public figures such as Juan Cole and Amy Goodman, who led the cheering section for Libya’s destruction. If the Bush administration successfully vanquished the probable leader of the African Union those on the Left would have been in a huff. When one of their purported own oversees such a campaign it’s not only condoned but applauded, much like the “humanitarian” bombing of Yugoslavia by Clinton.

As many of your readers are likely aware, Libya is significant because some of the same mercenary forces recruited by US intelligence and Sunni states that were employed there are now deployed in Syria. Like Libya, Syria is also a fairly modern state that is not hostile to the West but is regarded as being autonomous, particularly in its alliance with Iran and Hezbollah. It is also seen as a strategic threat to Israel in terms of Iran, and so must be dismantled before a more concerted campaign against Iran is to take place. I’m inclined to think that those determining policy for the Obama administration want compliant fundamentalist regimes installed throughout the Middle East. This will be disastrous to overall security in the region but I don’t believe that’s their goal. War is much more profitable and has much greater potential than peace for those who wish to exert control over resources.

Q: In one of your articles, you argue that the United States has become a police state, with such restrictive legislations and programs which the government has put into effect to limit the citizens’ personal freedoms and different types of civil liberties, such as the Sedition Act of 1798 which criminalizes the publication of “false, scandalous, and malicious writing” against the government and governmental officials. Would you please elaborate more on your notion of the United States becoming a police state?

A: I believe this was “The Paranoid Style of American Governance,” where I pointed out that the laws, policies, and organizational structure of the US government, how its exaggerated concern over surveillance and security is arrayed against the American people. The situation is comparable to how an increasingly delusional paranoid might approach human relationships s/he is involved in.  As a result of the 1996 Effective Death Penalty and Anti-Terrorism Act following the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing and the 2001 PATRIOT Act enacted after September 11, 2001 many of the civil liberties Americans have been guaranteed under the Constitution have been stolen, never to return.

Citizens cannot expect to be secure in their persons and papers. We are subjected to humiliating warrantless searches at transportation facilities. As a result of a string of legislation capped off by President Obama’s National Defense Authorization Act of December 2011 the government now reserves the right to jail or murder citizens on political grounds. There is little if any recourse because our political representation has to a large degree been bought off by private interests. The US increasingly looks like a totalitarian state and is one major event away from fully resembling the Soviet Union or an Eastern Bloc state circa 1970. The extent of the rollback in civil liberties is very overdone because a majority of Americans are ill-informed, politically unsophisticated, and in many instances even functionally illiterate. Thus they are unaware of the police state’s accelerated formation since the mid-1990s and unprepared to contest it. A combined regime of poor public education and the stultifying effects of mass media and culture have dumbed the American public down to the extent that its republic has been taken right out from underneath its nose.

Q: It’s widely believed that the United States, as its leaders claim, is a “beacon of freedom” since the mass media are allowed to publish every critical material at will, even if they threaten the national security, in such cases of war with another nation. Is this widely-accepted belief true? Don’t the mass media face any restriction or impediment by the government to censor certain stories or withhold from the public sensitive information?

A: The major, agenda-setting US news media—USA Today, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and their broadcast and cablecast amplifiers—that the small strata of semi-politically adept and literate citizens rely on for information are all controlled by interests that are overall supportive of the US police state and US-NATO foreign policy. To return to your initial question, many of the owners or top editors and journalists are also CFR members. Together they perform a central propagandistic function of the state through selective reportage of issues and events, omission of key information, and heavy reliance on “official” government or corporate sources.

Such a set of procedures is worse than outright falsehoods because a falsehood can be disproved and a journalist or news organization called out on the carpet. However, by owning most of the newsgathering and distribution outlets, by using official sources and employing careful editing procedures such media retain credibility in the public mind. In the Soviet Union much of the citizenry knew that by reading Pravda they were being fed outright lies so they learned to “read between the lines” to interpret what was really going on. That requires a degree of political sophistication that is beyond most Americans.

The government and major news media are also being challenged by alternative news media and thus resort to a more blatant form of disinformation that jeopardizes their perceived trustworthiness, which is now at an all-time low. This is the case with their coverage of the US-NATO actions and Libya and Syria—specifically the fact that the US is allied with and actively supporting its alleged arch enemy Al Qaeda.

For over a year corporate media tried to cover this up when it was there in plain view. Alternative outlets reported otherwise and in the face of this mainstream media had to eventually relent and admit that the US is indeed supporting Al Qaeda.

As an example, one case involved a US-based alternative media outlet reporting on the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies collectively purchasing over one billion rounds of lethal, “hollow point” ammunition. Major media sought to assuage growing public concern on this by focusing on a single government agency’s (the Social Security Administration) purchase of 180,000 rounds of such ammunition, asserting that it was for target practice. This was absolute propaganda likely pitched to these outlets by covert government sources. It’s fairly common knowledge among American gun enthusiasts that “full metal jacket” ammo is used on the range because it’s far less expensive than hollow point and performs the same function. Nevertheless, the 180,000 SSA story was widely circulated, performing the intended propaganda function, mainly through conscious omission of the most important information that alternative media honestly chose to highlight.

Another argument that I need to make in light of the world wide expanse of news and information now available on the Internet is that the US citizenry doesn’t need to rely primarily on USA Today or New York Times editors for what it is exposed to. This remains the case so long as the Internet remains free from government or corporate encroachment and regulation. In this regard there is a wealth of information for those who have the time, discernment, and initiative to seek it out and become informed. Investigative journalists and commentators have much to draw on in terms of analyzing and explaining the meaning and significance of issues and events. This is essentially what newspapers and journals did before the application of scientific objectivity to journalism and the pretentious separation of news from analysis and opinion.

Q: What challenges do the independent, progressive journalists of the United States face today? In one of your articles, you had criticized some of the progressive media for failing to give coverage to important topics such as the truth about the 9/11 attacks. Would you please elaborate on that? In my view, the progressive media outlets such as CounterPunch or The Nation have to some extent broken apart the monopoly of the mainstream media and allowed the free flow of information while the mainstream media steadfastly try to suffocate the truth. Don’t you agree?

A: Independent progressive journalists often produce important investigative work on issues and events ignored by mainstream outlets. One example is the attention they’ve brought to bear on hydraulic “fracking” and its immense environmental destruction. They have also been helpful in raising awareness of the Bush-Cheney administration’s many crimes.

My main criticism with so-called progressive alternative news media is how they are usually tethered to philanthropic foundations and thus restricted in what their writers can comment and report on. They’re also strongly influenced by partisan politics. Democracy Now and The Nation, for example, regularly fell over themselves to interrogate and expose the Bush-Cheney administration’s abundant malfeasance. However, when the Obama regime continues and intensifies such policies, or unconstitutionally commits US troops to fight in Libya, such outlets are either close to silent or condone such measures. This is a double standard. Imagine if the Bush-Cheney cabal deposed the likely heir of the African Union. Left-liberals would have a variety of raucous criticisms. Obama does it and no eyebrows are raised. The case is even more evident with regard to the US-NATO support of mercenary armies terrorizing the Syrian population. In their partiality the progressive media are hypocritical in the extreme, and it’s difficult to have much faith or respect for them.

Another example of this is the collaboration between John Nichols, political correspondent at The Nation and libertarian Constitutional attorney Bruce Fein, who were both outspoken during the Bush administration on the case for impeachment. Nichols also wrote a very critical biography of Cheney. Fein is still calling for impeachment—this time of Obama. Nichols is nowhere to be found, even though Obama’s crimes are comparable to Bush-Cheney’s.

There are also several issues that require investigation and discussion that the left-progressive media won’t even acknowledge. 9/11 is certainly one. Others include the related phenomenon of false flag terror, and the United Nations’ Agenda 21. There’s abundant information on all of these phenomena, and independent activists and genuinely alternative news media have covered them—some in great depth. Progressive media won’t, and I believe this in part is due to their fear of being labeled “conspiracy theorists” by the thought police at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Anti-Defamation League, Media Matters for America, Think Progress—all of which are, perhaps not coincidentally, as dependent on foundation money as the very progressive journalists they patrol.

Such media’s failure to pursue 9/11 beyond government pronouncements resulted in the crucial delinking of 9/11 Truth from the antiwar movement, and in my view the antiwar movement’s consequent lack of real purpose and direction. It’s fairly safe to say that a majority of Americans, including those on the left, are generally trusting of government institutions and authority in general to the extent that they could scarcely imagine such institutions might be capable of an event like September 11. There is a naïve trust in entities they barely recognize or understand outside of fictionalized accounts, which speaks to the tremendous success of an educational and propaganda apparatus that conditions individuals to accept at face value the claims of authority figures.

As I’ve stated above, the progressive alternative media are capable of extreme hypocrisy. “Global warming,” or “climate change” is another case in point. Such outlets unquestioningly promote what amounts to a new religion and global taxation regime that the Left has bought into entirely. Raising legitimate questions is extreme heresy, equated with threatening the polar bears and coral reefs. The typical mantra is that human beings are the main culprits through their everyday activities. This is not to say that there is no problem of pollution linked to human consumption, and there could be reasonable modifications and programs for addressing such concerns. Yet the science purporting the existence of a “greenhouse effect” on environmental temperatures from carbon dioxide, alongside the dubious scientific endeavors of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, cannot stand up to serious scientific scrutiny yet is uncritically upheld by the left intelligentsia especially.

The progressive media promote this notion while ignoring deliberate efforts to alter the environment through weather modification and geoengineering that have been going on for several years now. That’s profoundly dishonest. Nor do such media interrogate the billions of dollars being pumped into the environmental movement each year through the philanthropic foundations. Nor is there any coverage of Agenda 21, which according to its own doctrine is a plan to radically alter social and economic relations in the name of “sustainability.” The more Americans find out about this, the more outraged they will be, but they won’t become aware of it through the progressive alternative media, who are enthusiastically on board with such plans whether they realize it or not.

Q: What role are the mainstream media in the West playing with regards to the crisis in Syria? With the experience of NYT’s Judith Miller and her rabble-rousing prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, are the mass media repeating the same scenario to lay the groundwork for a military strike against Syria to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad?

A: The major news media have been attempting to make the Syria’s al-Assad government look as if it is oppressing its own population—for which it has no realistic motive—so that the Anglo-American alliance can mercilessly bomb the country and install a puppet regime like it has done in Libya. This is a frame-up that Western media are complicit in carrying out. As with 9/11, much of the American public will have difficulty fathoming the idea that its government is supporting and allied with Al Qaeda mercenaries to terrorize and kill Syrian citizens, yet that’s what is happening. Syria is strategic in a geopolitical sense because of its proximity to Israel, and the West realizes that any potential attack on Iran must be preceded by a malleable regime in Syria. For over one year none of this was reported in US news media. When Hillary Clinton admitted as much in February 2012 on BBC and CBS, as reported in such alternative outlets as Global Research and Infowars, the corporate media backtracked and obscured her remarks, and the information was subsequently suppressed.

Yet major media have recently had to acknowledge that US-NATO interests are aligned with Al Qaeda in Syria, of course overlooking the fact that the US and Sunni States also recruited and armed these soldiers of fortune. What the Obama administration has sought to do with the alleged murder of Bin Laden in May 2011 is to close the chapter on the old, villainous Al Qaeda and open a chapter on the new and friendly Al Qaeda. This narrative is slowly unfolding, while Americans are instructed on a different bogey to fear, which now appears to be “homegrown terrorism.”

The dynamic between the public, media and US government is also different than it was in 2003. Before the US could attack Afghanistan and Iraq the Bush administration realized it needed a public rationale for such. A key rule in management is to give your subordinates a reason for why you’re enacting a new rule or policy. September 11 and the constructed threat of Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” provided this rationale to placate the public. Despite its high-handed duplicity, the Bush-Cheney regime actually went through the proper avenues and received Congressional approval to go to war.

The Obama administration has done nothing of the sort with regard to the use of US forces in Libya last year. Instead of being more forthright in terms of legislative protocols and aggression, Obama and his handlers chose to wage war and subvert societies and governments in more covert ways, such as what has and continues to occur in Libya, Syria, and Iran. In my view, one of the few things that is worse than Bush’s flagrant and arrogant use of military power is Obama’s hypocrisy—claiming the “responsibility to protect” through allegedly humanitarian military intervention while illegally committing US troops abroad and presiding over tremendous violence.

The US public and Congress—and especially the progressive-left—are happy with their rock star-in-chief. Some also fear being labeled racists if they really criticize Obama’s policies. There’s virtually no opposition I can detect by the allegedly principled and peace-loving left in the US. It’s perhaps ironic that one of the legacies of the US’s tragic history of race relations is that, much like waving the flag of anti-Semitism, the actually existing memory of racial oppression can be opportunistically mobilized to actually stifle honest political debate.

As I mentioned in a recent piece for Global Research, if Obama carried out the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq with the appropriate R2P platitudes to his base the liberal establishment would have rolled over. Obama is very useful to larger, global power interests because what he symbolizes—liberal ideals and the civil rights struggle—allows him to play on and manipulate the public’s good will and enact or continue policies at home and abroad that white politicians would be highly scrutinized for. A Romney-Ryan administration would actually energize the progressive-left in the US and potentially provide for a more vibrant political discourse. Four years of the Obama administration proves that the left is far more devoted to circling the wagons and the spirit of partisanship than to the values it claims to uphold. If the left media were honest to its principles it would have provided extensive coverage of the Non-Aligned Movement August conference in Tehran to further highlight the Obama administration’s hypocrisy. The coverage was close-to non-existent.

Q: What do you think about the Western media’s coverage of the Iran affairs? In my own interpretation, they have practically taken up arms against Iranian people, because they are intentionally portraying Iran in such a way that every external observer thinks that Iran is a crisis-hit, dilapidated, uncivilized and uncultured country. The Western audience is totally unaware of Iran’s culture, history and civilization, and this is a direct result of mainstream media’s lopsided coverage of Iran. What’s your take on that?

A: That’s an accurate assessment. This is because the Western media’s coverage of Iran is guided to a large degree by their heavy reliance on official sources, such as those at the US State Department, NATO, or within the Obama administration itself. The coverage is perpetuated by the ethnocentrism and narrow views of those within the US and European media as well. Iranian officials’ statements and views are generally absent in such news media. This is of course intentional on the behalf of such outlets and their owners.

The American public has been incrementally conditioned for an attack on Iran since 2002 when the country was identified as part of the “axis of evil” by George W. Bush. The US youth are increasingly weaned on a psychic diet of video games where there are clear distinctions of good and evil.  If a country and its people can be objectified and thereby dehumanized—as is done in the conditioning of our youth in general society and the military—their destruction can be more efficiently carried out and witnessed with little if any objection. The “clash of civilizations” is a coordinated process for public consumption.

A related factor in this regard is of course Israel. It’s very difficult to overestimate the country’s power over the US government, and major US media are no doubt sensitive to Israel’s propaganda line that Iran poses an existential threat to the Zionist state. Israel’s public relations arm, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is extremely powerful in shaping Western media’s representation and thereby public opinion of Middle East affairs and Iran specifically.

One could make the argument that were it not for such influence Iran would be regarded as merely a country pursuing its right to produce nuclear power as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; that it does not aspire to the status of a regional or global nuclear power that Israel has in fact been for many years through its relationship as a client state of the US. It may at this point be reasonable to question who the client actually is.

Q: We’re just passed the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and several questions regarding this horrendous incident remain unanswered; questions such as whether or not it was a false flag operation, whether or not Israel’s Mossad was involved in it, whether or not the U.S. government had foreknowledge of it, etc. What do you think about the official account given of the 9/11 attacks? Do you believe in the skeptical assumptions which authors such as Christopher Bollyn or David Ray Griffin have put forward?

A: In an email exchange I had with the late financial commentator Bob Chapman a few years ago I brought up the close-to-non-existent discussion about 9/11 there was in the academy among colleagues. He responded, “In exposing the truth those who make their livings by going along with the accepted view of history will always dismiss you as a radical. That is because of their own intellectual dishonesty.” It’s important that those of us who have the privilege of being salaried intellectuals with certain protections like tenure point to how the US government’s official account of the September 11 events cannot withstand even modest scrutiny, and are only accepted by an unthinking and fearful American public served by a willfully unthinking and often manipulative mass media and political leadership.

For the public to accept the ostensible causes of 9/11 they must partake in something akin to what George Orwell conceived of in his classic 1984 as doublethink. This more or less involves negotiating two observations or ideas at the same time while putting one’s reason and morality in abeyance. In Freudian terms the reality is too horrible to be dealt with and is therefore repressed.

An alternate reality—that which is provided by US government public relations personnel, a majority of the intelligentsia on the left and right, and amplified by major media, is offered as an alternate reality. I can’t imagine how this was not given careful consideration prior to 9/11′s execution, despite the patent sloppiness of the operation itself.

Adolf Hitler and his henchmen recognized how a population was susceptible to “the big lie” because most people could never personally imagine committing a crime of such proportions. This is because apart from the imaginary set of social relations provided by television the social circle of most individuals does not extend beyond family, close friends, the supermarket checkout clerk and the mailman. They never come into contact with the people who run the world, so an event of this magnitude is beyond them, and the strategic planning that defies national boundaries or routine time horizons is quite literally otherworldly to them. If the news media and academy are incapable of serious inquiry, which after eleven years is obviously the case, this greatly contributes to public confusion and disbelief.

September 11 is a frightening example of how a specific rendering of an event becomes a part the public consciousness and memory. This was not so much done through persuasion or the manufacture of consent but rather through a form of shock therapy and mass trauma. It was certainly on a scale far surpassing the American political assassinations of the 1960s or the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing because of its scale and the fact that it was witnessed by much of the country and world in real time. The images of the towers and bin Laden were then repeated ad nauseam to burn the imagery and terror in to the public mind. This was an extremely impressive propaganda campaign accentuated by the fact that Americans have never been victimized in that way before and are used to being on the side of conquest.

I don’t believe there are any serious intellectuals who can defend the state-sanctioned version of what transpired on September 11, although this is what our school children are being taught, so it’s another chapter of a fatally compromised history. Even members of the 9/11 Commission, a body that never would have existed were it not for the victims’ families, have questioned their own conclusions. Osama bin Laden was in seriously poor health at the time of the events. A large and courageous body of professionals, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, have provided compelling evidence that the World Trade Center towers could not have collapsed because of burning jet fuel. Moreover, World Trade Center Building 7 wasn’t even hit by a plane and similarly collapsed eight hours later.

I incorporate materials and discussions on 9/11 in classes I teach addressing journalism and public opinion because it’s the most important event of the past fifty years, and probably US corporate journalism’s greatest failure. Regardless of how one interprets the causes and assesses the evidence, in addition to the initial loss of 3,000 innocents, it was something from which the American public lost important civil liberties and several million people have been killed, injured and traumatized unnecessarily.

Q: The United States and its European allies have imposed backbreaking economic sanctions against Iran which are affecting the daily life of ordinary citizens. Their sanctions and war threats come while there’s no compelling evidence showing that Iran is working toward developing nuclear weapons. What’s your idea about the hostility of the Western states against Iran in general, and the economic sanctions in particular?

A: Iran is a strong, independent, and largely self-sufficient state, a signatory to the NPT, and is pursuing the safe and peaceful development of nuclear power provided for under that treaty. It has not attacked another country in 300 years; the war it fought against Iraq in the 1980s was from a defensive posture. Thus Iran’s role in the region contrasts sharply with Israel, and this is especially the case if one is to take into consideration Israel’s probable possession of a nuclear arsenal.

Yet Israel is also something of a pawn in a broader geopolitical power play. Israel’s people themselves don’t want a war with Iran, only its leadership does. Even the US military don’t want such a war. And if the American people were similarly provided with ample contemporary and historical information—which they are cheated out of by media and frequently poor educational institutions and curricula—a majority would not want to go to war with Iran.

In my view what is playing out is at least partially attributable to NATO’s plan to encircle and challenge Russia and China. On the “grand chessboard” of the Anglo-American elite Iran is a strategic and resource-rich prize. In their view it’s too independent for its own good. This is the case right down to its largely autonomous banking system, and this makes it especially impervious to Western economic and political control. A country or alliance that is independent is dangerous. It could set an example of self-determination for other countries that cannot be permitted.

Q: And finally, do you believe that the United States is capable of continuing its military expeditions around the world and keeping up with its policy of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries? It’s said that throughout the past 3 centuries, the United States has been involved in more than 50 wars, either directly or indirectly. Will this militaristic and expansionistic approach toward the other countries survive in long run?

A: Since World War II especially the US military has been used by larger forces to harness and divvy up the world’s resources. If the US and NATO were no longer there another military or military alliance would likely take their place and enforce the policies of the major transnational cartels—finance, agriculture, chemicals/pharmaceuticals, armaments, energy, and media/telecommunications.

The US won’t be able to sustain its military even in the near term because of the mountain of debt it presently has, and the even greater debt the country is being saddled with by the major investment banks, such as those with their debts insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, who will receive their pound of flesh long before the American people.

Given this, we have the fact that the Federal Reserve can’t buy America’s debt forever which will eventually result in debtor nations throwing in the towel and the US dollar losing its reserve currency status. Thereafter it will be a challenge to fund much of anything. Most Americans have little understanding of what’s coming in this regard and they are going to be very upset and bewildered when such events come to pass.

Things could look like Greece or Spain in very short order. In such an event the US imperial project might be absorbed into an international “peacekeeping” or “humanitarian” military force, which already exists under UN auspices. What is also already in the works is the increased automation of warfare, of which armed drones are presently the most obvious example. Such devices are already in use to police the American “homeland” and terrorize the inhabitants of other lands.

The US-Al Qaeda Alliance: Bosnia, Kosovo and Now Libya

The US-Al Qaeda Alliance: Bosnia, Kosovo and Now Libya


Washington’s On-Going Collusion with Terrorists
by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
Global Research, July 29, 2011
The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 31 No 1, August 1, 2011

Twice in the last two decades, significant cuts in U.S. and western military spending were foreseen: first after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and then in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. But both times military spending soon increased, and among the factors contributing to the increase were America’s interventions in new areas: the Balkans in the 1990s, and Libya today.1 Hidden from public view in both cases was the extent to which al-Qaeda was a covert U.S. ally in both interventions, rather than its foe.

U.S. interventions in the Balkans and then Libya were presented by the compliant U.S. and allied mainstream media as humanitarian. Indeed, some Washington interventionists may have sincerely believed this. But deeper motivations – from oil to geostrategic priorities – were also at work in both instances.

In virtually all the wars since 1989, America and Islamist factions have been battling to determine who will control the heartlands of Eurasia in the post-Soviet era. In some countries – Somalia in 1993, Afghanistan in 2001 – the conflict has been straightforward, with each side using the other’s excesses as an excuse for intervention.

But there have been other interventions in which Americans have used al-Qaeda as a resource to increase their influence, for example Azerbaijan in 1993. There a pro-Moscow president was ousted after large numbers of Arab and other foreign mujahedin veterans were secretly imported from Afghanistan, on an airline hastily organized by three former veterans of the CIA’s airline Air America. (The three, all once detailed from the Pentagon to the CIA, were Richard Secord, Harry Aderholt, and Ed Dearborn.)2 This was an ad hoc marriage of convenience: the mujahedin got to defend Muslims against Russian influence in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, while the Americans got a new president who opened up the oilfields of Baku to western oil companies.

The pattern of U.S. collaboration with Muslim fundamentalists against more secular enemies is not new. It dates back to at least 1953, when the CIA recruited right-wing mullahs to overthrow Prime Minister Mossadeq in Iran, and also began to cooperate with the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood.3 But in Libya in 2011 we see a more complex marriage of convenience between US and al-Qaeda elements: one which repeats a pattern seen in Bosnia in 1992-95, and Kosovo in 1997-98.
In those countries America responded to a local conflict in the name of a humanitarian intervention to restrain the side committing atrocities. But in all three cases both sides committed atrocities, and American intervention in fact favored the side allied with al-Qaeda.

The cause of intervention was fostered in all three cases by blatant manipulation and falsification of the facts. What a historian has noted of the Bosnian conflict was true also of Kosovo and is being echoed today in Libya: though attacks were “perpetrated by Serbs and Muslims alike,” the pattern in western media was “that killings of Muslims were newsworthy, while the deaths of non-Muslims were not.”4 Reports of mass rapes in the thousands proved to be wildly exaggerated: a French journalist “uncovered only four women willing to back up the story.”5 Meanwhile in 1994 the French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy (BHL) traveled to Bosnia and fervently endorsed the case for intervention in Bosnia; in 2011 February BHL traveled to Benghazi and reprised his interventionist role for Libya.6

In all of the countries mentioned above, furthermore, there are signs that some American and/or western intelligence groups were collaborating with al-Qaeda elements from the outset of conflict, before the atrocities cited as a reason for intervention.. This suggests that there were deeper reasons for America’s interventions including the desire of western oil companies to exploit the petroleum reserves of Libya (as in Iraq) without having to deal with a troublesome and powerful strong man, or their desire to create a strategic oil pipeline across the Balkans (in Kosovo).7

That the U.S. would support al-Qaeda in terrorist atrocities runs wholly counter to impressions created by the U.S. media. Yet this on-going unholy alliance resurrects and builds on the alliance underlying Zbigniew Brzezinski’s 1978-79 strategy of provocation in Afghanistan, at a time when he was President Carter’s National Security Adviser.

In those years Brzezinski did not hesitate to play the terrorist card against the Soviet Union: he reinforced the efforts of the SAVAK (the Shah of Iran’s intelligence service) to work with the Islamist antecedents of al-Qaeda to destabilize Afghanistan, in a way which soon led to a Soviet invasion of that country.8 At the time, as he later boasted, Brzezinski told Carter, “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War.”9

CIA Director William Casey continued this strategy of using terrorists against the USSR in Afghanistan. At first the CIA channeled aid through the Pakistani ISI (Interservices Intelligence Service) to their client Afghan extremists like Gulbeddin Hekmatyar (today one of America’s enemies in Afghanistan). But in 1986, “Casey committed CIA support to a long-standing ISI initiative to recruit radical Muslims from around the world to come to Pakistan and fight with the Afghan Mujaheddin.”10
CIA aid now reached their support Office of Services in Peshawar, headed by a Palestinian, Abdullah Azzam, and by Osama bin Laden. The al-Kifah Center, a U.S. recruitment office for their so-called Arab-Afghan foreign legion (the future al Qaeda), was set up in the al-Farook mosque in Brooklyn.11

It is important to recall Brzezinski’s and Casey’s use of terrorists today. For in Libya, as earlier in Kosovo and Bosnia, there are alarming signs that America has continued to underwrite Islamist terrorism as a means to dismantle socialist or quasi-socialist nations not previously in its orbit: first the USSR, then Yugoslavia, today Libya. As I have written elsewhere, Gaddafi was using the wealth of Libya, the only Mediterranean nation still armed by Russia and independent of the NATO orbit, to impose more and more difficult terms for western oil companies, and to make the whole of Africa more independent of Europe and America.12

Support for the mujahedin included collusion in law-breaking, at a heavy cost. In the second part of this essay, I will show how government protection of key figures in the Brooklyn al-Kifah Center left some of them free, even after they were known to have committed crimes, to engage in further terrorist acts in the United States — such as the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

The U.S.-al-Qaeda Alliance in Libya

The NATO intervention in Libya has been presented as a humanitarian campaign. But it is not: both factions have been committing atrocities. Thanks in part to the efforts of the well-connected p.r. firm the Harbour Group, working on behalf of the Benghazi opposition’s National Transitional Council [NTC], Americans have heard many more press accounts of atrocities by pro-Gaddafi forces in Libya than by the Benghazi opposition.13 But in fact, as the London Daily Telegraph reported,

Under rebel control, Benghazi residents are terrorized, many “too frightened to drive through the dark streets at night, fearing a shakedown or worse at the proliferating checkpoints.”

Moreover, about 1.5 million black African migrant workers feel trapped under suspicion of supporting the wrong side. Numbers of them have been attacked, some hunted down, dragged from apartments, beaten and killed. So-called “revolutionaries” and “freedom fighters” are, in fact, rampaging gunmen committing atrocities airbrushed from mainstream reports, unwilling to reveal the new Libya if Gaddafi is deposed.14

Thomas Mountain concurs that “Since the rebellion in Benghazi broke out several hundred Sudanese, Somali, Ethiopian and Eritrean guest workers have been robbed and murdered by racist rebel militias, a fact well hidden by the international media.”15 Such reports have continued.
Recently, Human Rights Watch accused the rebels of killing Gaddafi supporters who were just civilians and looting, burning and ransacking pro-Gaddafi supporters’ houses and areas.16

Americans and Europeans are still less likely to learn from their media that among the groups in the Benghazi transitional coalition, certainly the most battle-seasoned, are veterans of the Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG). The importance of the LIFG contingent in the TNC has been downplayed in a recent issue of the International Business Times:

The LIFG is a radical Islamic group which has been fighting small scale guerrilla warfare against Gaddafi for almost a decade. Much of the LIFG leadership came from soldiers who fought against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan, as part of the Mujahedeen. Since the beginning of the uprising reports said that some of the LIFG has joined the TNC rebel movement on the ground, and many accused the fighters of having links to Al-Qaeda, which the LIFG has since denied.

Previously however, the LIFG had stated that its ultimate goal is to install an Islamic state inside Libya, which given the fact that many of its fighters are now on the side of the TNC is quite worrying. However as the LIFG is reported to have a fighting force of no more than a few thousand men, it is believed it will not be able to cause much trouble within the opposition.17

It remains to be seen whether a victorious TNC would be able to contain the Islamist aspirations of the ruthless jihadist veterans in their ranks.

There are those who fear that, from their years of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, the battle-hardened LIFG, although probably not dominant in the Benghazi coalition today, will come to enjoy more influence if Benghazi ever gets to distribute the spoils of victory. In February 2004, then-Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that “one of the most immediate threats [to U.S. security in Iraq] is from smaller international Sunni extremist groups that have benefited from al-Qaida links. They include … the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.”18 In 2007 a West Point study reported on “the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al-Qaeda, which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al-Qaeda on November 3, 2007.”19

Although Britain and the US were well aware of the West Point assessment of the hard-core LIFG in the Benghazi TNC coalition, their special forces nevertheless secretly backed the Benghazi TNC, even before the launch of NATO air support:

The bombing of the country came as it was revealed that hundreds of British special forces troops have been deployed deep inside Libya targeting Colonel Gaddafi’s forces – and more are on standby….

In total it is understood that just under 250 UK special forces soldiers and their support have been in Libya since before the launch of air strikes to enforce the no-fly zone against Gaddafi’s forces.20

There are also reports that U.S. Special Forces were also sent into Libya on February 23 and 24, 2011, almost a month before the commencement of NATO bombing.21

UK support for the fundamentalist LIFG was in fact at least a decade old:

Fierce clashes between [Qadhafi’s] security forces and Islamist guerrillas erupted in Benghazi in September 1995, leaving dozens killed on both sides. After weeks of intense fighting, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) formally declared its existence in a communiqué calling Qadhafi’s government “an apostate regime that has blasphemed against the faith of God Almighty” and declaring its overthrow to be “the foremost duty after faith in God.” This and future LIFG communiqués were issued by Libyan Afghans who had been granted political asylum in Britain…. The involvement of the British government in the LIFG campaign against Qadhafi remains the subject of immense controversy. LIFG’s next big operation, a failed attempt to assassinate Qadhafi in February 1996 that killed several of his bodyguards, was later said to have been financed by British intelligence to the tune of $160,000, according to ex-MI5 officer David Shayler.22

David Shayler’s detailed account has been challenged, but many other sources reveal that UK support for Libyan jihadists long antedates the present conflict.23

Even more ominous for the future than the nationalistic LIFG may be the fighters from the more internationalist Al Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) who have seized the opportunity presented by the war to enter the conflict, and equip themselves from Gaddafi’s looted armories.24 AQIM presents a special concern because of recent reports that, like other al Qaeda associates from Afghanistan to Kosovo, it is increasingly financed by payoffs from regional drug traffickers.25

In short, the NATO campaign in Libya is in support of a coalition in which the future status of present and former al-Qaeda allies is likely to be strengthened.26 And western forces have been secretly supporting them from the outset.

The U.S.-al-Qaeda Alliance in Bosnia

Similarly, Clinton’s interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo were presented as humanitarian. But both sides had committed atrocities in those conflicts; Like the western media, Washington downplayed the Muslim atrocities because of its other interests.

Most Americans are aware that Clinton dispatched U.S. forces to Bosnia to enforce the Dayton peace accords after a well-publicized Serbian atrocity: the massacre of thousands of Muslims at Srebrenica. Thanks to a vigorous campaign by the p.r. firm Ruder Finn, Americans heard a great deal about the Srebrenica massacre, but far less about the beheadings and other atrocities by Muslims that preceded and helped account for it.

A major reason for the Serb attack on Srebrenica was to deal with the armed attacks mounted from that base on nearby villages: “intelligence sources said it was that harassment which precipitated the Serb attack on the 1,500 Muslim defenders inside the enclave.”27 General Philippe Morillon, commander of the UN troops in Bosnia from 1992 to 1993, testified to the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) that Muslim forces based in Srebrenica had “engaged in attacks during Orthodox holidays and destroyed villages, massacring all the inhabitants. This created a degree of hatred that was quite extraordinary in the region”28 According to Prof. John Schindler,

Between May and December 1992, Muslim forces repeatedly attacked Serb villages around Srebrenica, killing and torturing civilians; some were mutilated and burned alive. Even pro-Sarajevo accounts concede that Muslim forces in Srebrenica…murdered over 1,300 Serbs…and had “ethnically cleansed a vast area.29

Former U.S. ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith later admitted in an interview that the U.S. administration was aware of “small numbers of atrocities” being committed by the foreign mujahedin in Bosnia, but dismissed the atrocities as “in the scheme of things not a big issue.”30

Other sources reveal that Washington gave a tacit green light to Croatia’s arming and augmentation of the Muslim presence in Srebrenica.31 Soon C-130 Hercules planes. some but not all of them Iranian, were dropping arms to the Muslims, in violation of the international arms embargo which the U.S. officially respected. More Arab-Afghan mujahedin arrived as well. Many of the airdrops and some of the mujahedin were at Tuzla, 70 kilometers from Srebrenica.32

According to The Spectator (London), the Pentagon was using other countries such as Turkey and Iran in this flow of arms and warriors:

From 1992 to 1995, the Pentagon assisted with the movement of thousands of Mujahideen and other Islamic elements from Central Asia into Europe, to fight alongside Bosnian Muslims against the Serbs. …. As part of the Dutch government’s inquiry into the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995, Professor Cees Wiebes of Amsterdam University compiled a report entitled ‘Intelligence and the War in Bosnia’, published in April 2002. In it he details the secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamic groups from the Middle East, and their efforts to assist Bosnia’s Muslims. By 1993, there was a vast amount of weapons-smuggling through Croatia to the Muslims, organised by ‘clandestine agencies’ of the USA, Turkey and Iran, in association with a range of Islamic groups that included Afghan Mujahideen and the pro-Iranian Hezbollah. Arms bought by Iran and Turkey with the financial backing of Saudi Arabia were airlifted from the Middle East to Bosnia — airlifts with which, Wiebes points out, the USA was ‘very closely involved’.33

Cees Wiebes’ detailed account, based on years of research, documents both the case for American responsibility and the vigorous American denials of it:

At 17.45 on 10 February 1995, the Norwegian Captain Ivan Moldestad, a Norwegian helicopter detachment (NorAir) pilot, stood in the doorway of his temporary accommodation just outside Tuzla. It was dark, and suddenly he heard the sound of the propellers of an approaching transport aircraft; it was unmistakably a four engine Hercules C-130. Moldestad noticed that the Hercules was being escorted by two jet fighters, but could not tell their precise type in the darkness. There were other sightings of this secretive night-time flight to Tuzla Air Base (TAB). A sentry who was on guard duty outside the Norwegian medical UN unit in Tuzla also heard and saw the lights of the Hercules and the accompanying jet fighters. Other UN observers, making use of night vision equipment, also saw the cargo aircraft and the fighter planes concerned. The reports were immediately forwarded to the NATO Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) in Vicenza and the UNPF Deny Flight Cell in Naples. When Moldestad phoned Vicenza, he was told that there was nothing in the air that night, and that he must be mistaken. When Moldestad persisted, the connection was broken.

The secretive C-130 cargo aircraft flights and night-time arms drops on Tuzla caused great agitation within UNPROFOR and the international community in February and March 1995. When asked, a British general responded with great certainty to the question of the origin of the secret supplies via TAB: ‘They were American arms deliveries. No doubt about that. And American private companies were involved in these deliveries.’ This was no surprising answer, because this general had access to intelligence gathered by a unit of the British Special Air Services (SAS) in Tuzla. The aircraft had come within range of this unit’s special night vision equipment, and the British saw them land. It was a confirmation that a clandestine American operation had taken place in which arms, ammunition and military communication equipment were supplied to the ABiH. These night-time operations led to much consternation within the UN and NATO, and were the subject of countless speculations.34
Wiebes reports the possibility that the C-130s, some of which were said to have taken off from a US Air Force base in Germany, were actually controlled by Turkish authorities.35   But U.S. involvement was detected in the elaborate cover-up, from the fact that US AWACS aircraft, which should have provided a record of the secret flights, were either withdrawn from duty at the relevant times, or manned with US crews.36

A summary of Wiebes’ exhaustive report was published in the Guardian:

The Dutch report reveals how the Pentagon formed a secret alliance with Islamist groups in an Iran-Contra-style operation.

US, Turkish and Iranian intelligence groups worked with the Islamists in what the Dutch report calls the “Croatian pipeline”. Arms bought by Iran and Turkey and financed by Saudi Arabia were flown into Croatia initially by the official Iranian airline, Iran Air, and later in a fleet of black C-130 Hercules aircraft.

The report says that mojahedin fighters were also flown in, and that the US was “very closely involved” in the operation which was in flagrant breach of the embargo. British secret services obtained documents proving that Iran also arranged deliveries of arms directly to Bosnia, it says.

The operation was promoted by the Pentagon, rather than the CIA, which was cautious about using Islamist groups as a conduit for arms, and about breaching the embargo. When the CIA tried to place its own people on the ground in Bosnia, the agents were threatened by the mojahedin fighters and the Iranians who were training them.

The UN relied on American intelligence to monitor the embargo, a dependency which allowed Washington to manipulate it at will.37

Meanwhile the Al-Kifah Center in Brooklyn, which in the 1980s had supported the “Arab-Afghans” fighting in Afghanistan, turned its attentions to Bosnia.

Al-Kifah’s English-language newsletter Al-Hussam (The Sword) also began publishing regular updates on jihad action in Bosnia….Under the control of the minions of Shaykh Omar Abdel Rahman, the newsletter aggressively incited sympathetic Muslims to join the jihad in Bosnia and Afghanistan themselves….The Al-Kifah Bosnian branch office in Zagreb, Croatia, housed in a modern, two-story building, was evidently in close communication with the organizational headquarters in New York.
The deputy director of the Zagreb office, Hassan Hakim, admitted to receiving all orders and funding directly from the main United States office of Al-Kifah on Atlantic Avenue controlled by Shaykh Omar Abdel Rahman.38

One of the trainers at al-Kifah, Rodney Hampton-El, assisted in this support program, recruiting warriors from U.S. Army bases like Fort Belvoir, and also training them to be fighters in New Jersey.39 In 1995 Hampton-El was tried and convicted for his role (along with al-Kifah leader Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman) in the plot to blow up New York landmarks. At the trial Hampton-El testified how he was personally given thousands of dollars for this project by Saudi Crown Prince Faisal in the Washington Saudi Embassy.40

About this time, Ayman al-Zawahiri, today the leader of al Qaeda, came to America to raise funds in Silicon Valley, where he was hosted by Ali Mohamed, a U.S. double agent and veteran of U.S. Army Special Forces who had been the top trainer at the Al-Kifah mosque.41 Almost certainly al-Zawahiri’s fund-raising was in support of the mujahedin in Bosnia, reportedly his chief concern at the time. (“The Asian edition of the Wall Street Journal reported that, in 1993, Mr. bin Laden had appointed Sheik Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, to direct his operations in the Balkans.”)42

Wiebes’ detailed report and the news stories based on it corroborated earlier charges made in 1997 by Sir Alfred Sherman, top adviser to Margaret Thatcher and co-founder of the influential rightwing nationalist Centre for Policy Studies, that “The U.S. encouraged and facilitated the dispatch of arms to the Moslems via Iran and Eastern Europe — a fact which was denied in Washington at the time in face of overwhelming evidence.”43 This was part of his case that

The war in Bosnia was America’s war in every sense of the word. The US administration helped start it, kept it going, and prevented its early end. Indeed all the indications are that it intends to continue the war in the near future, as soon as its Moslem proteges are fully armed and trained.

Specifically, Sherman charged that in 1992 Acting Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger had instructed Warren Zimmerman, U.S. Ambassador in Belgrade, to persuade Bosnian President Izetbegovic to renege on his agreement to preserve Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian unity, and instead accept American aid for an independent Bosnian state.44

The U.S.-al-Qaeda Alliance in Kosovo

This raises the disturbing question: were some Americans willing to ignore the atrocities of the al-Kifah mujahideen in Bosnia in exchange for mujahideen assistance in NATO’s successive wars dismantling Yugoslavia, the last surviving socialist republic in Europe? One thing is clear: Sir Alfred Sherman’s prediction in 1997 that America “intends to continue the war in the near future” soon proved accurate, when in 1999 American support for al-Qaeda’s allies in Kosovo, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), led to a controversial NATO bombing campaign.

As was widely reported at the time, the KLA was supported both by the networks of bin Laden and al-Zawahiri, and also by the traffic in Afghan heroin:

Some members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, which has financed its war effort through the sale of heroin, were trained in terrorist camps run by international fugitive Osama bin Laden — who is wanted in the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 224 persons, including 12 Americans.45

According to former DEA agent Michael Levine, the decision of Clinton to back the KLA dismayed his DEA contacts who knew it to be a major drug-trafficking organization.46 As Ralf Mutschke of Interpol testified to Congress,

In 1998, the U.S. State Department listed the KLA as a terrorist organization, indicating that it was financing its operations with money from the international heroin trade and loans from Islamic countries and individuals, among them allegedly Usama bin Laden. Another link to bin Laden is the fact that the brother of a leader in an Egyptian Djihad organization and also a military commander of Usama bin Laden, was leading an elite KLA unit during the Kosovo conflict. [This is almost certainly Zaiman or Mohammed al-Zawahiri, one of the brothers of Ayman al-Zawahiri.] In 1998, the KLA was described as a key player in the drugs for arms business in 1998, “helping to transport 2 billion USD worth of drugs annually into Western Europe”. The KLA and other Albanian groups seem to utilize a sophisticated network of accounts and companies to process funds. In 1998, Germany froze two bank accounts belonging to the “United Kosova” organization after it had been discovered that several hundred thousand dollars had been deposited into those accounts by a convicted Kosovar Albanian drug trafficker.47

According to the London Sunday Times, the KLA’s background did not deter the US from training and strengthening it:

American intelligence agents have admitted they helped to train the Kosovo Liberation Army before Nato’s bombing of Yugoslavia. The disclosure angered some European diplomats, who said this had undermined moves for a political solution to the conflict between Serbs and Albanians. Central Intelligence Agency officers were ceasefire monitors in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999, developing ties with the KLA and giving American military training manuals and field advice on fighting the Yugoslav army and Serbian police.

When the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which co-ordinated the monitoring, left Kosovo a week before airstrikes began a year ago, many of its satellite telephones and global positioning systems were secretly handed to the KLA, ensuring that guerrilla commanders could stay in touch with Nato and Washington. Several KLA leaders had the mobile phone number of General Wesley Clark, the Nato commander.48

According to former U.S. Army Captain David Hackworth, later Newsweek’s contributing editor for defense, former US military officers in the private U.S. military contractor MPRI (Military Professional Resources Incorporated) not only trained KLA personnel, but even fought alongside them.49 This reinforced earlier reports that MPRI personnel had also been involved in training Croatians at the time of the illicit Croatian arms pipeline to Bosnia.50

After Kosovo, Sherman repeated his warnings against “expanding American hegemony”, exercised through NATO with varying degrees of partnership and subordination of other players. …. The process commenced with the deliberate break-up of Yugoslavia, led by Germany and acquiesced in by the other European Union members and the United States (1991). It progressed with sanctions against Serbia for attempting to help the western Serbs (1992). In Bosnia America’s early involvement sparked off civil war (the Zimmerman Visit to Izetbegovic, in the aftermath of the Lisbon Agreement), and it eventually matured into the bombing campaign of 1999 and the occupation of Kosovo.51

Others suspected that America’s involvement was motivated by its desire to see a new Trans-Balkan pipeline and a new U.S. military base in the Balkans to defend it. Although such critics were initially ridiculed, both predictions soon proved true. The U.S.-registered AMBO corporation, headed by former BP executive Ted Ferguson, began construction of a pipeline from Albania to Macedonia in 2007.52 And nearby is a semi-permanent U.S. Army base, Camp Bondsteel, that can hold up to 7000 soldiers.

In 2007, President George W. Bush created a new United States Africa Command, U.S. AFRICOM. But its HQ at present is in Stuttgart, Germany. This has led to speculation on the Internet that America has its eyes on Libya’s international airport, which the U.S. Air Force had operated as Wheelus Air Force Base until its ouster in 1970.
II. From the First WTC Bombing to 9/11: The Domestic U.S. Fallout from Collusion with Terrorists

The fact that Americans have had repeated recourse to al-Qaeda Islamists as assets in their expansive projects does not constitute proof that there is any long-term systematic strategy to do so, still less that there is a secret alliance.

I believe rather that America is suffering from a malignant condition of military power run amok – power which, like a malignant cancer, tends to reproduce itself at times in ways counterproductive to larger goals. Those who are appointed to manage this vast power become inured to using any available assets, in order to sustain a sociodynamic of global intervention that they are, ironically, powerless to challenge or turn around. The few dissenters who try to do so are predictably sidelined or even ejected from the heights of power, as not being “on the team.”

Those in Washington who decided to assist terrorists and drug traffickers seem not to have considered such “externalities” as the domestic consequences from official dealings with criminal terrorist networks that are global in scope. Yet the consequences were and are real, for the Islamist terrorists that were protected by the US in their subversion of order in Kosovo and other countries were soon being protected inside the US as well. As former DEA agent Michael Levine reported of the KLA-linked drug networks, “These guys have a network that’s active on the streets of this country…. They’re the worst elements of society that you can imagine, and now, according to my sources in drug enforcement, they’re politically protected.”53

In other words, Kosovars were now enjoying the de facto protection in their U.S. drug trafficking that had earlier been enjoyed by the CIA’s Chinese, Cuban, Italian, Thai, and other ethnic assets dating from the 1940s.54

Mother Jones reported in 2000, after the NATO bombing in support of the KLA that Afghan heroin, much of it distributed by Kosovar Albanians, now accounted for almost 20 percent of the heroin seized in America — nearly double the percentage taken four years earlier.55 Meanwhile in Europe, it was estimated that “Kosovo Albanians control 40% of Europe’s heroin.”56 In addition there is a near universal consensus that the outcome of the war in Bosnia left al-Qaeda’s jihadists much more strongly entrenched in the Balkans than they had been earlier. In the words of Professor John Schindler, Bosnia, “the most pro-Western society in the umma [Muslim world],” was “converted into a Jihadistan through domestic deceit, violent conflict, and misguided international intervention.”57

It is too soon to predict with confidence what will be the domestic fallout or “blowback” from NATO’s empowerment of Islamists by creating chaos in Libya. But the domestic consequences of similar U.S. interventions in the past are indisputable, and have contributed to major acts of terrorism in this country.

American protection for the Al-Kifah mujahedin support base in Brooklyn led to interference in domestic U.S. law enforcement. This enabled mujahedin recruits at al-Kifah to plot and/or engage in a number of domestic and foreign terrorist attacks on America. These attacks include the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the so-called “New York landmarks plot” of 1995, and the Embassy attacks of 1998 in Kenya and Tanzania. Involved in all of these events were terrorists who should have been rounded up earlier because of crimes already committed, but were allowed to stay free.

Central to all of these attacks was the role of Ali Mohamed, the former U.S. Special Forces double agent at al-Kifah, and his trainees. Ali Mohamed, despite being on a State Department Watch List, had come to America around 1984, on what an FBI consultant has called “a visa program controlled by the CIA.”58 So did the “blind Sheik” Omar Abdel Rahman, the leader of al-Kifah; Rahman was issued two visas, one of them “by a CIA officer working undercover in the consular section of the American embassy in Sudan.”59

Ali Mohamed trained al-Kifah recruits in guerrilla tactics near Brooklyn. This operation was considered so sensitive that the New York police and the FBI later protected two of the recruits from arrest, when they murdered the Jewish extremist Meir Kahane. Instead, the New York Police called the third assassin (El Sayyid Nosair) a “lone deranged gunman,” and released the other two (Mahmoud Abouhalima and Mohammed Salameh) from detention. This enabled Abouhalima and Salameh, along with another Ali Mohamed trainee (Nidal Ayyad) to take part three years later in the first (1993) bombing of the World Trade Center.60

Prosecutors protected Ali Mohamed again in the 1994-95 “Landmarks” trial, when Omar Abdul Rahman and some of Mohamed’s trainees were convicted of conspiring to blow up New York buildings. In that case the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, named Ali Mohamed as an unindicted co-conspirator, yet allowed him to remain free. When the defense issued a subpoena for Mohamed to appear in court, the prosecutor intervened to avoid Mohamed’s having to testify.61

Ali Mohamed was well aware of his protected status, and used it in early 1993 to obtain his release when detained by the RCMP at Vancouver Airport. As this episode has so ignored in the US press, I will quote the account of it in Canada’s premier newspaper, the Toronto Globe and Mail:

The RCMP had their hands on one of the key insiders of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist network, but he was released after he had Mounties call his handler at the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Ali Mohamed, a Californian of Egyptian origin who is believed to be the highest ranking al-Qaeda member to have landed in Canada, was working with U.S. counterterrorist agents, playing a double or triple game, when he was questioned in 1993. Mr. Mohamed now is in a U.S. prison.

“The people of the RCMP told me by midnight that I can go now,” Mr. Mohamed — who confessed in the United States to being a close bin Laden associate — wrote at the time in an affidavit shown Wednesday to The Globe and Mail.

The incident happened after customs agents at Vancouver International Airport detained Essam Marzouk, an Egyptian who had arrived from Damascus via Frankfurt, after they found him carrying two forged Saudi passports.

Mr. Mohamed, who was waiting to pick him up at the airport, inquired of the police about his friend’s detention. That made the RCMP curious about Mr. Mohamed, but he dispelled their suspicions by telling them he was a collaborator with the FBI.62

The Globe and Mail story makes it clear that in 1993 Mohamed already had a handler at the FBI, to whom the RCMP deferred. Patrick Fitzgerald, in his statement to the 9/11 Commission, gave a quite different story: that Mohamed, after returning from Nairobi in 1994, applied for a job “as an FBI translator.”63 The difference is vital: because the FBI told the RCMP to release Mohamed, he was then able to travel to Nairobi and plan for bombing the U.S. Embassy there.

According to author Peter Lance, by 2007 Fitzgerald had enough evidence to arrest and indict Mohamed, but did not. Instead he interviewed Mohamed in California, along with an FBI agent, Jack Cloonan. After the interview Fitzgerald chose not to arrest Mohamed, but instead to tap his phone and bug his computer. Lance asks a very relevant question: did Fitzgerald fear that ”any indictment of al Qaeda’s chief spy would rip the lid off years of gross negligence by three of America’s top intelligence agencies”?64

One month after the Embassy bombings, Ali Mohamed was finally arrested, on September 10, 1998. Yet when Fitzgerald handed down thirteen indictments two months later, Mohamed’s name was not among them. Instead Fitzgerald again allowed him to avoid cross-examination in court by accepting a plea bargain, the terms of which are still partly unknown. Specifically we do not know the term of Mohamed’s sentence: that page of his court appearance transcript (p. 17) is filed under seal.65
As part of the plea bargain, Mohamed told the court that at the personal request of bin Laden, he did surveillance on the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, “took pictures, drew diagrams, and wrote a report” which he personally delivered to bin Laden in the Sudan.66 Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor who negotiated the plea bargain, testified at length about Mohamed to the 9/11 Commission, who concluded in their Report (p. 68) that Mohamed “led” the embassy bombing operation. Ironically, the Embassy bombing is the official reason today why Zawahiri (like bin Laden before him) is wanted by the FBI, with a $25 million bounty on his head.

But the American public has been denied the right to learn about Ali Mohamed’s involvement in other terrorist events. Particularly relevant would be his involvement in 9/11. As his FBI handler Cloonan later reported, Mohamed explained to him that he personally trained the accused hijackers in how to seize planes:

He [had] conducted training for al Qaeda on how to hijack a plane. He ran practical exercises in Pakistan and he said, “This is how you get a box cutter on board. You take the knife, you remove the blade and you wrap it in [word blacked out] and put it in your carry-on luggage.” They’d read the FAA regulations. They knew four inches wouldn’t go through. “This is how you position yourself,” he said. “I taught people how to sit in first class. You sit here and some sit here.” He wrote the whole thing out.67

Conclusion

At present America is in the midst of an unprecedented budget crisis, brought on in large part by its multiple wars. Nevertheless it is also on the point of several further interventions: in Yemen, Somalia, possibly Syria or Iran (where the CIA is said to be in contact with the drug-trafficking al-Qaeda offshoot Jundallah),68 and most assuredly in Libya.

Only the American public can stop them. But in order for the people to rise up and cry Stop! there must first be a better understanding of the dark alliances underlying America’s alleged humanitarian interventions.

This awareness may increase when Americans finally realize that there is domestic blowback from assisting terrorists as well. The long elaborate dance between Mohamed and his Justice Department overseers makes it clear that the handling of terrorists for corrupt purposes corrupts the handlers as well as the terrorists. Eventually both the handlers and the handled become in effect co-conspirators, with secrets about their collusion both parties need to conceal.

Until the public takes notice, that concealment of collusion will continue. And as long as it continues, we will continue to be denied the truth about what collusions underlay 9/11.

Worse, we are likely to see more terrorist attacks, at home as well as abroad, along with more illegal, costly, and unnecessary wars.

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs Oil and War, The Road to 9/11, and The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War. His most recent book is American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan. His website, which contains a wealth of his writings, is here.

Peter Dale Scott is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

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Notes
•    1 Cf. Telegraph (London), “Defence Cuts in Doubt over Libya, Says Military Adviser,“ April 7, 2011, “The Libyan crisis has raised doubts about the Coalition’s defence review and could force ministers to reverse cuts including the scrapping of Britain’s Harrier jump jets, a senior military adviser has said,” (link).
•    2 Scott, The Road to 9/11, 163-65.
•    3 Scott, The Road to 9/11, 44-45; citing Robert Dreyfuss, Devil’s Game, 109-11; Saïd Aburish, A Brutal Friendship, 60-61; Miles Copeland, The Game Player, 149-54. Cf. Ian Johnson, “Washington’s Secret History with the Muslim Brotherhood,” New York Review of Books, February 5, 2011.
•    4 John R. Schindler, Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa’ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad, 71, 81. According to Schindler, “CNN repeatedly showed images of ‘dead Muslims’ killed by Serbs that were actually Serbs murdered by Muslims” (92).
•    5 Schindler, Unholy Terror, 91.
•    6 Schindler, Unholy Terror, 179-80; Christian Science Monitor, March 28, 2011. In 1994 BHL presented Bosnian leader Izetbegovich to French President Mitterand; in 2011 BHL arranged for three Benghazi leaders to meet French President Sarkozy. Cf. “Libyan rebels will recognise Israel, Bernard-Henri Lévy tells Netanyahu,” Radio France Internationale, June 2, 2011, “Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) is ready to recognise Israel, according to French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, who says he has passed the message on to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” (link).
•    7 For Big Oil’s complaints with Gaddafi, see Peter Dale Scott, “The Libyan War, American Power and the Decline of the Petrodollar System”, Asian-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, April 27, 2011.
•    8 Scott, Road to 9/11, 77; citing Diego Cordovez and Selig S. Harrison, Out of Afghanistan: The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal (New York: Oxford University Press, 16), 16.
•    9 Scott, Road to 9/11, 72-75; quoting from “Les Révélations d’un Ancien Conseilleur de Carter: ‘Oui, la CIA est Entrée en Afghanistan avant les Russes…’” Le Nouvel Observateur [Paris], January 15-21, 1998: “B[rzezinski]: [On Jul 3, 1979] I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.… Q: And neither do you regret having supported Islamic fundamentalism, which has given arms and advice to future terrorists?
•    B: What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some agitated Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?” 
•    10 Ahmed Rashid, Taliban, 129. According to the Spanish author Robert Montoya, the idea originated in the elite Safari Club that had been created by French intelligence chief Alexandre de Marenches in 1976, bringing together other intelligence chiefs such as General Akhtar Abdur Rahman of ISI in Pakistan and Kamal Adham of Saudi Arabia (Roberto Montoya, El Mundo [Madrid], February 16, 2003).
•    11 Scott, Road to 9/11, 139-40; citing Steven Emerson, American Jihad, 131-32.
•    12 Peter Dale Scott, “The Libyan War, American Power and the Decline of the Petrodollar System”, Asian-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, April 27, 2011.
•    13 “PR firm helps Libyan rebels to campaign for support from US,” The Hill.com, April 12, 2011.
•    14 Rob Crilly, Daily Telegraph (London), March 23, 2011; quoted in Stephen Lendman, “Planned Regime Change in Libya,” SteveLendmanBlog, March 28, 2011. Cf. Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2011.
•    15 Morris Herman, “Rebel Militias Include the Human Traffickers of Benghazi,” Foreign Policy Journal, July 28, 2011, quoting Thomas C. Mountain.
•    16 Anissa Haddadi, “Does the Transitional Council Really Represent Libyan Democracy and Opposition to Gaddafi?” International Business Times, July 20, 2011.
•    17 Haddadi, “Does the Transitional Council Really Represent Libyan Democracy and Opposition to Gaddafi?” International Business Times, July 20, 2011.
•    18 Center for Defense Information, “In the Spotlight: The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG),” January 18, 2005. That the LIFG is pursuing its own goals may explain the rebel seizure of anti-air force missiles from captured Gaddafi armories: these missiles, useless against Gaddafi (who no longer has an air force) are apparently being shipped out of Libya for sale or use elsewhere (New York Times, July 15, 2011).
•    19 December 2007 West Point Study, quoted in Webster Tarpley, “The CIA’s Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists who Killed US, NATO Troops in Iraq,” Tarpley.net, March 24, 2011.
•    20 Daily Mail (London), March 25, 2001, link; cited in Lendman; “Planned Regime Change in Libya.”
•    21 Akhtar Jamal, “US UK, French forces land in Libya,” Pakistan Observer, February 2011.
•    22 Gary Gambill, “The Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), Jamestown Foundation,” Terrorism Monitor, May 5, 2005; citing Al-Hayat (London), 20 October 1995 [“communiqué”]; “The Shayler affair: The spooks, the Colonel and the jailed whistle-blower,” The Observer (London), 9 August 1998; Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, Ben Laden: La Verite interdite (Bin Ladin: The Forbidden Truth). Cf. also Annie Machon, Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 And the Shayler Affair (Book Guild Publishing, 2005) [Shayler].
•    23 E.g. Washington Post, October 7, 2001: “Over the years, some dissidents suspected by foreign governments of involvement in terrorist acts have been protected by the British government for one reason or another from deportation or extradition…. In the past, terrorism experts say, Britain benefited significantly from its willingness to extend at least conditional hospitality to a wide range of Arab dissidents and opposition figures …. Mustafa Alani, a terrorism expert at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense Studies, a London think tank, said [Anas] al-Liby was probably left in legal limbo by the British government, allowing him to be used or discarded as circumstances permitted.”
•    24 “Sahelian Concern Deepens over Libya, AQIM,” Sahel Blog, May 2, 2011. According to the Los Angeles Times, AQIM vowed on February 24, 2011 to “do whatever we can” to help the rebel cause. (Ken Dilanian, “US Finds no Firm Al Qaeda Presence in Libya Rebellion,” Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2011). Cf. “Libya rebels not anti-West, but Qaeda a worry-group,” Reuters, March 29, 2011; “The Evolving Threat of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,” Strategic Forum, National Defense University; CNN World, February 25, 2011.
•    25 Andre Lesage, “The Evolving Threat of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,” Strategic Forum, National Defense University; CNN World, February 25, 2011, 6. Cf. “Rogue planes flying drugs across Atlantic; Al-Qaeda Links;,” National Post, January 14, 2014; “Latin drug lords find allies in African Islamists,” Washington Times, November 17, 2009.
•    26 A story in the New York Times (“Exiled Islamists Watch Rebellion Unfold at Home,”
•    July 19, 2011) reports that KIFG members of the TNC “have renounced Al Qaeda.” But it supplies no independent evidence that their politics have changed.
•    27 Michael Evans, “Muslim soldiers ‘failed to defend town from Serbs,'” Times (London), July 14, 1995.
•    28 Richard Palmer. “What Really Happened in Bosnia,” theTrumpet.com, July 12, 2011.
•    29 Schindler, Unholy Terror, 87; quoting from Jan Willem Honig and Norbert Both, Srebrenica: Record of a War Crime, 79.
•    30 John Rosenthal, “The Other Crimes of Bosnia,” BigPeace.com, June 2, 2011; summarizing interview of Galbraith by J.M. Berger, “Exclusive: U.S. Policy on Bosnia.Arms Trafficking.”
•    31 Schindler, Unholy Terror, 182-83; “Exclusive: U.S. Policy on Bosnia Arms Trafficking”; Cees Wiebes, Intelligence and the War in Bosnia 1992 1995 (Munster: LIT Verlag, 2003), 166-69.
•    32 “Allies and Lies,” BBC OnLine, June 22, 2001; Wiebes, Intelligence and the War, 183. Also present at Tuzla was an American who introduced himself as “Major Guy Sands,” and who claimed to have been a ten-year veteran of the Vietnam War. Cf. a Swedish report from Tuzla, of an American there who made no secret of his Special Forces background (Brendan O’Shea, Crisis at Bihac: Bosnia’s Bloody Battlefield  [Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton, 1998], p. 159). For reports of foreign mujahedin in or near Tuzla, see Kohlmann, Al-Qaida’s Jihad in Europe, 74, 155, 164.
•    33 Brendan O’Neill, “How We Trained al-Qa’eda,” Spectator (London), September 13, 2003.
•    34 Wiebes, Intelligence and the War in Bosnia, 177.
•    35 Wiebes, Intelligence and the War, 187, 196; citing Cameron Spence, All Necessary Measures, 99-104.
•    36 Wiebes, Intelligence and the War, 184, 197.
•    37 “US used Islamists to arm Bosnians,” Guardian, April 22, 2002. Contrast the very different claim by Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies, 140: “The U.S. also blocked Iranian and al Qaeda influence in the country [Bosnia].”
•    38 Kohlmann, Al-Qaida’s Jihad in Europe, 39-41; citing Steve Coll and Steve LeVine, “Global Network Provides Money, Haven,” Washington Post, August 3, 1993. Cf. Schindler, Unholy Terror, 121-22.
•    39 Scott, Road to 9/11, 149-50; Kohlmann, Al-Qaida’s Jihad in Europe, 45, 73-75.
•    40 Scott, Road to 9/11, 149.
•    41 Lawrence Wright: “Zawahiri decided to look for money in the world center of venture capitalism-Silicon Valley. He had been to America once before, in 1989, when he paid a recruiting visit to the mujahideen’s Services Bureau branch office in Brooklyn. According to the F.B.I., he returned in the spring of 1993, this time to Santa Clara, California, where he was greeted by Ali Mohamed, the double agent.” For more about Ali Mohamed, and specifically how the FBI once told the RCMP not to detain him (this freeing Mohamed to plan the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya), see Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11, 147-60.
•    42 Ottawa Citizen, December 15, 2001.
•    43 Sir Alfred Sherman, Speech at International Conference, America’s Intervention in the Balkans, February 28-March 2, 1997. html
•    44 Cf. Schindler, Unholy Terror, 74: Izetbegovic “decided to scrap the initiative, with the apparent encouragement of Warren Zimmermann [sic].” (Cf. 109-10). Zimmerman has denied that he so persuaded Izetbegovic, writing in a letter to the New York Times “that he had urged Izetbegovic to ‘stick by his commitments,’” (Steven L. Burg and Paul Shoup, The War in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 114).
•    45 Washington Times, May 4, 1999. Frank Viviano, “Drugs Paying for Conflict in Europe,” San Francisco Chronicle, June 10, 1994: “Narcotics smuggling has become a prime source of financing for civil wars already under way — or rapidly brewing — in southern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, according to a report issued here this week. “The report, by the Paris-based Observatoire Geopolitique des Drogues, or Geopolitical Observatory of Drugs, identifies belligerents in the former Yugoslav republics and Turkey as key players in the region’s accelerating drugs-for-arms traffic. “Albanian nationalists in ethnically tense Macedonia and the Serbian province of Kosovo have built a vast heroin network, leading from the opium fields of Pakistan to black-market arms dealers in Switzerland, which transports up to $2 billion worth of the drug annually into the heart of Europe, the report says. More than 500 Kosovo or Macedonian Albanians are in prison in Switzerland for drug- or arms-trafficking offenses, and more than 1,000 others are under indictment.”
•    46 Michael Levine, New American, May 24, 1999; quoted in Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The War on Truth, 41.
•    47 Ralf Mutschke, testimony to Committee on the Judiciary, December 13, 2000.
•    48 Sunday Times (London), March 12, 2000: “Agim Ceku, the KLA commander in the latter stages of the conflict, had established American contacts through his work in the Croatian army, which had been modernised with the help of Military Professional Resources Inc, an American company specialising in military training and procurement. This company’s personnel were in Kosovo, along with others from a similar company, Dyncorps [sic], that helped in the American-backed programme for the Bosnian army.”
•    49 David Hackworth, “Wanted: Guns for Hire,” Hackworth.com, July 9, 2001. Cf. James R. Davis, Fortune’s Warriors: Private Armies and the New World Order, 112; P.W. Singer, Corporate Warriors, 219.
•    50 Wiebes, Intelligence and the war in Bosnia 1992 – 1995, 190; Observer, November 5, 1995. J.M. Berger reports from declassified documents that MPRI’s contract with Bosnia was arranged via a private company headed by neocon Richard Perle: “Controversial neocon philosopher Richard Perle led an obscure nongovernmental organization tasked with hiring a private company to run the U.S. State Department’s “Train and Equip” program in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1996.
•    Perle’s group, the “Acquisition Support Institute,” hired Military Professional Resources Inc., essentially a professional mercenary company nearly as controversial as Perle himself. It’s not at all clear what or whom is responsible for the Institute, or why a “non-governmental, non-profit organization” would be responsible for selecting the recipient of a massive State Department contract on one of the most sensitive issues of the day.
•    Equipped with a collection of retired military officers, MPRI set itself up as a virtual extension of the U.S. government in both Croatia and Bosnia, as documented in an extensive set of Freedom of Information Act documents I will be publishing over the next several weeks.

•    MPRI operatives were given the run of the country — receiving payments and arms from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Muslim countries, which underwrote operations to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
•    In many cases, these payments were brokered directly by the State Department. In some instances, funds and arms were routed into Bosnia without State’s explicit approval but often with its knowledge, as documented in the newly declassified records. Unauthorized assistance appears to have come from Pakistan, UAE and Turkey, among others.” (Richard Perle, MPRI and Bosnian Arms Shipments,” Intelwire, February 7, 2007).
•    51 Sir Alfred Sherman, “The Empire for the New Millenium?” The Centre for Peace in Balkans, May 22, 2000.
•    52 Cf. the cynical comments of the Swiss analytical group Zeit-Fragen: (Current Concerns, “Where’s the 8th Corridor?” September/October 2001): “By creating a trouble spot in Kosovo the USA is able to control Albania and with it the planned AMBO pipeline…. The USA is showing a conspicuous interest in controlling these strategic transport corridor links in the Balkans. They prohibited a project scheduled to be constructed through Serbia, and they offered Rumania 100 million dollars to move the route of the planned SEEL pipeline (South Eastern European Line) further north, to Hungary. The Italian firm ENI had planned this pipeline project using existing pipeline infrastructure in Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia. The USA bombarded the Yugoslavian section of this infrastructure with remarkable doggedness.”
•    53 Michael Levine, New American, May 24, 1999; quoted in Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The War on Truth, 41.
•    54 For details, see Scott, American War Machine, 84, 123, 151, etc.; Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, 167.
•    55 Peter Klebnikov, “Heroin Heroes,” Mother Jones, January/February 2000. Clinton at the same time mounted a vigorous campaign against Colombian heroin, increasing the demand for Afghan heroin. As Klebnikov noted, “some White House officials fear Kosovar heroin could replace the Colombian supply. ‘Even if we were to eliminate all the heroin production in Colombia, by no means do we think there would be no more heroin coming into the United States,’ says Bob Agresti of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. ‘Look at the numbers. Colombia accounts for only six percent of the world’s heroin. Southwest Asia produces 75 percent.’”
•    56 Patrick Graham, “Drug Wars: Kosovo’s New Battle,” National Post, April 13, 2000.
•    57 Schindler, Unholy Terror, 324. Cf. Cristopher Deliso, The Coming Balkan Caliphate (New York: Praeger, 2007).
•    58 Scott, Road to 9/11, 152-53; citing Paul L. Williams, Al Qaeda, 117; Boston Globe, February 3, 1995, “Figure Cited in Terrorism Case Said to Enter U.S. with CIA Help.”
•    59 Bergen, Holy War, Inc., 67; cf. Williams, Al Qaeda, 117.
•    60 Scott, Road to 9/11, 154-56, 160. Cf. Robert L. Friedman, “The CIA and the Sheikh,” Village Voice, March 30, 1993: “As Jack Blum, investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee, put it: “One of the big problems here is that many suspects in the World Trade Center bombing were associated with the Mujahadeen. And there are components of our government that are absolutely disinterested in following that path because it leads back to people we supported in the Afghan war.”
•    61 Scott, Road to 9/11, 156-57; citing J.M. Berger, Ali Mohamed: An Intelwire Sourcebook, 235-36.
•    62 Estanislao Oziewicz and Tu Thanh Ha, “Canada freed top al-Qaeda operative,” Globe and Mail (Toronto), November 22, 2001. A Lexis-Nexis search for “Ali Mohamed” + Vancouver yields no relevant entries.
•    63 Patrick Fitzgerald, Testimony before the 9/11 Commission, Twelfth Public Hearing, June 16, 2004.
•    64 Peter Lance, Triple Cross, 274-77.
•    65 United States District Court, Southern District of New York, “United States of America v. Ali Mohamed,” S (7) 98 Cr. 1023, October 20, 2000, link, 17; in J.M. Berger, Ali Mohamed, 294.
•    66 United States District Court, Southern District of New York, “United States of America v. Ali Mohamed,” S(7) 98 Cr. 1023, 27; in Berger, Ali Mohamed, 304.
•    67 FBI agent Jack Cloonan, summarizing a post-9/11 interview with Ali Mohamed, in William F. Jasper, “Unleashing a Terrorist,” New American, November 26, 2007. Cf. Lance, Triple Cross, 382.
•    68 Paul Joseph Watson, “U.S. Attacks Iran Via CIA-Funded Jundullah Terror Group,” NOW Observer, October 20, 2009.

Al Qaeda terrorist worked with FBI

 

Al Qaeda terrorist worked with FBI / Ex-Silicon Valley resident plotted embassy attacks

Lance Williams and Erin McCormick, Chronicle Staff Writers

San Francisco Chronicle, November 4, 2001

A former U.S. Army sergeant who trained Osama bin Laden’s bodyguards and helped plan the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya was a U.S. government informant during much of his terrorist career, according to sources familiar with his case.

Ali Mohamed, an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen and longtime Silicon Valley resident who pleaded guilty last year to terrorism charges, approached the Central Intelligence Agency more than 15 years ago and offered to inform on Middle Eastern terrorist groups, a U.S. government official said.

Later, according to the sources, Mohamed spent years as an FBI informant while concealing his own deep involvement in the al Qaeda terrorist band: training bin Laden’s bodyguards and Islamic guerrillas in camps in Afghanistan and the Sudan; bringing Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is bin Laden’s chief deputy, to the Bay Area on a covert fund-raising mission; and planning the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, in which more than 200 people died.

The story of Mohamed’s dual roles as FBI informant and bin Laden terrorist – – and the freedom he had to operate unchecked in the United States — illustrates the problems facing U.S. intelligence services as they attempt to penetrate the shadowy, close-knit world of al Qaeda, experts said.

Mohamed “clearly was a double agent,” Larry C. Johnson, a former deputy director in the State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism and a onetime CIA employee, said in an interview.

Johnson said the CIA had found Mohamed unreliable and severed its relationship with him shortly after Mohamed approached the agency in 1984. Johnson faulted the FBI for later using Mohamed as an informant, saying the bureau should have recognized that the man was a high-ranking terrorist, deeply involved in plotting violence against the United States and its allies.

“It’s possible that the FBI thought they had control of him and were trying to use him, but what’s clear is that they did not have control,” Johnson said. “The FBI assumed he was their source, but his loyalties lay elsewhere.”

The affair was “a study in incompetence, in how not to run an agent,” Johnson said.

FBI spokesman Joseph Valiquette declined to comment on Mohamed, as did a spokesman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, whose office prosecuted the case of the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

A law enforcement source familiar with the case said the FBI had followed appropriate procedures in attempting to obtain crucial information from Mohamed, whom he conceded was “double-dealing” and difficult.

“When you operate assets and informants, they’re holding the cards,” this source said. “They can choose to be 100 percent honest or 10 percent honest. You don’t have much control over them.

“Maybe (the informant) gives you a great kernel of information, and then you can’t find him for eight weeks. Is that a management problem? Hindsight is 20/20.”

Mohamed, 49, is a former Egyptian Army major, fluent in Arabic and English, who after his arrest became known as bin Laden’s “California connection.” Last year, when he pleaded guilty in the embassy bombing case, he told a federal judge that he first was drawn to terrorism in 1981, when he joined Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a fundamentalist group implicated in that year’s assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

For almost as long as he was a terrorist, Mohamed also was in contact with U.S. intelligence, according to court records and sources.

In 1984, he quit the Egyptian Army to work as a counterterrorism security expert for EgyptAir. After that, he offered to become a CIA informant, said the U.S. government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The agency tried him out, but because he told other possible terrorists or people possibly associated with terrorist groups that he was working for the CIA, clearly he was not suitable,” the official said.

The CIA cut off contact with Mohamed and put his name on a “watch list” aimed at blocking his entrance to the United States, according to the official.

Nevertheless, Mohamed got a visa one year later. He ultimately became a U.S.

citizen after marrying a Santa Clara woman. In 1986, he joined the U.S. Army as an enlisted man. He was posted to Fort Bragg, N.C., home of the elite Special Forces.

There he worked as a supply sergeant for a Green Beret unit, then as an instructor on Middle Eastern affairs in the John F. Kennedy special warfare school.

Mohamed’s behavior and his background were so unusual that his commanding officer, Lt. Col. Robert Anderson, became convinced that he was both a “dangerous fanatic” and an operative of U.S. intelligence.

Anderson, now a businessman in North Carolina, said that on their first meeting in 1988, Mohamed told him, “Anwar Sadat was a traitor and he had to die.”

Later that year, Anderson said, Mohamed announced that — contrary to all Army regulations — he intended to go on vacation to Afghanistan to join the Islamic guerrillas in their civil war against the Soviets. A month later, he returned, boasting that he had killed two Soviet soldiers and giving away as souvenirs what he claimed were their uniform belts.

Anderson said he wrote detailed reports aimed at getting Army intelligence to investigate Mohamed — and have him court-martialed and deported — but the reports were ignored.

“I think you or I would have a better chance of winning Powerball (a lottery), than an Egyptian major in the unit that assassinated Sadat would have getting a visa, getting to California . . . getting into the Army and getting assigned to a Special Forces unit,” he said. “That just doesn’t happen. “

It was equally unthinkable that an ordinary American GI would go unpunished after fighting in a foreign war, he said.

Anderson said all this convinced him that Mohamed was “sponsored” by a U.S. intelligence service. “I assumed the CIA,” he said.

In 1989, Mohamed left the Army and returned to Santa Clara, where he worked as a security guard and at a home computer business.

Between then and his 1998 arrest, he said in court last year, Mohamed was deeply involved in bin Laden’s al Qaeda. He spent months abroad, training bin Laden’s fighters in camps in Afghanistan and Sudan. While in Africa, he scouted the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, target of the 1998 bombing. In this country,

he helped al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s top aide, enter the country with a fake passport and tour U.S. mosques, raising money later funneled to al Qaeda.

According to Steven Emerson, a terrorism expert and author who has written about the case, Mohamed by the early 1990s had also established himself as an FBI informant.

“He agreed to serve (the FBI) and provide information, but in fact he was working for the bad guys and insulating himself from scrutiny from other law enforcement agencies,” Emerson said in an interview.

One particularly troubling aspect of the case, Emerson says, was that Mohamed’s role as an FBI informant gave bin Laden important insights into U.S. efforts to penetrate al Qaeda.

The case shows “the sophistication of the bin Laden network, and how they were toying with us,” he said.

Some information about the nature of Mohamed’s contacts with the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies is contained in an FBI affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in New York at the time of his 1998 arrest. The document describes contacts between Mohamed and the FBI and Defense Department officials.

At times, Mohamed made alarming admissions about his links to the al Qaeda terrorists, seemingly without fear of being arrested. Mohamed willfully deceived the agents about his activities, according to the affidavit.

In 1993, the affidavit says, Mohamed was questioned by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after a bin Laden aide was caught trying to enter the United States with Mohamed’s driver’s license and a false passport.

Mohamed acknowledged traveling to Vancouver to help the terrorist sneak into the United States and admitted working closely with bin Laden’s group. Yet he was so unconcerned about being arrested that he told the Mounties he hoped the interview wouldn’t hurt his chances of getting a job as an FBI interpreter.

(According to the affidavit, he had indeed applied for the FBI position but never got it.)

Later that year, Mohamed — again seemingly without concern for consequences — told the FBI that he had trained bin Laden followers in intelligence and anti-hijacking techniques in Afghanistan, the affidavit says.

In January 1995, Mohamed applied for a U.S. security clearance, in hopes of becoming a security guard with a Santa Clara defense contractor. His application failed to mention ever traveling to Pakistan or Afghanistan, trips he had told the FBI about earlier. In three interviews with Defense Department officials, who conducted a background check on him, he claimed he had never been a terrorist.

“I have never belonged to a terrorist organization, but I have been approached by organizations that could be called terrorist,” he told the interviewers.

According to the affidavit, he told FBI agents in 1997 that he had trained bin Laden’s bodyguards, saying he loved bin Laden and believed in him. Mohamed also said it was “obvious” that the United States was the enemy of Muslim people.

In August 1998, after the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed, he told the FBI that he knew who did it, but refused to provide the names.

Two weeks later, after lying to a U.S. grand jury investigating the embassy bombings, he was arrested. He pleaded guilty last year, but he has never been sentenced and is once again believed to be providing information to the government — this time from a prison cell.

“There’s a hell of a lot (U.S. officials) didn’t know about Ali Mohamed,” said Harvey Kushner, a terrorism expert and criminology professor at the University of Long Island. “He infiltrated our armed services and duped them.”

Yet, Kushner said, such duplicitous interactions may be a necessary component of intelligence work.

“I hate to say it, but these relationships are something we should be involved in more of. That’s the nasty (part) of covert operations. We’re not dealing with people we can trust.”

 

 

E-mail the reporters atemccormick@sfchronicle.com and lmwilliams@sfchronicle. com. 

Was al-Qaeda protected by the US administration?

Clarke relates, "I began saying, 'We have to deal with bin Laden; we have to deal with al Qaeda.' Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, said, 'No, no, no. We don't have to deal with al Qaeda. Why are we talking about that little guy? We have to talk about Iraqi terrorism against the United States.'
Was al-Qaeda protected by the US administration?


Clarke's Take On Terror
What Bush's Ex-Adviser Says About Efforts to Stop War On Terror

March 21, 2004
Richard Clarke says the White House dropped the ball against terrorism before Sept. 11.

Ali Mohamed: Genuine terrorist or US agent?

Defense lawyers and many other observers believe that Mohamed, who has not yet been sentenced, is now cooperating with the United States, though the government has never confirmed this… Larry Johnson, the former State Department counterterrorism chief, has a more skeptical interpretation: Putting Mohamed on trial would unearth material extremely embarrassing for the government.

 

Al-Qaeda terrorist duped FBI, Army

            Published: Sunday, October 21, 2001 6:39 a.m. EDT
            By JOSEPH NEFFAND, JOHN SULLIVAN, Staff Writers
            The News & Observer
            http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/alqaedat.htm

            FORT BRAGG – Ali Mohamed lived a double life that seemed more fiction than fact. He served in the heart of the U.S. military at Fort Bragg and in the inner circle of Osama bin Laden’s Islamic fundamentalist terrorists’ network.

            Long before he was arrested in connection with the 1998 car-bombing attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, there were questions about Ali Mohamed, a retired U.S. Army sergeant. He had puzzled fellow soldiers with his haughty attitude toward America and avowed Islamic fundamentalist beliefs.

            Now, as the United States wages war on terrorism, the case of Mohamed shows what the CIA and FBI are up against: terrorist operatives who weave themselves into the fabric of America.

            After al-Qaeda’s car-bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, it became clear where his allegiance lay. Investigators linked Mohamed to the attacks, which killed 224 people and injured more than 4,500. He was arrested 34 days later and has since pleaded guilty and described his central role in the attack.

            Even more than the hijackers of Sept. 11, Mohamed lived and trained in the United States. He had training as a Green Beret officer and turned those skills against the United States. Although law enforcement and intelligence agencies collected information on Mohamed, they assembled the pieces of the puzzle too late — after the embassies had been bombed.

            Identifying such terrorists resembles police work more than traditional warfare, experts say. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies need to cooperate and not compete over turf, if they are to apprehend terrorists like Mohamed.

            "He was an active source for the FBI, a double agent," said Larry Johnson, a former CIA agent and director of counterterrorism at the State Department during the elder Bush’s administration.

            The FBI "did a lousy job of managing him," Johnson said. "He was holding out on them. He had critical information years ago and didn’t give it up."

            The FBI declined to be interviewed for this article.

            So just who is this educated soldier, fluent in at least four languages, who trained on the drill grounds and red-clay firing ranges of Fort Bragg and taught Green Berets about the Middle East and Islamic fundamentalism? And how did he move back and forth between an outwardly normal immigrant’s existence and the hidden world of al-Qaeda?

            Mohamed’s relationship with the FBI and intelligence services remains wrapped in secrecy. His plea agreement is sealed, as are many of the court documents and much of the testimony. Mohamed was expected to testify — but did not — at the trial where the four others were convicted. Mohamed and his lawyer have declined all interview requests.

            But a picture emerges from court documents, interviews, trial transcripts and published accounts.

            Ever since the attacks Sept. 11, Jason T. Fogg has found himself thinking about Ali Mohamed. He remembers a tall, serious former Egyptian Army major with a haughty attitude toward America.

            Fogg, who knew nothing about Mohamed’s role in al-Qaeda until a reporter told him, said he and Mohamed had spent three months together in Army training. Mohamed constantly compared the U.S. military with his own, and the former officer always found the American military wanting.

            "To be in the [enlisted ranks] and have so much training was weird," said Fogg, now a supervisor with a freight company in Spring Hill, Tenn. "And to be in the U.S. military and have so much hate toward the U.S. was odd. He never referred to America as his country."

            Mohamed was quiet but with a ferocious temper and very religious, Fogg said. This echoes court testimony by admitted al-Qaeda members earlier this year about the man they called "Abu Mohamed al Amriki" — Mohamed the American.

            Some al-Qaeda members, however, found spiritual shortcomings in the salty-tongued Mohamed.

            "He is not a good practitioner of Islam," testified L’Houssaine Khertchou, a witness in the embassy bombings trial. "You can hear from him some bad words."

            Egyptian army experience

            Born in Alexandria in 1952, Mohamed joined the Egyptian army in 1971. With a bachelor’s in psychology and two years of training at Egypt’s military academy, he rose to major in the Egyptian special forces.

            Sometime in the early 1980s, after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat made peace with Israel in the Camp David accords, Mohamed joined the fundamentalist group Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

            About this time, the Egyptian army sent Mohamed to Fort Bragg for special forces training — common for officers from countries the United States regards as friendly. Training beside U.S. Green Berets, he learned how to command elite soldiers on difficult missions such as special reconnaissance, unconventional warfare and counterinsurgency operations. After four months, he received a diploma with a green beret on it.

            Returning home, he served in the Egyptian army for three more years. In 1984, he left to work as a security expert for Egypt Air — and started to make contact with the CIA.

            "This individual approached the CIA to offer information," a U.S. official told The News & Observer, speaking on condition that no further identification be provided. "Some time later, we found out he was talking to known terrorists and had identified himself as a CIA agent. We felt him to be untrustworthy, and we put him on the State Department watch list."

            The CIA also warned other U.S. government agencies about Mohamed and urged them to detain him if possible, the official said.

            The next year, in 1985, Mohamed managed to get a visa to enter the United States. One year later, he enlisted as a regular soldier in the U.S. Army at the age of 34, unusually old for a recruit. He was assigned to the U.S. Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, the home of the Green Berets and the Delta Force, the elite counterterrorism squad.

            Fluent in Arabic, Hebrew, French and English, Mohamed brought extensive knowledge of the Arab world. Though officially a supply sergeant, he spent much of his time teaching soldiers about the Mideast.

            Robert Anderson, a retired lieutenant colonel, remembers him vividly. Anderson said Mohamed made no secret of his religious views.

            "He had identified himself as a fundamentalist, but after I interviewed him I identified him as a fanatic," said Anderson, who lives in Fay-etteville. "So after the interview I said, ‘Well, there’s one thing I would like to say: Anwar Sadat was a hero to Egypt and to the United States.’ He looked at me with these steely eyes and said, ‘Sadat was a traitor, and he had to die.’ "

            Mohamed’s beliefs were not just talk.

            In 1988, he told Anderson and others that he was using his leave to join the war in Afghanistan against Soviet occupation. The United States was then secretly supporting the Afghan rebels and supplying them with weapons; but it was highly irregular, if not illegal, for an active-duty U.S. soldier to fight in a foreign war. If the Soviets captured him and learned his identity, it would embarrass the United States and further aggravate international tensions.

            Anderson and another of Mohamed’s superiors speculated that Mohamed would end up in a military prison if he went. Anderson said he submitted an intelligence report to his superiors two weeks before Mohamed departed, but it was ignored.

            Mohamed returned about a month later, Anderson said. He had clearly lost weight, suggesting that the trip had been strenuous.

            "He comes back and brings me a belt from a Russian special forces soldier that he said he killed," Anderson said.

            Anderson wrote up a second report and again heard no response.

            Questions about Mohamed

            Other soldiers who served with Mohamed said they had unanswered questions about him.

            Lamar A. Wood, who worked in the motor pool attached to the 5th Special Forces Group, recalled a time when Mohamed was shipped back to the United States in 1988 during the annual Egypt-U.S. desert war games known as Operation Bright Star.

            "He had to come back to the states only after three days or so," Wood said. "There was some trouble there."

            Near the end of his tour at Bragg, Mohamed apparently got busier in his work with terrorist groups. Documents from court cases show that he traveled on weekends to New Jersey, where he trained other Islamic fundamentalists in surveillance, weapons and explosives.

            He continued this training after he was honorably discharged in 1989 with commendations in his file, including one for "patriotism, valor, fidelity and professional excellence."

            Mohamed spent the next five years in the Army Reserves. For nine years after he left active duty, until his arrest in 1998, Mohamed shuttled between California, Afghanistan, Kenya, Somalia and at least a dozen other countries, the court records show.

            It was through his contacts with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad that he met bin Laden, but the date is not clear. It may have been in 1991, when Mohamed again went to Afghanistan to fight. That year, Mohamed helped move bin Laden from Afghanistan to Sudan.

            Mohamed was soon handling some of bin Laden’s most sensitive security matters, details of which he made public during his guilty plea. After a failed 1994 assassination attempt on bin Laden, Mohamed trained the inner circle of bodyguards for the Saudi exile.

            He handled security when bin Laden moved his al-Qaeda entourage from Sudan back to Afghanistan in 1996, as well as when bin Laden met the Hezbollah chief who had directed the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.

            Mohamed also shared his extensive military knowledge. He gave basic explosives training for al-Qaeda soldiers in Afghanistan in 1992 and translated training manuals from English to Arabic. In 1993, he trained Somali clansmen in the months leading up to a furious gun battle that took the lives of 18 U.S. soldiers.

            Mohamed taught the terrorists how to create cell structures that preserved secrecy and how to move undercover in Western countries. He taught surveillance techniques: how to case targets, photograph them and write attack plans.

            And he played a central role in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. In the early 1990s, he set up a cell in the Kenyan capital to support al-Qaeda’s operations in Somalia, using a car business and a charity as cover.

            "We used various code names to conceal our identities," Mohamed said in his guilty plea. "I used the name ‘Jeff.’ " In late 1993, al-Qaeda ordered Mohamed to scour Nairobi for targets that would avenge the U.S. involvement in Somalia.

            Mohamed conducted surveillance of the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. Agency for International Development and two French facilities. He drew maps and diagrams and rigged a darkroom in a colleague’s apartment to avoid dealing with a commercial developer. He later showed the photos to bin Laden in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

            "Bin Laden looked at the picture of the American Embassy and pointed to where a truck could go as a suicide bomber," Mohamed told the court last year.

            Bombings planned patiently

            In planning the embassy attacks, Mohamed and his al-Qaeda associates showed the kind of patience that would later characterize the 2001 attacks in America. It was not until August 1998 — four years later — that Mohamed’s partners parked a truck full of plastic explosives in the very spot bin Laden had chosen. The suicide bomb crumpled buildings, twisted and incinerated buses and shattered windows as far as five blocks away. The blast killed 224 people and injured more than 4,500.

            Within two weeks, FBI agents led a squad of 10 into Mohamed’s apartment in Sacramento, Calif., using a key provided by his apartment manager, according to testimony at the trial. They copied computer files and photographed documents.

            The evidence they found of Mohamed’s terrorist activities included documents from his cell in Kenya and materials on how to run terrorist cells and penetrate security cordons. Mohamed was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury on Sept. 10, 1998. He was arrested as he left the grand jury room.

            At the request of the U.S. Attorney, federal judges kept the arrest secret for almost a year, filing his case as "United States v. John Doe" and clearing the courtroom whenever it came up. Much of the case remains sealed.

            Mohamed would have come first to the attention of the FBI in late 1990 after the murder of the Rabbi Meier Kahane, a radical Jewish leader. When authorities searched the home of El Sayyid Nosair, who was charged with Kahane’s murder, they found U.S. Army training manuals, videotaped talks that Mohamed delivered at the Kennedy Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, an operation plan for Operation Bright Star and other materials marked "Classified" or "Top Secret."

            Mohamed, who often stayed in New Jersey with Nosair, was the source of these documents. The documents didn’t surface during Nosair’s 1991 trial when he was acquitted of killing Kahane, but they did in 1995 when Nosair was convicted of conspiring to blow up the World Trade Center and other New York landmarks in 1993.

            Roger Stavis, Nosair’s attorney, argued to the jury that the U.S. Army sent Mohamed to New Jersey to do the training. One witness, Khalid Ibrahim, testified that he was trained by Mohamed in New Jersey and then saw him later in Afghanistan.

            "He’s on active duty, helping Muslims train to help Muslims in Afghanistan, as part of a U.S. government effort," Stavis said in an interview.

            The FBI has acknowledged in court filings that its agents interviewed Mohamed several times after he left active duty. In 1993, he told the FBI that bin Laden "ran an organization called al-Qaeda and was building an army which may be used to overthrow the Saudi Government." In 1994, he told the FBI that he had moved bin Laden out of Afghanistan in 1991.

            In a 1997 interview, Mohamed admitted to a much deeper involvement in al-Qaeda. An FBI agent wrote that Mohamed said that "he loved Bin Laden and believed in him" and that "one did not need a fatwah [religious ruling] to go against the United States since it was ‘obvious’ that the United States was the enemy."

            However, not all of Bin Laden’s people trusted Mohamed. In 1994, Mohamed Atef, the al-Qaeda commander credited with engineering the attack Sept. 11 on New York and Washington, refused to let Mohamed know what name and passport he was traveling under.

            Atef "doesn’t want Abu Mohamed al Amriki to see his name, because he was afraid that maybe he is working with United States or other governments," L’Houssaine Khertchou testified at the embassy bombing trial in February.

            Defense lawyers and many other observers believe that Mohamed, who has not yet been sentenced, is now cooperating with the United States, though the government has never confirmed this. When he is finally sentenced, Mohamed could receive as little as 25 years under his plea agreement, which would allow him to be free at 73.

            David Ruhnke, attorney for one of the four embassy bombing defendants, said that Mohamed’s deal with the government might strike the jury as unfair, because the the government was seeking the death penalty for two defendants.

            "Some of the things [Mohamed] admitted were so serious," Ruhnke said. "The government worried it would impact the jury."

            But Larry Johnson, the former State Department counterterrorism chief, has a more skeptical interpretation: Putting Mohamed on trial would unearth material extremely embarrassing for the government.

            "The reason he didn’t testify was so they wouldn’t have to face uncomfortable statements on the FBI," Johnson said. "They are more interested in covering their ass."

            There are lessons to be learned, Johnson said. The FBI should have polygraphed Mohamed and used counterintelligence techniques to see if he was forthcoming. The CIA and the FBI should have worked together on Mohamed.

            Mohamed has not spoken in public since his guilty plea, but his prior statements carry warnings to the country in whose military he served.

            "He knows, for example, that there are hundreds of ‘sleepers’ or ‘submarines’ in place who don’t fit neatly into the terrorist profile," a 1997 FBI report said. "These individuals don’t wear the traditional beards and don’t pray at the mosques."

            Staff writer Joseph Neff can be reached at 829-4516 or jneff@newsobserver.com

            News researchers Becky Ogburn, Brooke Cain, Susan Ebbs, Toby Lyles and Lucy Reid contributed to this report.

Al Qaeda Training Camp passed from Control of CIA to Bin Laden in 1995

Classified French DGSE intelligence report

 Al Qaeda Training Camp passed from Control of CIA to Bin Laden in 1995

 Wayne Madsen
http://www.apisgroup.org/article.html?id=3178

 A confidential "France Only" report of the French intelligence service, Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure (DGSE), states that the CIA and Britain’s MI-6 maintained effective control of an important Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan as late as 1995, fully two years after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, an attack that was launched with the help of Sudanese intelligence officers loyal to Osama Bin Laden. The CIA and MI6 permitted control of training operations at Darunta, an "Arab Afghan" base located near the camp of Osama Bin Laden and used to manufacture explosives and chemical weapons and train in their use, to pass to the control of Ibn Cheikh, a Libyan leader of Al Qaeda.

The DGSE report, dated January 9, 2001, is classified "Defense Confidential" and "National (French) Use Only" states, "Besides the Maghreb enclave, the training at Darunta, which, for approximately 2 months, mainly involved the manufacture and the use of the explosives by terrorists. This training, initially provided at the camp of Khalden, in Paktia, was transferred during 1995, on the order of Ibn Cheikh, to Darunta, in order to slide [the training] from the control of the security services of certain countries, in particular the United States and the United Kingdom."

The report continues by stating that in 1998, the training was expanded to include the use of C-4 plastic explosives and different types of detonators (electric, acid, etc.). Training also included the use of homemade explosives (like improvised explosive devices killing so many in Iraq today) and poisons such as arsenic, cyanide, gas, diamond powder, nicotine, and ricin. After Al Qaeda took control of Darunta from the CIA and MI6, the camp was used to train Al Qaeda operatives to launch a series of deadly attacks, including the November 19, 1995 attack on the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad, the 1998 attacks on the US embassy in Nairobi, the abortive Dec. 31, 1999 "Millennium" attack on Los Angeles International Airport by Algerian Ahmed Ressam, and the attack on the USS Cole.

In 1995, James Woolsey left as CIA Director and was replaced by John Deutch. Deutch’s deputy was George Tenet, who previously served in Bill Clinton’s National Security Council. The National Security Adviser was Tony Lake. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) was chaired by Larry Combest of Lubbock, Texas and 1995 was the year Porter Goss joined the CIA oversight committee. On November 12, 2002, only a week after winning his 10th term, Combest suddenly announced his resignation from the House. Goss took over the HPSCI gavel from Combest in 1997, after serving only two years on the committee. In 1995, the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was Arlen Specter, a person whose fingerprints, like those of Goss, have been all over shady intelligence operations since the early 1960s. CIA intelligence analyst Michael Scheuer formed the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit in 1996.

Two significant items emerge from the DGSE report. One is the fact that the CIA and MI6 were dealing with a Libyan Al Qaeda member at the same time Libyan leader Muammar el Qaddafi had declared war on Al Qaeda. Unlike the United States, Libya issued an Interpol arrest warrant for Bin Laden on March 16, 1998. With this treasure trove of proof of U.S. (and British) support for Al Qaeda, Qaddafi had the U.S. and the neo-cons over the barrel. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Bush administration now considers Qaddafi (once branded as terrorist number one) to be a good friend.

The other item is the training of Ahmed Ressam at Darunta. Bill Clinton’s National Security Adviser Sandy Berger was charged with removing classified documents from the National Archives concerning the Ressam bombing plot. The question remains — what were in these documents and did they have anything to do with the CIA’s fingerprints on the Darunta camp?

 

Since CIA and MI6 created Al Qaeda, it has been a useful tool in the phony War on Terror — as an all around global bogeyman to instill fear in the population of the western world and as a means to centralize power globally through fear and intimidation.

Al Qaeda has also been successfully used to demonize the Muslim world and begin preparations for a New Improved Christian Jihad a/k/a Crusade against the Arab population.

"The CIA and Britain’s MI-6 maintained effective control of an important Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan as late as 1995, fully two years after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, an attack that was launched with the help of Sudanese intelligence officers loyal to Osama Bin Laden," reports Washington-based journalist Wayne Madsen, citing a confidential report of the DGSE, the French intelligence service.

"The CIA and MI-6 permitted control of training operations at Darunta, an ‘Arab Afghan’ base located near the camp of Osama Bin Laden and used to manufacture explosives and chemical weapons and train in their use, to pass to the control of Ibn Cheikh, a Libyan leader of Al Qaeda," Madsen continues.

 

"The DGSE report, dated January 9, 2001, is classified ‘Defense Confidential’ and ‘National (French) Use Only’ states, ‘Besides the Maghreb enclave, the training at Darunta, which, for approximately 2 months, mainly involved the manufacture and the use of the explosives by terrorists.

"This training, initially provided at the camp of Khalden, in Paktia, was transferred during 1995, on the order of Ibn Cheikh, to Darunta, in order to slide [the training] from the control of the security services of certain countries, in particular the United States and the United Kingdom."

"The report continues by stating that in 1998, the training was expanded to include the use of C-4 plastic explosives and different types of detonators (electric, acid, etc.).

"Training also included the use of homemade explosives (like improvised explosive devices killing so many in Iraq today) and poisons such as arsenic, cyanide, gas, diamond powder, nicotine, and ricin.

"After Al Qaeda took control of Darunta from the CIA and MI-6, the camp was used to train Al Qaeda operatives to launch a series of deadly attacks, including the November 19, 1995 attack on the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad, the 1998 attacks on the US embassy in Nairobi, the abortive Dec. 31, 1999 "Millennium" attack on Los Angeles International Airport by Algerian Ahmed Ressam, and the attack on the USS Cole.

"Two significant items emerge from the DGSE report. One is the fact that the CIA and MI-6 were dealing with a Libyan Al Qaeda member at the same time Libyan leader Muammar el Qaddafi had declared war on Al Qaeda.

"Unlike the United States, Libya issued an Interpol arrest warrant for Bin Laden on March 16, 1998. With this treasure trove of proof of U.S. (and British) support for Al Qaeda, Qaddafi had the U.S. and the neo-cons over the barrel. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Bush administration now considers Qaddafi (once branded as terrorist number one) to be a good friend."

"The other item is the training of Ahmed Ressam at Darunta. Bill Clinton’s National Security Adviser Sandy Berger was charged with removing classified documents from the National Archives concerning the Ressambombing plot.

"The question remains — what were in these documents and did they have anything to do with the CIA’s fingerprints on the Darunta camp?

So what is Al Qaeda?

Thanks to the CIA and MI6, it is the "best enemy money can buy."

Terror’s Easy Entry

 

 
Terror’s Easy Entry


by Joel Mowbray
The New York Post
October 9, 2002


The hand-wringing over 9/11 has mostly centered on the FBI and CIA’s failure to "connect the dots." But what if the "dots" hadn’t been in this country in the first place?

If the U.S. State Department had followed the law, at least 15 of the 19 "dots" should have been denied visas – and likely wouldn’t have been in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

 

I have obtained the visa-application forms of 15 of the 19 terrorists. Experts who have reviewed those forms say that all 15 should have been denied visas under then-existing law.

 

Six separate experts analyzed the simple, two-page forms (viewable only at NationalReview.com, starting today). All came to the same conclusion: Each of the 15 visa applications should have been denied on its face.

 

Even to the untrained eye, it’s not hard to see why. Consider, for example, the U.S. destinations most of them listed. Only one of the 15 provided an actual address – and that was only because his first application was refused. The rest listed such not-so-specific locations as "California," "New York," "Hotel D.C.," and "Hotel."

 

One terrorist amazingly listed his U.S. destination as simply "No." But he still got a visa.

 

The experts – who scrutinized the applications of 14 of the 15 Saudis and one of the two from the United Arab Emirates – include four former consular officers, a current consular officer stationed in Latin America, and someone with extensive consular experience who is now a senior official at Consular Affairs (CA), the division within the State Department that oversees consulates and visa issuance.

 

All six strongly agreed that, even allowing for human error, no more than a handful of the visa applications should have managed to slip through the cracks.

 

Nikolai Wenzel, one of the former consular officers who analyzed the forms, declares that State’s issuance of the visas "amounts to criminal negligence."

 

The visas should have been denied because of a provision in the law known as 214(b), which states that State’s screeners should assume that almost all applicants for nonimmigrant visas (NIV) actually intend to immigrate to the United States.

 

The law is clear: "Every alien [other than several narrowly exempted subcategories] shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for a visa, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant [visa]."

 

State’s Deputy Press Secretary Phil Reeker remarks that 214(b) is "quite a threshold to overcome" – it just wasn’t for Saudi applicants.

 

Defying the conventional wisdom that al Qaeda had provided its operatives with extensive training to game the system with the right answers to guarantee a visa, the applications were littered with red flags, almost all of which were ignored.

 

The forms were also plagued with significant amounts of missing information – something that should have been sufficient grounds to deny many of the visas. For example, while all but one terrorist claimed to be employed or in school, only on three forms is the area marked "Name and Street Address of Present Employer or School" even filled out.

 

At the very least, the CA executive points out, "The consular officers should not have ended the interview until the forms were completed." Which begs the question: Were 11 of the 15 terrorists whose applications were reviewed actually interviewed, as the State Department claims?

 

Any discrepancies or apparent problems that would have been resolved by way of explanation or additional documentation should have been noted in the area reserved for a consular officer’s comments.

 

Yet this appears to only have been done on the application of Hani Hanjour, who is believed to have piloted the plane that smashed into the Pentagon. An unidentified consulate employee wrote on Hanjour’s form, "going to flight school/ wants to being [sic] status when he finds a school."

 

As disturbing as the visa forms are, perhaps more disturbing is that State’s hand-picked candidate to be the new chief enforcer of visa policies, Maura Harty, had not even looked at them as of her Senate confirmation hearing last week – yet the Senate is poised to rubber-stamp her nomination.

 

That’s a real shame, because examining the applications yields many valuable lessons. The most important is that we’re not going to keep out terrorists until State figures out that it needs to enforce the law.

 

Joel Mowbray (jdmowbra@erols.com) is a reporter with National Review. Adapted from the magazine’s Oct. 28 issue.

A look at 9/11 terrorists? visa applications

The cover story in National Review‘s October 28th issue (out Friday) details how at least 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers should have been denied visas ? an assessment based on expert analyses of 15 of the terrorists’ visa-application forms, obtained exclusively by NR. 

A look at 9/11 terrorists? visa applications.

 Joel Mowbray, October 9, 2002

National Review Online
http://www.nationalreview.com/mowbray/mowbray100902.asp

In the year after 9/11, the hand-wringing mostly centered on the FBI and CIA’s failure to "connect the dots." But that would not have been a fatal blow if the "dots" had not been here in the first place. If the U.S. State Department had followed the law, at least 15 of the 19 "dots" should have been denied visas ” and they likely wouldn’t have been in the United States on September 11, 2001.

According to expert analyses of the visa-application forms of 15 of the 9/11 terrorists (the other four applications could not be obtained), all the applicants among the 15 reviewed should have been denied visas under then-existing law. Six separate experts who analyzed the simple, two-page forms came to the same conclusion: All of the visa applications they reviewed should have been denied on their face.

 

The cover story in National Review‘s October 28th issue (out Friday) details how at least 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers should have been denied visas ? an assessment based on expert analyses of 15 of the terrorists’ visa-application forms, obtained exclusively by NR.

In the year after 9/11, the hand-wringing mostly centered on the FBI and CIA’s failure to "connect the dots." But that would not have been a fatal blow if the "dots" had not been here in the first place. If the U.S. State Department had followed the law, at least 15 of the 19 "dots" should have been denied visas ” and they likely wouldn’t have been in the United States on September 11, 2001.

 

According to expert analyses of the visa-application forms of 15 of the 9/11 terrorists (the other four applications could not be obtained), all the applicants among the 15 reviewed should have been denied visas under then-existing law. Six separate experts who analyzed the simple, two-page forms came to the same conclusion: All of the visa applications they reviewed should have been denied on their face.

9/11 Terrorist Visa Applications

Hani Hanjour, 1997 (~167k file)
Hani Hanjour, 2000 (a) (~205k file)
Hani Hanjour, 2000 (b) (~169k file)
Waleed al-Sherhi, 2000 (~169k file)
Wail al-Sherhi, 2000 (~206k file) 
Abdulaziz Alomari, 2001 (~259k file)

 

Even to the untrained eye, it is easy to see why many of the visas should have been denied. Consider, for example, the U.S. destinations most of them listed. Only one of the 15 provided an actual address ” and that was only because his first application was refused ” and the rest listed only general locations ? including "California," "New York," "Hotel D.C.," and "Hotel." One terrorist amazingly listed his U.S. destination as simply "No." Even more amazingly, he got a visa.

 

The experts ? who scrutinized the applications of 14 Saudis and one from the United Arab Emirates ? include four former consular officers, a current consular officer stationed in Latin America, and a senior official at Consular Affairs (CA) ? the division within the State Department that oversees consulates and visa issuance ? who has extensive consular experience.

All six experts strongly agreed that even allowing for human error, no more than a handful of the visa applications should have managed to slip through the cracks. Making the visa lapses even more inexplicable, the State Department claims that at least 11 of the 15 were interviewed by consular officers. Nikolai Wenzel, one of the former consular officers who analyzed the forms, declares that State’s issuance of the visas "amounts to criminal negligence."

The visas should have been denied because of a provision in the law known as 214(b), which states that almost all nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applicants are presumed to be intending immigrants. The law is clear: "Every alien [other than several narrowly exempted subcategories] shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for a visa, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant [visa]." State’s Deputy Press Secretary Phil Reeker recently remarked that 214(b) is "quite a threshold to overcome." It just wasn’t for Saudi applicants.

Defying the conventional wisdom that al Qaeda had provided its operatives with extensive training to game the system with the right answers to guarantee a visa, the applications were littered with red flags, almost all of which were ignored. The forms were also plagued with significant amounts of missing information ? something that should have been sufficient grounds to deny many of the visas. For example, while all but one terrorist claimed to be employed or in school, only on three forms is the area marked "Name and Street Address of Present Employer or School" even filled out. At the very least, the CA executive points out, "The consular officers should not have ended the interview until the forms were completed."

 

Any discrepancies or apparent problems that would have been resolved by way of explanation or additional documentation should have been noted in the area reserved for a consular officer’s comments ? yet this was only done on one of the forms. Which begs the question: Were 11 of the 15 terrorists whose applications were reviewed actually interviewed as State claims?

 

Though all of the 15 applications obtained by NR should have been denied, some were worse than others. Here are some of the worst:

 

Wail and Waleed al-Shehri
Brothers Wail and Waleed al-Shehri applied together for travel visas on October 24, 2000. Wail claimed his occupation was "teater," while his brother wrote "student." Both listed the name and address of his respective employer or school as simply "South City." Each also declared a U.S. destination of "Wasantwn." But what should have further raised a consular officer’s eyebrows is the fact that a student and his nominally employed brother were going to go on a four-to-six-month vacation, paid for by Wail’s "teater" salary, which he presumably would be foregoing while in the United States. Even assuming very frugal accommodations, such a trip for two people would run north of $15,000, yet there is no indication that the consular officer even attempted to determine that Wail in fact had the financial means to fund the planned excursion. They appear to have received their visas the same day they applied.

 

Abdulaziz Alomari
On June 18, 2001, Abdulaziz Alomari filled out a simple, two-page application for a visa to come to the United States. Alomari was not exactly the ideal candidate for a visa. He claimed to be a student, though he left blank the space for the name and address of his school. He checked the box claiming he was married, yet he left blank the area where he should have put the name of his spouse. Although he claimed to be a student, he marked on his form that he would self-finance a two-month stay at the "JKK Whyndham Hotel" ” and provided no proof, as required under law, that he could actually do so.

 

Despite the legal requirement that a visa applicant show strong roots in his home country (to give him or her a reason to come back from America), Alomari listed his home address as the "ALQUDOS HTL JED" (a hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia). Alomari didn’t even bother filling in the fields asking for his nationality and gender, apparently realizing that he didn’t need to list much more than his name to get a visa to the United States. As it turns out, he didn’t. He got his visa.

 

When he arrived in the United States, he connected with his friend, Mohammed Atta. And less than three months later ” that September 11 ? he and Atta helped crash American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

 

Hani Hanjour
The most troubling of the applications reviewed is Hanjour’s. It appears that Hanjour was the only applicant of the 15 who was initially refused ? although this is not entirely clear, because the consular officers did not always circle "Issued" or "Refused" (as required by law) on the other forms. Hanjour had received a student visa in 1997 in order to study English at the ELS Language Center in Melbourne, Fla. On his first of two attempts to obtain a second visa in 2000, Hanjour requested a travel visa for the purpose of a "visit" ? for "three years." An unidentified consulate employee, likely a Foreign Service national (a Saudi resident), highlighted the obvious problem with an applicant stating a desire to overstay his visa (the maximum length for a travel visa is 24 months) with an extra-long "visit." The unknown employee wrote in the comment box: "like to stay three years or more!" and circled the remark. That employee or a different one also scribbled something underneath about Hanjour’s wish to find a flight school during the trip. This application was refused ? but only temporarily.

 

On the subsequent application filed two weeks later, Hanjour was armed with all the right answers. Rather than stating "AZ, Rent home" as his U.S. location, he gave a specific address, complete with a house number and street name ? the only one of the 15 applicants to have done so. On the second go-round, Hanjour applied for a twelve-month student visa, and changed the purpose of the visit to "study" and the desired length of stay to a more appropriate "one year." But so many changes, all of which smoothed out rough spots on the original application, should have troubled the consular officer. "It’s never a good sign if someone cleans up his paperwork too well," comments the current consular officer stationed in Latin America.

 

As disturbing as the visa forms are, perhaps more disturbing is that State’s handpicked candidate to be the new chief enforcer of visa policies, Maura Harty, had not even looked at them as of her Senate confirmation hearing last week ? yet the Senate is poised to rubber stamp her nomination. That’s a real shame, because examining the applications yields many valuable lessons. The most important is that we’re not going to keep out terrorists until State figures out that it needs to enforce the law.

 

 

Granting of visas by US Consulate in Jedda

Michael Springman, the head US consular official in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, later claims that he is “repeatedly told to issue visas to unqualified applicants.” He turns them down, but is repeatedly overruled by superiors. Springman loudly complains about the practice to numerous government offices, but no action is taken. He eventually is fired and the files he has kept on these applicants are destroyed. Springmann speculates that the issuing of visas to radical Islamic fighters continued until 9/11. He says he later learns that recruits from many countries fighting for bin Laden against Russia in Afghanistan were funneled through the Jeddah office to get visas to come to the US. They would then train for the Afghan war in the US. He says the Jeddah consulate was run by the CIA and staffed almost entirely by intelligence agents. Springmann suggests that this visa system may have continued until present day, and that the 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers getting their visas through Jeddah could have been a part of it [BBC 11/6/01; AP 7/17/02 (B); Fox News 7/18/02]

Abdulla Noman, a former employee of the US consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers got their visas, says that he took money and gifts to provide fraudulent visas to foreigners. He pleads guilty and is convicted. About 50 to 100 visas were improperly issued by Noman from September 1996 until November 2001, when he was arrested. However, a former visa officer in Jeddah, Michael Springmann, has claimed in the past that the Jeddah office was notorious for purposefully giving visas to terrorists to train in the US. [AP, 5/21/02] If this is true, then was Noman “the fall guy? to provide a cover story?

Interview of Michael Springman, former Consular Officer, Jedda

 

Interview of Michael Springman,
Former Consulate officer in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Where 15 of the 19 Terrorist Hijackers Obtained Visas
Alex Jones Radio Show
May 1, 2002
Partial Transcript

WWW.INFOWARS.COM

AJ: I’m reading from a transcript from the BBC Newsnight report with out good friend, Greg Palast. Let me just read two paragraphs from this then we will go to our guest.

“PALAST: Newsnight has uncovered a long history of shadowy connections between the State Department, the CIA and the Saudis. The former head of the American visa bureau in Jeddah is Michael Springman.
MICHAEL SPRINGMAN: In Saudi Arabia I was repeatedly ordered by high level State Dept officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants. These were, essentially, people who had no ties either to Saudi Arabia or to their own country. I complained bitterly at the time there. I returned to the US, I complained to the State Dept here, to the General Accounting Office, to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and to the Inspector General’s office. I was met with silence.
PALAST: By now, Bush Sr, once CIA director, was in the White House. Springman was shocked to find this wasn’t visa fraud. Rather, State and CIA were playing "the Great Game". ?

Joining us for this newsmaker interview this evening is Michael Springman. Michael, thank you so much for joining us this evening. Great to have you on the show, Michael.

MS: Thank you.

AJ: Give us a little more about your bio about yourself and then break this incredible story down for us.

MS: Okay. Basically, I?ve worked for the federal government for slightly more than 20 years. First, with the Commerce Department International Foreign Trade Administration and then with the Dept. of State. I?d been a Consulate officer in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a commercial attach

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