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WMR Adelson, Israel behind Gulf Arab split ... June 7-8, 2017
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Israeli interests he funds are behind a series of computer hacking incidents that have resulted in a serious split between Qatar, the home of the U.S. Central Command's massive Al-Udeid airbase, and a bloc of Qatar's erstwhile Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) allies that include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain.
WMR has learned from unimpeachable intelligence sources who monitor Adelson's worldwide activities that the casino tycoon has used the neo-conservative and Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and like-minded groups, all with close propaganda links to the Israeli government, to spread falsehoods attributed to the Emir of Qatar and the UAE government. The reason for the propaganda operation is to drive a wedge between Arab states that take a strong stand against Iran and those who maintain cordial ties to Iran.
What has led to the crucial divide between Qatar and its Arab neighbors are two hacking incidents. One was the hacking of the Qatar News Agency website and the alleged insertion of a "fake news" story reporting that Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, told a group of Qataris in a speech that "there is no wisdom in harboring hostility towards Iran." Sheikh Tamim also reportedly had kind words for both Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah.
Although Qatar insisted the story was fabricated, Saudi Arabia led a group of GCC partners, including Bahrain and the UAE, as well as Egypt, Maldives, Mauritania, and the Saudi-financed puppet regime in eastern Libya and the Yemeni government-in-exile in Saudi Arabia to sever diplomatic, transportation, commercial, and military ties with Qatar. Jordan downgraded its diplomatic ties with Qatar.
Adelson and his FDD and other pro-Israeli information warfare specialists wanted to punish Qatar for not only backing Iran but also hosting in exile in Qatar the political leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal. The placing of a fake news story in the computer system of the Qatar News Agency and the resulting break down of relations between Qatar and its Arab partners was the first phase of the operation.
The second phase was the release of emails, allegedly hacked from the Hotmail account of the UAE ambassador to the United States, Yousef al-Otaiba. An initial tranche of the emails were released by a previously unknown group called GlobalLeaks, which was neither connected to WikiLeaks nor an Italian software company called GlobaLeaks.
Oteiba's alleged emails, which span the time period from 2014 to this year, claim that Oteiba participated in a back channel relationship between the UAE and Israel facilitated by the FDD. The emails also purport to show that Oteiba participated in an Adelson/FDD operation to tarnish both Qatar and Kuwait as sponsors of terrorism and that this effort involved not only the UAE but Saudi Arabia.
Owing to the importance of the Al Udeid airbase to US CENTCOM operations in the region, Otaiba is a frequent participant in Pentagon activities, including anti-Islamic State operational planning meetings. One of the emails attributed to Otaiba is part of an exchange between the ambassador and John Hannah, the arch-neocon national security adviser to then-Vice President Dick Cheney and a key cog in the fake intelligence, including altered and re-edited CIA analysis reports, used to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The Otaiba-Hannah email exchange, which is now believed by intelligence analysts to be fraudulent, claims that Hannah complained to Otaiba that Qatar was sponsoring a meeting of Hamas in Doha at a hotel owned by the UAE. The email states that Otaiba told Hannah that the Al-Udeid airbase was the real problem in the region, adding "How's this, you move the base then we'll move the hotel :-) ." There are 8000 U.S. military personnel stationed at Al-Udeid, along with aircraft and other war equipment. Image result for foundation for the defense of democracies Adelson's FDD has been behind the propaganda campaign against Qatar and it has been assisted by such bailiwicks of pro-Israeli policymaking and propaganda as The Huffington Post and George Washington University.
The emails also contain an alleged agenda for an FDD-UAE meeting to be held from June 11-14 in which the disruption of Qatar-based Al Jazeera, Qatar's links to the Muslim Brotherhood, and dissuading U.S. companies active in Saudi Arabia and the UAE from extending their business to Iran were to be discussed. The emails claim that former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive officer of FDD were to attend the June meeting. Dubowitz is a South African-born Jew who vigorously opposed the international nuclear deal with Iran and supports increased sanctions on the nation. In addition to heading up the FDD, Dubowitz also leads the FDD's Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance.
Adelson, who was a multi-million dollar donor to Donald Trump's presidential campaign saw the presence of Trump, his Orthodox Jewish daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner in the White House hierarchy as a rare opportunity to squeeze Qatar over its relations with Iran and disrupt Al Jazeera. Trump did not disappoint Adelson or the Saudis. On the morning of June 6, Trump tweeted: “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology,” Leaders pointed to Qatar — look!” Against the wishes of his own Defense Department and National Security Adviser, Trump decided to weigh into the Gulf Arab split engineered by right-wing Jewish hacking efforts to declare his support for Saudi Arabia and its allies, placing the Al-Udedid airbase in jeopardy.
Furthering the dissemination of the FDD-Israeli hacking "product" were Israel's always-reliable media partners, including Glenn Greenwald's The Intercept, which also burned former U.S. Air Force and inside National Security Agency source Reality Winner by making it easy for NSA to determine the source of a leaked Top Secret Releasable to Five Eyes report on Russian military intelligence computer probes of U.S. election-related computers prior to last Election Day. The Intercept was sloppy with Winner's hard copy document by making an image of it available to NSA, which then drilled down using obscure and unique "printer dots" and paper folds to determine Winner was the leaker. Joining The Intercept in spreading the fake UAE-FDD emails and phony Qatar News Agency report were The Daily Beast and CNN, both hives of Israeli propaganda activity.
CNN and like-minded media outlets reported that GlobalLinks and those who hacked the Qatar News Agency were "Russians," the default bogeymen for all hacking events, as far as the corporate media is now concerned.
Adelson has become the "George Soros of the far right" through his media acquisitions and influence. He owns the Israel Hayom and Makam Rishor newspapers in Israel, both of which support the far-right government of Binyamin Netanyahu. Adelson's sponsorship of the FDD has expanded his reach into American newsrooms with the type of fake news stories that have split the Gulf Arab and other Muslim nations into two camps: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, eastern Libya state, and Maldives on one side and Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Turkey on the other. U.S. strongman Trump claimed he was going to create an "Arab NATO" prior to his recent visit to Saudi Arabia. Instead, Trump left the region in a huge pile of camel dung with himself as the chief shit tosser via his Twitter feed.
Trump's incompetence and his fealty to Adelson and his operatives, including Jared Kushner who has pushed for Adelson's picks to be appointed to senior positions within the National Security Council, State Department, and other departments, may have further repercussions in the Middle East. Two members of the UAE federation, Dubai and Sharjah, both of which have close commercial contacts with Iran, are not happy about Abu Dhabi, which holds the UAE presidency, cooperating with Saudi Arabia in isolating Qatar. In fact, Abu Dhabi and the other six UAE federation members [see above map] have never been further apart on foreign policy. Geographically and culturally, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al Qaiwain, Ras al Khaimah, and Fujairah, in addition to the Sultanate of Oman, have closer links to Iran than do either Abu Dhabi or Saudi Arabia. The only thing that is keeping the UAE together is the fact that Abu Dhabi remains the wealthiest of the seven emirates, largely thanks to Dubai's extravagant spending habits which gave it an amazing skyline of futuristic buildings but little else except for massive debt.
To tamp down independent opinions among the "northern emirates," Abu Dhabi authorities have threatened to imprison for up to 15 years anyone in the UAE expressing sympathy for Qatar, and by default, Iran.
Taking a cue from the inter-Arab squabbling in the Gulf, the Islamic State (ISIL) launched two separate terrorist attacks in Iran. One attack struck the Iranian parliament, the Majlis, killing at least one person, a security guard. The other involved a suicide bomb blast at the Ayatollah Khomeini mausoleum between downtown Tehran and the international airport.
Although ISIL claimed responsibility for the Iran attacks, there have been intelligence reports that the group has worked with the U.S., Saudi, and Israeli-supported cult-like Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), which has conducted several successful terrorist attacks inside Iran. Although once listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the U.S. State Department, congressional pressure saw it de-listed in 2012 by the Obama administration. The MEK's chief supporters are also among those who avidly support Israel. They include Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Corker (R-TN), John McCain (R-AZ), Jack Reed (D-RI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Representatives Elliot Engel (D-NY), Ed Royce (R-CA), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Brad Sherman (D-CA). Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao is among those who are also strong supporters of the Iranian terrorist group, along with such neocons as John Bolton; Newt Gingrich; and Fran Townsend, the latter considered for the top FBI job by Trump. Other strong supporters of the MEK include former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
Adelson's international activities have been under close scrutiny by two of the world's best intelligence agencies, Britain's MI6 and China's Guojia Anquan Bu (Guoanbu). From Macao and Singapore to Qatar and Abu Dhabi, Adelson has become a thorn in the side of British, Chinese, and other interests. Trump and Kushner have chosen to side with Adelson. Adelson's private shortsighted and amateur intelligence operations aimed at disrupting the Gulf states and the wider Middle Eastern and South Asian region will, by infuriating major international players, ensure that he and his co-conspirators pay a heavy price for their meddling in dangerous sands of the Middle East.
WMR Brennan's financial ties to Rothschilds exposed
Central Intelligence Agency director John O. Brennan, whose stewardship of both the CIA and the National Security Council during the Obama presidency has done more to ensure the spread of the Islamic State and the success of Israeli expansionism than any other single administration figure, has extensive financial ties to the Rothschild financial empire, according to Brennan's financial disclosure statement from 2014.
King Fahd's death opens up sensitive time for Saudi Arabia. The ascension of Abdullah to King of Saudi Arabia will touch off in fighting between factions of the Saudi Royal Family, according to long time observers of Saudi politics and business. A fracture between the "Sudairi Seven" (which includes Prince Bandar) and the pro-Abdullah factions within Saudi Arabia could put U.S. troops in Iraq in further jeopardy. Most of the insurgents coming to Iraq are entering from Saudi Arabia. A further breakdown in Saudi security will result in more Islamist radicals pouring across the long and virtually unguarded Iraqi-Saudi border.
WMR August 11-12, 2015 -- Growing evidence that CIA's John Brennan is a Wahhabist convert
| The tell-tale signs were always there. When John Owen Brennan, who had served as Barack Obama's deputy national security adviser was sworn in to head the Central Intelligence Agency, the Jesuit-educated former CIA officer opted to take the oath on a copy of the U.S. Constitution, not on the bible as every past CIA director, Christian and Jewish, had done. Brennan is also the highest-ranking U.S. official to have ever visited the Islamic holy city of Mecca, a privilege reserved only for pious Muslims and special guests of the Saudi King, who also serves as the "Guardian of the Two Shrines of Mecca and Medina."
Brennan served as the CIA's station chief in Riyadh in the mid-1990s and in 1999, he worked himself up to the position of chief of staff to CIA director George Tenet. Obama wanted to appoint Brennan CIA director in 2009, but there was internal CIA and congressional opposition to his nomination. The reasons for the nomination were said to be Brennan's involvement in "enhanced interrogation" techniques used against detainees after 9/11, but the actual reasons for the initial opposition remains unclear to this day. However, when the Senate voted to confirm Brennan in 2013, 34 senators voted no. They included Rand Paul (R-KY), who attempted to filibuster the confirmation vote; Ted Cruz (R-TX); Charles Grassley (R-IA); Patrick Leahy (D-VT); Mike Lee (R-UT); Jeff Merkley (D-OR); Bernie Sanders (D-VT); and Richard Shelby (R-AL). Barbara Boxer (D-CA) did not vote. What did these senators actually know about Brennan, especially the Democrats, who decided Brennan was not fir for the job?
It is known that Brennan, both at the National Security Council and at the CIA, has forbid the use of the term "jihadist" to describe Islamist terrorists. He prefers the term "extremists." There is now ample evidence to suggest that Brennan himself converted to Wahhabist Islam and considers himself a "jihadist," or "holy warrior."
The recent revelation by retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), that the Obama administration, including Brennan at the CIA, ignored the threat of the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), provides yet further proof that a Saudi and Wahhabist "Manchurian Candidate" now occupies the director's chair on the seventh floor of the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Flynn said that the White House and supporters of the Syrian rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, ignored the DIA's SECRET report from August 2012on the rise of the Islamist caliphate in Syria and Iraq and did nothing to stop it. Flynn made his accusations to Al Jazeera, which attempted to throw cold water on Flynn's notion that the U.S. was responsible for the rise of ISIL and disputed Flynn's statement that it was the U.S. that funneled arms to Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al Qaeda in Iraq. Al Jazeera, funded by the Qatar government, has hired a number of Muslim Brotherhood members for its news crews and editorial staffs.
Brennan has shuttled frequently between Langley, Jerusalem, and Riyadh to coordinate arms transfers and other logistical support to ISIL and their allied fighters in Syria and Iraq. WMR has frequently reported on witnesses in Syria, the Golan Heights, Iraq's Anbar province, and Iraqi Kurdistan to have seen CIA and Israeli Mossad commandos transferring weapons to ISIL and affiliated forces.
A few weeks before the Senate voted to confirm Brennan as CIA director, former FBI agent
John Guandolo revealed that Brennan had, indeed, converted to Wahhabist Islam while he was CIA station chief in Riyadh. Guandalo quoted Brennan as having said that he "marveled at the majesty of the Hajj." The Hajj is the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca and is reserved only for devout Muslims. Guandalo was quoted as telling a radio interviewer, "Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on the behalf of the United States in Saudi Arabia." A website that is known to be financed by the CIA and George Soros, Snopes.com, attacked the notion that Brennan is a Wahhabist and ignored the controversy completely. The similarly CIA- and Soros-influenced Wikipedia completely ignored the controversy.
One of Brennan's chief lieutenants at the CIA, the agency's chief of the Counter-Terrorism Center (CTC), known only as "Roger," did convert to Sunni Islam. This fact was reported by The Washington Post. "Roger's" career at the CIA started about the same time that Brennan joined the agency. "Roger, " whose real name is Michael A. D'Andrea or "Mike", joined in 1979, Brennan in 1980. Both became fluent in Arabic. D'Andrea's CIA nickname was "The Wolf."
During the Cold War, the CIS funded the establishment of a Muslim Brotherhood operating cell in Munich called the Munich Islamic Center. The center recruited Turkish Muslim CIA operatives from Germany's Turkish "guest worker" community. These Turks were also ardent pan-Turkic nationalists whose symbol is the wolf. The Grey Wolves of Turkey, a right-wing group, were behind the 1981 attempt to assassinate Pope John Paul II in Vatican City in a false flag operation designed to blame the Soviet Union and Bulgaria for the attack. One of the Munich Center's chief CIA operatives was Muhammad Abdel Karim Grimm, a German Christian convert to Salafist Islam.
Another convert to Islam who rose in the ranks of the CIA is Andrew Warren. In 2008, Warren, the CIA's station chief in Algiers, was ordered home by the ambassador after he was charged with drugging two Algerian Muslim women, having non-consensual sex with them, and filming the alleged rapes. Before 9/11, Warren, who speaks six Arabic dialects and Persian, left the CIA and took a job with Citigroup in New York but quickly returned to the CIA after the attack. In 2010, Warren received a 65-month prison sentence for "abusive sexual conduct" while in Algeirs and unlawful use of cocaine while possessing a firearm in Norfolk. He pleaded guilty to the two charges but prosecutors decided not to charge Warren with rape, which would have carried a life sentence. The sentence was two more years than requested by federal prosecutors. WMR learned from a well-placed U.S. intelligence source that Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings was working on a story about Warren and Brennan before he died in a suspicious fiery auto crash in Beverly Hills, California in June 2013, a little over three months after Brennan became CIA director. The perennially-suspect Wikipedia incorrectly lists Warren's religion as "Christian."
More misinformation from self-proclaimed Zionist Jimmy Wales's Wikipedia. The cesspit of disinformation should become known as the "Great Zionist Encyclopedia," in the same mold as the former "Great Soviet Encyclopedia."
What is alarming that is while President Obama is trying to get congressional approval for the P5+1 nuclear pact with Iran, a pro-Saudi Wahhabist cell within the CIA that is working with Israel's powerful lobby in Washington, could not only be trying to sabotage the Iran deal but are working together to provide U.S. military and other aid to ISIL.
WMR Brennan claims ISIL is retreating when his actions have it on offensive
|March 12-24, 2015 -- Brennan claims ISIL is retreating when his actions have it on offensive
Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan allowed Fox News cameras into the spy agency's Langley, Virginia headquarters to proclaim that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), referring to the group not using the White House's and State and Defense Department's preferred nomenclature of ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), is "no longer on the march." That will come as news to Kurds, Yazidis, Assyrians, Turkmen and others in northeastern Syria and northern Iraq who continue to battle the jihadist group as it continues to destroy ancient antiquities, churches, Shi'a shrines and mosques, and historical sites protected by UNESCO.
Brennan's use of Fox, which can hardly be described as a legitimate news organization, to parlay his false propaganda that ISIL is on the ropes is fitting as the network fends off charges that its top rated performer, Bill O'Reilly, made up stories from whole cloth about his covering the British-Argentine war for the Falkland Islands, the murder of American nuns in El Salvador, and the British-Irish turmoil in Northern Ireland. While Brennan was advancing the false notion that ISIL's defeat was imminent, the Yemeni media reported that the CIA and its Saudi and Gulf allies were stepping up their clandestine assistance to ISIL and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula guerrillas fighting Shi'a Houthi rebels who have seized control of Sana'a and Taiz in North Yemen and have attempted to sideline Hirak forces in South Yemen attempting to restore the independence of South Yemen from the failed unitary state of Yemen. Brennan, wrongly believes that Yemen can continue to exist as a single state if he and his friends in Riyadh and Doha continue to back the Yemeni president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who fled Sana'a and believes he can rule from Aden, a city where southern independence restorationists rule the day. Meanwhile, ISIL guerrillas are using Libya to conduct terrorist attacks in neighboring Tunisia with the tacit support of the Saudis, Qataris, and Libyan rebels factions financed by Langley.
However, it is not just in the Middle East and North Africa where "Jihadi John" Brennan is providing material, propaganda, and material support to ISIL. Brennan, by backing an attempted coup d'etat resulting from a George Soros-initiated "themed revolution" in Macedonia, has unleashed Islamist forces that intend to spread their brand of violence throughout the Balkans and, indeed, like the Ottoman Turks before them, to the very gates of Vienna.
The intelligence services of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, which are seconded by Western mercenaries, have been active in Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, and other states of the former Yugoslavia stoking up turmoil among the Albanian population. This has included overseeing their migration from the financially-failed "independent" state of Kosovo to Serbia's Vojvodina province, Serbia itself, and Macedonia where they arrive with Serbian passports issued before Kosovo's independence in 2008, Kosovo passports, or altered Serbian passports stolen from the government in Belgrade. The CIA operations to salt Albanian "jihadists" throughout the Balkans has the quiet support of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, who is able to rely on elements within the Serbian intelligence service (Bezbednoso Informativna Agencija) and Blackwater founder Erik Prince, who now runs his Reflex Responses (R2) mercenary operations from Abu Dhabi, to support the outflow of Albanians from Kosovo to neighboring countries. Brennan is also using the U.S. military base at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo to provide CIA logistical support for renewed insurgency operations of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) in Macedonia and the predominantly Muslim Sandjak province of Serbia.
In 2001, seventeen U.S. mercenaries working for the firm Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI) assisted Albanian National Liberation Army (NLA) guerrillas in Macedonia in fighting against Macedonian security forces in the Battle of Aricinovo. NATO forces eventually evacuated the MPRI personnel along with their NLA allies. The NLA is an ally of the UCK, the former head of which, Hashim Thaci, was the prime minister and is now the foreign minister of Kosovo. At the time of MPRI's actions in Macedonia, the U.S. State Department concluded there were some 6000 Al Qaeda members and sympathizers, including many members of the UCK and NLA, active in Macedonia.
Brennan touted Wahhabist line on Iran and Yemen on Fox News Sunday. Is he, as a former FBI agent revealed, a traitor to the United States? All indications say "yes."
MPRI was under contract to the State Department to "train and equip" the Macedonian army. However, MPRI's point man in Macedonia, retired U.S. Army general Richard Griffiths was discovered to have passed on to UCK and NLA guerrillas classified information on what the Macedonian government knew about their activities that he obtained from Macedonian armed forces chief of the staff General Jovan Andrejevski. In reaction, Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, a member of the VMRO-DPMNE, Gruevksi's party, canceled the MPRI contract. Trajkovski was killed in a suspicious plane crash on February 26, 2004, near Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Reports at the time statedthat a suspected blast occurred on board shortly before the crashed Macedonian presidential plane was lost from radar screens.
On July 10, 2009, WMR reported that a suspicious Israeli "art student"cased the offices of an investigator of the plane crash. WMR reported"an independent firm hired to investigate the crash was not able to conduct its investigation because its private investigator received death threats if he went to the Balkans to conduct his probe. In addition, a young Israeli male 'art student' showed up selling art sketches at the U.S. offices of the investigation firm. The Israeli arrogantly entered three office rooms in the facility without invitation. When asked by office workers what he was doing, he abruptly left. No other offices in the vicinity received a visit from the art student. It was later discovered that the office's surveillance camera had been disabled by an intruder."
Many Macedonian officials were opposed to allowing the United States to investigate the crash of the Beechcraft King Air 200 and there was confusion about who had access to the two "black boxes" on board Trajkovski's plane. NATO troops stationed in Bosnia were the first to arrive at the crash scene.
After the crash, U.S. ambassador to Macedonia Lawrence Butler quickly met with Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski, who is seen as the hidden hand behind the recent attempt to stage a coup against Gruevski. Crvenkovski is one of Soros's chief agents of influence in Macedonia, along with Zaev.
Doha-based Al Jazeera, which reflects not only the Muslim Brotherhood attitudes of Qatar's royal family but also the MI-6 views of the network's former British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Arabic Service staff, has been advancing the notion that Macedonia's government was caught spying on 20,000 Macedonian citizens, including the opposition. This is not the first time that Al Jazeera has been discovered echoing the CIA's propaganda line -- they have also done so in their coverage of Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Egypt.
Al Jazeera and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and National Endowment for Democracy propagandists have worked with Soros-financed news organizations in Macedonia to advance the anti-government agenda. These Soros organizations include the daily newspapers "Morning," "Free Press," and "West," as well as Plusinfo, A1On, Libertas, Mactan, Policy Analysis, News, Evidence, Centarnjuz, Time, New TV, Pane, and Focus.
The Macedonian government continues to reel from an attempt by the U.S.- and Soros-backed Social Democratic opposition to implicate the VMRO-DPMNE government in a major wiretapping scandal. It turns out that intercepted communications of key Macedonian government officials, including the prime minister and interior minister, were provided to the Macedonian opposition by a "foreign intelligence service," later discovered to be the CIA. The wiretapped conversations were said to have contained "proof" of criminal activity on the part of Gruevski and his senior government ministers and advisers.
This entire operation, was, in fact, part of an attempt to oust Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski who has supported Russia's Balkan Stream pipeline from Russia and Turkey to Hungary and Austria. So far, the Gruevski government has withstood the attempts by Social Democratic opposition leader Zoran Zaev to stir up the large Albanian minority in Macedonia and their political leaders, most of whom remain supportive of Gruevski's government. However, a crucial date is approaching, April 12, the third anniversary of the massacre of five Macedonian men who were fishing on Lake Zhelezarsko, near the Macedonian capital of Skopje.
It is believed that the murders of the Macedonian men were carried out by UCK/NLA to stoke calls for a "Greater Albania" that would include majority Albanian districts of Macedonia. For eastern Orthodox Macedonians, April 12 carries with it the specter of rising Albanian nationalism. Brennan's CIA sees the Albanians in Macedonia as a valuable "Fifth Column" to bring down the present government in Skopje and ensure that the Russian Balkan Stream pipeline is dead-on-arrival. UCK/NLA propagandists have issued several warnings to Skopje, including a warning to "the pro-Serbian government of Nikola Gruevski that it must withdraw from the occupied Albanian territories, otherwise there will be attacks on the Slav-Macedonian police and military structures."
UCK/NLA guerrillas use the Albanian village of Tanusevci, located in Macedonia near the Kosovo border, as a center for their destabilization operations directed against the government in Skopje. One of the UCK's top commanders, Xhavit Hasani, hails from Tanusevci. The village is a center for UCK/NLA-run drug, weapons, and cigarette smuggling.
According to former FBI agent John Guandolo, the Jesuit-educated Brennan secretly converted to Wahhabi Islam while he served as CIA station chief in Riyadh in the 1990s. In February 2013, Guandolo stated, "Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on the behalf of the United States in Saudi Arabia." Guandolo also said
Brennan's life "was interwoven with individuals that were labeled as terrorists" and that Brennan has spoken in positive terms of "jihad" or Islamic holy war. While Guandolo represents an extreme right-wing and anti-Barack Obama point of view, his message about Brennan's commitment to radical Islam appears to carry weight in view of the CIA director's direct support for ISIL in Yemen and Libya and its would-be allies in the Balkans. Guandolo has called Brennan a traitor. Based on our view of Brennan's activities, WMR would have to agree.
WMR Mystery U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia raises suspicions
June 20, 2007 -- Mystery U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia raises suspicions
WMR has been told by informed sources that there is plenty of suspicions concerning the Bush administration's new ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ford M. Fraker.
As the BAE Systems bribery scandal continues to circle around top Saudi officials, including the last two Saudi ambassadors to Washington, Princes Bandar and Turki bin Faisal, the Tony Blair government, and possibly, Bush administration officials aware of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations by BAE Systems, a major Pentagon contractor but failing to take action, the selection of Fraker, who has spent much of his career in London, the focal point of the BAE scandal, has taken on greater significance.
There is a widespread suspicion in the U.S. State Department and intelligence community that Fraker, a fluent Arabic speaker, is in Riyadh as a "clean up man" to stifle an expanding investigation of BAE and its "payments" to Saudi officials and also possibly to assist in covering up Saudi financing of terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda.
Saudi Arabia's new ambassador in Washington is the suave Adel Al Jubeir, the Saudi embassy's information officr during the time of the 9/11 attacks.
Fraker was confirmed by a compliant and unquestioning Democratic U.S. Senate on March 29, 2007, and sworn in as ambassador on April 11, 2007. Fraker had been serving as the Chairman of Trinity Group, Ltd., a private investment banking firm in London. From 1972 to 1979, Fraker served as a representative for Chemical Bank in the Middle East, specifically, in Lebanon, and the then-newly independent United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Bush's new ambassador to Saudi Arabia once worked for -- Saudi Arabia. Conflict of interests? Not for Team Bush.
From 1979 to 1991, Fraker worked for the London-based Saudi Investment Bank (SIB), a J P Moran affiliate, and eventually was promoted to the bank's Management Committee. This was at the same time that Saudi Arabia was providing funding for the Afghan Mujaheddin, most notably the unit led by Saudi citizen Osama Bin Laden, which later became known as "Al Qaeda."
In 1991, Fraker founded Fraker & Co. and in 1993, he joined MeesPierson Investment Finance as Managing Director. MeesPierson is also headquartered in London. Fraker also served as Managing Director of Flagship Ventures, a Cambridge, Massachusetts investment firm and a consultant for Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation in Boston. The firm is referred to as "International Real Estate Corporation" on the web site of the U.S. embassy in Riyadh. One of the firm's advisory board members is Rana el-Essa, the Assistant Deputy Director for Investment Accounting & Treasury at the Kuwait Fund for Arabic Development. Another is Thomas P. O'Neill III, former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts and son of the late House Speaker "Tip" O'Neill.
Informed Saudi sources report that Saudi Arabia's official policy banning alcohol pursuant to the strict Wahhabi Muslim policies of the government and clergy has a major caveat. If you wish to have alcohol delivered to your home in Saudi Arabia for domestic consumption, you can do so. Special import routes and distribution networks exist to deliver the alcohol but at a tremendous markup. For example, a liter of Scotch whisky costs $150. And who benefits from this monopoly? The group that handles it exclusively -- members of the ruling House of Saud.
The House of Saud + Johnnie Walker = $150 per liter, home delivered Scotch in Riyadh and Jeddah.
So it appears that the Sauds have created a religious predicate for their prohibitionist policy in order to ensure their market supply, demand, and commodity profits. Al Capone could not come up with a better ruse.
NSA works with India, Saudi Arabia, Japan to install new SIGINT systems
Timely book on Saudi/CIA backing of Al Qaeda
"Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, alleged mastermind behind those events, had fought in Afghanistan (after studying in the United States) and then went on to the Bosnian war in 1992. In addition, two more of the September 11, 2001, hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar
WMR April 16-17, 2009 -- UPDATE 1X. Obama mulling disclosure of CIA torture documents while his terrorism adviser was involved with the torture policy
President Obama has placed himself in a particularly sticky situation with regard to his deciding whether to authorize the disclosure of Bush era Justice Department documents on the CIA's controversial interrogation tactics. Obama's deputy national security and chief counter-terrorism adviser is John O. Brennan who withdrew his name as a candidate for CIA director after questions were raised about his role in carrying out and crafting the CIA's interrogation and rendition policies after 9/11.
Brennan was the chief of staff to CIA Director George Tenet from 1999 to 2001 and was the chief of the CIA's National Counterterrorism Center from 2004 to 2005. In 2005, Brennan left the CIA to head The Analysis Corporation, owned by Global Strategies of London, and based in McLean, Virginia.
Obama is currently considering whether or not to release Justice Department memos from the Bush administration that detail the techniques used by the CIA to interrogate, many would describe the practices as torture, detainees following 9/11. The tactics include smashing a prisoner's head against the wall, as well as waterboarding. The CIA is known to oppose releasing details on their interrogation tactics that are contained in three Justice Department memos from 2005, the year that Brennan left the CIA's Counterterrorism Center.
A possible "red herring" has been floated that White House chief counsel Greg Craig and Attorney General Eric Holder are pushing for full disclosure of the memos but this may be window dressing to give the appearance that Obama considered all viewpoints but ultimately decided to heed his intelligence advisers, including Brennan, National Security Adviser Jim Jones, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, and CIA director Leon Panetta, and withhold the Justice memos on torture in total or in part.
But Obama may have another reason to fear alienating Brennan and his old colleagues at Langley. Brennan's firm, The Analysis Corporation, was one of two State Department contractors involved in the rifling of Obama's State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs passport file on March 14, 2008. Obama's file was also looked at by contractors on January 9 and February 21, 2008. There were some reports that Obama's file had been first examined by unauthorized parties as early as the summer of 2007.
The other contractor involved in the breach was Stanley Corporation of Arlington, Virginia. The Analysis Corporation admitted that one of its employees was involved in the passport file breach but stated: "This individual's actions were taken without the knowledge or direction of anyone at The Analysis Corp. and are wholly inconsistent with our professional and ethical standards."
Brennan was the head of The Analysis Corporation at the time of the passport file breach by one of its State Department employees. The file on Obama contained scans of passport applications, date and place of birth, passport renewal information, court orders, arrest warrants, information on parents and their marriages, including to foreign nationals as is Obama's case, and more interestingly, citizenship information.
Brennan happens to head up one of two companies identified in the perusal of Obama's passport file. Brennan is then considered by Obama for National Intelligence or CIA director but Brennan withdraws over his involvement in the Bush administration's torture policy. Then, Obama appoints Brennan deputy national security adviser holding the counter-terrorism portfolio. Brennan then leans on Obama to withhold significant portions of the Justice Department memos on the very policy Brennan helped to create and carry out.
Might have Brennan's employee at State discovered something of interest in Obama's passport file that would give Brennan effective veto authority over Obama on decisions affecting the CIA? Of course, blackmail has never been a tactic found in the CIA's ample bag of dirty tricks.
One interesting footnote: At the time of the passport file breach, Obama's spokesman Bill Burton, speaking for the Obama campaign, voiced the feeling that political dirty tricks were at play. If Obama felt that way, why did he then turn around and want to put in charge of the CIA or DNI the very person who headed the company that employed the person who had rifled through his passport file and the person who is now pressuring him to hold back on releasing Justice Department torture memos? More interesting, why was the head of The Analysis Corporation kept on as a chief campaign adviser to Obama while one of his employees was peering at the presidential candidate's passport file? Although Stanley fired its two employees who breached the passport files of Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain, The Analysis Corporation employee was conveniently suspended but retained pursuant to a special request from the State Department until a full investigation could be completed.
WMR March 6-8, 2015 -- ISIL's Chechen leadership pushing pan-Turania
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's (ISIL) Chechen military leadership has its own agenda apart from that of the takfiri jihadists who have joined ISIL's ranks to wage holy war on anyone who does not submit to the group's self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Under John Brennan, the Central Intelligence Agency has made common cause with ISIL's "Chechen Legion," as it is known, to provide not only military muscle for ISIL against the Syrian government of President Bashar al Assad but also to assist the mercenary battalions of Ukrainian-Israeli oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky against the Russian-speaking separatist governments of Lugansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.
The links between ISIL's Chechen Legion and Kolomoisky's Dzhokhar Dudayev Battalion are clear. The leader of the Dudayev Battalion, Adam Osmayev, was arrested by Ukrainian special forces in Odessa in February 2012 for trying to assassinate Vladimir Putin. Osmayev traveled to Ukraine from the United Arab Emirates and through Turkey on a bogus passport supplied by the CIA. Osmayev, who graduated from an elite English boarding school in the Cotswolds, was part of the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus army led by Chechen terrorist Doku Umarov, who is wanted by Russia for a series of deadly terrorist attacks in the country. Osmayev, who was jailed by the Ukrainian government for the attempted assassination of Putin, was released by the fascist-Zionist putschist regime in a deal said to be worked out between the Ukrainian SBU security service and the CIA. The quid pro quo was that Osmayev would rally Chechen exiles from Britain, Denmark, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar to fight against the Russian in eastern Ukraine and Assad in Syria.
The CIA's stations in Copenhagen, London, and Istanbul have been active in maintaining close liaison with the Chechen exile communities and their recruiting arms for battle in Ukraine, Syria, and Iraq.
Osmayev is now the number one suspect in hiring the contract assassins who killed Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow. The operation, which was known to Osmayev's CIA handlers, was to embarrass Putin and put further political pressure on him in the hopes that "regime change" would follow in Russia. With the evidence linking Nemtsov's assassination to Osmayev, Kiev, and the CIA, the plan has badly backfired on Langley. Even some congressional Republicans, including Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, are now questioning whether it is wise for the Pentagon to arm a Ukrainian army rife with mercenaries and terrorist elements like Osmayev's Chechen Legion and Dudayev Battalion.
Osmayev after his capture in Odessa in 2012 [left]. Osmayev's laptop contained footage of Putin's motorcade in Moscow [right].
Osmayev has stated that he wants to be the president of a future independent Chechnya. Herein lies the main reason why Osmayev and his Chechen Legion are receiving support from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. The Turks see the Chechen Legion as the vanguard for a future pan-Turanian empire encompassing not only Turkey but also Chechnya, Azerbaijan, the rest of the Caucasus, and stretching all the way to Chinese Turkestan. The Saudis and Qataris see the Chechens as a destabilization army that can help lead jihadist forces to overthrow the secular governments of the former Soviet republics of central Asia and open these countries up to Islamic regimes. In either case, Brennan has ordered the CIA to cooperate with the Chechen Legion and the Dudayev Battalion, whether they are found on the battlefields of the Donbass in eastern Ukraine or leading jihadist recruits in Syria and Iraq.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and other neo-conservatives inside the Obama administration tacitly support Saudi and Turkish assistance to ISIL to prevent Iran's armed forces from assisting the Iraqi Shi'a-dominated government from seizing Iraqi territory currently held by Iraq. The Iraqi government has discovered British aircraft delivering weapons to ISIL guerrillas in the country, the U.S. airdropping weapons to ISIL in Anbar province and Iraqi Kurdistan, and Israeli Defense Force commandos providing weapons to ISIL in western Iraq. Turkey and Israel have also directly provided ISIL weapons in Syria. Iran's armed forces, along with Iraqi forces, are currently battling ISIL for control of Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein. Although the Obama administration claims it is supporting Baghdad against ISIL, the CIA is providing weapons and assistance to the group through the Chechen Legionnaires.
Recently, a leader of the Chechen militant cell in Istanbul, Kaim Saduev, died after eating some wild garlic sent from Chechnya. The Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH), the same group that sponsored the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla to Gaza that was attacked by Israeli forces, claims that the Russian security service carried out the hit on Saduev just as it claimed that the Russians assassinated Medet Unlu, the honorary counsel in Ankara of the "Chechen Republic of Ichkeria," the self-proclaimed Chechen independent state, in May 2012. There is also evidence that the CIA has facilitated the recruitment in Istanbul of Uzbeks, Ingush, and Tatars for the Chechen Legion. At any rate, Istanbul has not only become a chief recruitment center for the Chechen Legion but it has also served as a way station for jihadist recruits on their way to join ISIL, Al Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra, Khorasan Group, and "Free Syrian Army" ranks in Syria and Iraq.
The Chechen Legion is also active in fomenting dissent in Russia's Dagestan republic, which neighbors Chechnya. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing along with his brother Dzokhar Tsarnaev (named after the first Chechen Republic president, Dzhokhar Dudayev for whom the Dudayev Battalion is also named), served as a liaison between CIA fronts like the Caucasus Fund of Georgia and Dagestan radical imam Abu Dudzhan, killed in a fight with Russian security in 2012. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with Boston police after the marathon bombing and his brother is currently on trial for the attack.
Chinese intelligence is also aware that Chechen Legionnaires have been meeting with exiled Uighurs from Chinese Turkestan in Istanbul and Ankara. The Chinese have worked with the Russians to identify the Chechen support networks for the Uighurs and the CIA's fingerprints on the operations.
A 1941 Turkish map of pan-Turania. The current Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan is supporting the Chechen Legion that currently directs ISIL's military operations in Syria and Iraq.
Although neo-Nazis from Sweden, Poland, and Germany have volunteered to fight for the Kiev regime as part of Kolomoisky's Azov Battalion, Spanish volunteers who have joined the Russian-speaking rebels in Donbass have been arrested by the Spanish authorities. The Spanish volunteers for the Donbass have made common cause with the Donbass separatists because the Chechen Legionnaires and their Turkish pan-Turanian interlocutors have targeted Spain's Andalusia province as a future part of a restored pan-Turkic state which will include lands formerly held by Muslim conquerors, including southern Spain. Greek volunteers have joined the Donbass forces for the same reason: the Chechens spearhead a force that intends to subjugate a large portion of Greece under a pan-Turkic Muslim state.
ISIL and Kiev are twin products of Brennan's CIA and, once again, Langley has shown its ability to work against the interests of the American people in far-flung parts of the world.
|Mondoweiss How Zionism helped create the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia|
In late 2014, according to the American journal, “Foreign Affairs”, the Saudi petroleum Minister, Ali al-Naimi is reported to have said “His Majesty King Abdullah has always been a model for good relations between Saudi Arabia and other states and the Jewish state is no exception.” Recently, Abdullah’s successor, King Salman expressed similar concerns to those of Israel’s to the growing agreement between the United States and Iran over the latter’s nuclear programme. This led some to report that Israel and KSA presented a “united front” in their opposition to the nuclear deal. This was not the first time the Zionists and Saudis have found themselves in the same corner in dealing with a perceived common foe. In North Yemen in the 1960’s, the Saudis were financing a British imperialist led mercenary army campaign against revolutionary republicans who had assumed authority after overthrowing the authoritarian, Imam. Gamal Abdul-Nasser’s Egypt militarily backed the republicans, while the British induced the Saudis to finance and arm the remaining remnants of the Imam’s supporters. Furthermore, the British organised the Israelis to drop arms for the British proxies in North Yemen, 14 times. The British, in effect, militarily but covertly, brought the Zionists and Saudis together in 1960’s North Yemen against their common foe.
However, one must go back to the 1920’s to fully appreciate the origins of this informal and indirect alliance between Saudi Arabia and the Zionist entity. The defeat of the Ottoman Empire by British imperialism in World War One, left three distinct authorities in the Arabian peninsula: Sharif of Hijaz: Hussain bin Ali of Hijaz (in the west), Ibn Rashid of Ha’il (in the north) and Emir Ibn Saud of Najd (in the east) and his religiously fanatical followers, the Wahhabis.
Ibn Saud had entered the war early in January 1915 on the side of the British, but was quickly defeated and his British handler, William Shakespear was killed by the Ottoman Empire’s ally Ibn Rashid. This defeat greatly hampered Ibn Saud’s utility to the Empire and left him militarily hamstrung for a year. The Sharif contributed the most to the Ottoman Empire’s defeat by switching allegiances and leading the so-called ‘Arab Revolt’ in June 1916 which removed the Turkish presence from Arabia. He was convinced to totally alter his position because the British had strongly led him to believe, via correspondence with Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, that a unified Arab country from Gaza to the Persian Gulf will be established with the defeat of the Turks. The letters exchanged between Sharif Hussain and Henry McMahon are known as the McMahon-Hussain Correspondence.
Understandably, the Sharif as soon as the war ended wanted to hold the British to their war time promises, or what he perceived to be their war time promises, as expressed in the aforementioned correspondence. The British, on the other hand, wanted the Sharif to accept the Empire’s new reality which was a division of the Arab world between them and the French (Sykes-Picot agreement) and the implementation of the Balfour Declaration, which guaranteed ‘a national for the Jewish people’ in Palestine by colonisation with European Jews. This new reality was contained in the British written, Anglo-Hijaz Treaty, which the Sharif was profoundly averse to signing. After all, the revolt of 1916 against the Turks was dubbed the ‘Arab Revolt’ not the ‘Hijazi Revolt’.
Actually, the Sharif let it be known that he will never sell out Palestine to the Empire’s Balfour Declaration; he will never acquiescence to the establishment of Zionism in Palestine or accept the new random borders drawn across Arabia by British and French imperialists. For their part the British began referring to him as an ‘obstructionist’, a ‘nuisance’ and of having a ‘recalcitrant’ attitude.
The British let it be known to the Sharif that they were prepared to take drastic measures to bring about his approval of the new reality regardless of the service that he had rendered them during the War. After the Cairo Conference in March 1921, where the new Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill met with all the British operatives in the Middle East, T.E. Lawrence (i.e. of Arabia) was dispatched to meet the Sharif to bribe and bully him to accept Britain’s Zionist colonial project in Palestine. Initially, Lawrence and the Empire offered 80,000 rupees. The Sharif rejected it outright. Lawrence then offered him an annual payment of £100,000. The Sharif refused to compromise and sell Palestine to British Zionism.
When financial bribery failed to persuade the Sharif, Lawrence threatened him with an Ibn Saud takeover. Lawrence claimed that “politically and militarily, the survival of Hijaz as a viable independent Hashemite kingdom was wholly dependent on the political will of Britain, who had the means to protect and maintain his rule in the region.”  In between negotiating with the Sharif, Lawrence made the time to visit other leaders in the Arabian peninsula and informed them that they if they don’t tow the British line and avoid entering into an alliance with the Sharif, the Empire will unleash Ibn Saud and his Wahhabis who after all is at Britain’s ‘beck and call’.
Simultaneously, after the Conference, Churchill travelled to Jerusalem and met with the Sharif’s son, Abdullah, who had been made the ruler, “Emir”, of a new territory called “Transjordan.” Churchill informed Abdullah that he should persuade “his father to accept the Palestine mandate and sign a treaty to such effect,” if not “the British would unleash Ibn Saud against Hijaz.” In the meantime the British were planning to unleash Ibn Saud on the ruler of Ha’il, Ibn Rashid.
Ibn Rashid had rejected all overtures from the British Empire made to him via Ibn Saud, to be another of its puppets. More so, Ibn Rashid expanded his territory north to the new mandated Palestinian border as well as to the borders of Iraq in the summer of 1920. The British became concerned that an alliance maybe brewing between Ibn Rashid who controlled the northern part of the peninsula and the Sharif who controlled the western part. More so, the Empire wanted the land routes between the Palestinian ports on the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf under the rule of a friendly party. At the Cairo Conference, Churchill agreed with an imperial officer, Sir Percy Cox that “Ibn Saud should be ‘given the opportunity to occupy Hail.’” By the end of 1920, the British were showering Ibn Saud with “a monthly ‘grant’ of £10,000 in gold, on top of his monthly subsidy. He also received abundant arms supplies, totalling more than 10,000 rifles, in addition to the critical siege and four field guns” with British-Indian instructors. Finally, in September 1921, the British unleashed Ibn Saud on Ha’il which officially surrendered in November 1921. It was after this victory the British bestowed a new title on Ibn Saud. He was no longer to be “Emir of Najd and Chief of its Tribes” but “Sultan of Najd and its Dependencies”. Ha’il had dissolved into a dependency of the Empire’s Sultan of Najd.
If the Empire thought that the Sharif, with Ibn Saud now on his border and armed to the teeth by the British, would finally become more amenable to the division of Arabia and the British Zionist colonial project in Palestine they were short lived. A new round of talks between Abdulla’s son, acting on behalf of his father in Transjordan and the Empire resulted in a draft treaty accepting Zionism. When it was delivered to the Sharif with an accompanying letter from his son requesting that he “accept reality”, he didn’t even bother to read the treaty and instead composed a draft treaty himself rejecting the new divisions of Arabia as well as the Balfour Declaration and sent it to London to be ratified!
Ever since 1919 the British had gradually decreased Hussain’s subsidy to the extent that by the early 1920’s they had suspended it, while at the same time continued subsidising Ibn Saud right through the early 1920’s. After a further three rounds of negotiations in Amman and London, it dawned on the Empire that Hussain will never relinquish Palestine to Great Britain’s Zionist project or accept the new divisions in Arab lands.In March 1923, the British informed Ibn Saud that it will cease his subsidy but not without awarding him an advance ‘grant’ of £50,000 upfront, which amounted to a year’s subsidy.
In March 1924, a year after the British awarded the ‘grant’ to Ibn Saud, the Empire announced that it had terminated all discussions with Sharif Hussain to reach an agreement. Within weeks the forces of Ibn Saud and his Wahhabi followers began to administer what the British foreign secretary, Lord Curzon called the “final kick” to Sharif Hussain and attacked Hijazi territory. By September 1924, Ibn Saud had overrun the summer capital of Sharif Hussain, Ta’if. The Empire then wrote to Sharif’s sons, who had been awarded kingdoms in Iraq and Transjordan not to provide any assistance to their besieged father or in diplomatic terms they were informed “to give no countenance to interference in the Hedjaz”. In Ta’if, Ibn Saud’s Wahhabis committed their customary massacres, slaughtering women and children as well as going into mosques and killing traditional Islamic scholars. They captured the holiest place in Islam, Mecca, in mid-October 1924. Sharif Hussain was forced to abdicate and went to exile to the Hijazi port of Akaba. He was replaced as monarch by his son Ali who made Jeddah his governmental base. As Ibn Saud moved to lay siege to the rest of Hijaz, the British found the time to begin incorporating the northern Hijazi port of Akaba into Transjordan. Fearing that Sharif Hussain may use Akaba as a base to rally Arabs against the Empire’s Ibn Saud, the Empire let it be known that in no uncertain terms that he must leave Akaba or Ibn Saud will attack the port. For his part, Sharif Hussain responded that he had,
“never acknowledged the mandates on Arab countries and still protest against the British Government which has made Palestine a national home for the Jews.”
Sharif Hussain was forced out of Akaba, a port he had liberated from the Ottoman Empire during the ‘Arab Revolt’, on the 18th June 1925 on HMS Cornflower.
Ibn Saud had begun his siege of Jeddah in January 1925 and the city finally surrendered in December 1925 bringing to an end over 1000 years of rule by the Prophet Muhammad’s descendants. The British officially recognised Ibn Saud as the new King of Hijaz in February 1926 with other European powers following suit within weeks. The new unified Wahhabi state was rebranded by the Empire in 1932 as the “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” (KSA). A certain George Rendel, an officer working at the Middle East desk at the Foreign Office in London, claimed credit for the new name.
On the propaganda level, the British served the Wahhabi takeover of Hijaz on three fronts. Firstly, they portrayed and argued that Ibn Saud’s invasion of Hijaz was motivated by religious fanaticism rather than by British imperialism’s geo-political considerations. This deception is propounded to this day, most recently in Adam Curtis’s acclaimed BBC “Bitter Lake” documentary, whereby he states that the “fierce intolerant vision of wahhabism” drove the “beduins” to create Saudi Arabia. Secondly, the British portrayed Ibn Saud’s Wahhabi fanatics as a benign and misunderstood force who only wanted to bring Islam back to its purest form. To this day, these Islamist jihadis are portrayed in the most benign manner when their armed insurrections is supported by Britain and the West such as 1980’s Afghanistan or in today’s Syria, where they are referred to in the western media as “moderate rebels.” Thirdly, British historians portray Ibn Saud as an independent force and not as a British instrument used to horn away anyone perceived to be surplus to imperial requirements. For example, Professor Eugene Rogan’s recent study on the history on Arabs claims that “Ibn Saud had no interest in fighting” the Ottoman Empire. This is far from accurate as Ibn Saud joined the war in 1915. He further disingenuously claims that Ibn Saud was only interested in advancing “his own objectives” which fortuitously always dovetailed with those of the British Empire.
In conclusion, one of the most overlooked aspects of the Balfour Declaration is the British Empire’s commitment to “use their best endeavours to facilitate” the creation of “a national home for the Jewish people”. Obviously, many nations in the world today were created by the Empire but what makes Saudi Arabia’s borders distinctive is that its northern and north-eastern borders are the product of the Empire facilitating the creation of Israel. At the very least the dissolution of the two Arab sheikhdoms of Ha’il and Hijaz by Ibn Saud’s Wahhabis is based in their leaders’ rejection to facilitate the British Empire’s Zionist project in Palestine.
Therefore, it is very clear that the British Empire’s drive to impose Zionism in Palestine is embedded in the geographical DNA of contemporary Saudi Arabia. There is further irony in the fact that the two holiest sites in Islam are today governed by the Saudi clan and Wahhabi teachings because the Empire was laying the foundations for Zionism in Palestine in the 1920s. Contemporaneously, it is no surprise that both Israel and Saudi Arabia are keen in militarily intervening on the side of “moderate rebels” i.e. jihadis, in the current war on Syria, a country which covertly and overtly rejects the Zionist colonisation of Palestine.
As the United States, the ‘successor’ to the British Empire in defending western interests in the Middle East, is perceived to be growing more hesitant in engaging militarily in the Middle East, there is an inevitability that the two nations rooted in the Empire’s Balfour Declaration, Israel and Saudi Arabia, would develop a more overt alliance to defend their common interests.
 Gary Troeller, “The Birth of Saudi Arabia” (London: Frank Cass, 1976) pg.91.
 Askar H. al-Enazy, “ The Creation of Saudi Arabia: Ibn Saud and British Imperial Policy, 1914-1927” (London: Routledge, 2010), pg. 105-106.
 ibid., pg. 109.
 ibid., pg.111.
 ibid., pg 107.
 ibid., pg. 45-46 and pg.101-102.
 ibid., pg.104.
 ibid., pg. 113.
 ibid., pg.110 and Troeller, op. cit., pg.166.
 al-Enazy op cit., pg.112-125.
 al-Enazy, op. cit., pg.120.
 ibid., pg.129.
 ibid., pg. 106 and Troeller op. cit., 152.
 al-Enazy, op. cit., pg. 136 and Troeller op. cit., pg.219.
 David Howarth, “The Desert King: The Life of Ibn Saud” (London: Quartet Books, 1980), pg. 133 and Randall Baker, “King Husain and the Kingdom of Hejaz” (Cambridge: The Oleander Press, 1979), pg.201-202.
 Quoted in al-Enazy op. cit., pg. 144.
 ibid., pg. 138 and Troeller op. cit., pg. 216.
In the original full length BBC iPlayer version this segment begins towards the end at 2 hrs 12 minutes 24 seconds.
 al-Enazy op. cit., pg. 153.
 Eugene Rogan, “The Arabs: A History”, (London: Penguin Books, 2009), pg.220.
- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/zionism-kingdom-arabia/#sthash.gzSbyXop.dpuf
|The Kingdom and the Towers
Was there a foreign government behind the 9/11 attacks? A decade later, Americans still haven’t been given the whole story, while a key 28-page section of Congress’s Joint Inquiry report remains censored. Gathering years of leaks and leads, in an adaptation from their new book, Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan examine the connections between Saudi Arabia and the hijackers (15 of whom were Saudi), the Bush White House’s decision to ignore or bury evidence, and the frustration of lead investigators—including 9/11-commission staffers, counterterrorism officials, and senators on both sides of the aisle.
By Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan
TROUBLING LINKS From left: King Abdullah, Prince Naif, Osama bin Laden, Prince Bandar, and Prince Turki—Saudis all, as were 15 of the 19 hijackers of 9/11. Large photograph by Allan Tannenbaum/Polaris; bottom, from left, by Ludovic/REA/Redux, by Li Zhen/Xinhua/Landov, from Getty Images, by Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images, by Hasan Jamali/A.P. Images.
Adapted from The Eleventh Day by Anthony Summers and Robynn Swan to be published this month by Ballantine Books; © 2011 by the authors.
For 10 years now, a major question about 9/11 has remained unresolved. It was, as 9/11-commission chairmen Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton recalled, “Had the hijackers received any support from foreign governments?” There was information that pointed to the answer, but the commissioners apparently deemed it too disquieting to share in full with the public.
The idea that al-Qaeda had not acted alone was there from the start. “The terrorists do not function in a vacuum,” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters the week after 9/11. “I know a lot, and what I have said, as clearly as I know how, is that states are supporting these people.” Pressed to elaborate, Rumsfeld was silent for a long moment. Then, saying it was a sensitive matter, he changed the subject.
Three years later, the commission would consider whether any of three foreign countries in particular might have had a role in the attacks. Two were avowed foes of the United States: Iraq and Iran. The third had long been billed as a close friend: Saudi Arabia.
• The Bushes and the Saudis (Craig Unger, October 2003)
• An oral history of Osama bin Laden (Peter Bergen, January 2006)
• Inside bin Laden’s terror operation (Peter Bergen, December 2001)
• How bin Laden lost (Peter Bergen, January 2011)
In its report, the commission stated that it had seen no “evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al-Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.”
Iran, the commission found, had long had contacts with al-Qaeda and had allowed its operatives—including a number of the future hijackers—to travel freely through its airports. Though there was no evidence that Iran “was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack,” the commissioners called on the government to investigate further.
This year, in late May, attorneys for bereaved 9/11 family members said there was revealing new testimony from three Iranian defectors. Former senior commission counsel Dietrich Snell was quoted as saying in an affidavit that there was now “convincing evidence the government of Iran provided material support to al-Qaeda in the planning and execution of the 9/11 attack.” That evidence, however, has yet to surface.
As for Saudi Arabia, America’s purported friend, you would have thought from the reaction of the Saudi ambassador, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, that the commission had found nothing dubious in his country’s role. “The clear statements by this independent, bipartisan commission,” he declared, “have debunked the myths that have cast fear and doubt over Saudi Arabia.” Yet no finding in the report categorically exonerated Saudi Arabia.
The commission’s decision as to what to say on the subject had been made amid discord and tension. Late one night in 2004, as last-minute changes to the report were being made, investigators who had worked on the Saudi angle received alarming news. Their team leader, Dietrich Snell, was at the office, closeted with executive director Philip Zelikow, making major changes to their material and removing key elements.
The investigators, Michael Jacobson and Rajesh De, hurried to the office to confront Snell. With lawyerly caution, he said he thought there was insufficient substance to their case against the Saudis. They considered the possibility of resigning, then settled for a compromise. Much of the telling information they had collected would survive in the report, but only in tiny print, hidden in the endnotes.
The commissioners did say in the body of the report that the long official friendship of the United States and Saudi Arabia could not be unconditional. The relationship had to be about more than oil, had to include—and this in bold type—“a commitment to fight the violent extremists who foment hatred.”
It had been far from clear, and for the longest time, that the Saudis were thus committed. More than seven years before 9/11, the first secretary at the Saudi mission to the United Nations, Mohammed al-Khilewi, had defected to the United States, bringing with him thousands of pages of documents that, he said, showed the regime’s corruption, abuse of human rights, and support for terrorism. At the same time, he addressed a letter to then crown prince Abdullah, calling for “a move towards democracy.” The Saudi royals, Khilewi said, responded by threatening his life. The U.S. government, for its part, offered him little protection. F.B.I. officials, moreover, declined to accept the documents the defecting diplomat had brought with him.
In support of his claim that Saudi Arabia supported terrorism, Khilewi spoke of an episode relevant to the first, 1993, attempt to bring down the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers. “A Saudi citizen carrying a Saudi diplomatic passport,” he said, “gave money to Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind behind the World Trade Center bombing,” when the al-Qaeda terrorist was in the Philippines. The Saudi relationship with Yousef, the defector claimed, “is secret and goes through Saudi intelligence.”
The reference to a Saudi citizen having funded Yousef closely fit the part played by Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law Jamal Khalifa. He was active in the Philippines, fronted as a charity organizer at the relevant time, and founded a charity that gave money to Yousef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the chief al-Qaeda planner of 9/11, during the initial plotting to destroy U.S. airliners.
When Khalifa returned to Saudi Arabia, in 1995—following detention in the United States and subsequent acquittal on terrorism charges in Jordan—he was, according to C.I.A. bin Laden chief Michael Scheuer, met by a limousine and a welcome home from “a high-ranking official.” A Philippine newspaper would suggest that the official had been Prince Sultan, then a deputy prime minister and minister of defense and aviation, today the heir to the Saudi throne.
In June 1996, according to published reports, while in Paris for the biennial international weapons bazaar, a group including a Saudi prince and Saudi financiers gathered at the Royal Monceau hotel, near the Saudi Embassy. The subject was bin Laden and what to do about him. After two recent bombings of American targets in Saudi Arabia, one of them just that month, the fear was that the Saudi elite itself would soon be targeted. At the meeting at the Monceau, French intelligence reportedly learned, it was decided that bin Laden was to be kept at bay by payment of huge sums in protection money.
In sworn statements after 9/11, former Taliban intelligence chief Mohammed Khaksar said that in 1998 Prince Turki, chief of Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Department (G.I.D.), sealed a deal under which bin Laden agreed not to attack Saudi targets. In return, Saudi Arabia would provide funds and material assistance to the Taliban, not demand bin Laden’s extradition, and not bring pressure to close down al-Qaeda training camps. Saudi businesses, meanwhile, would ensure that money also flowed directly to bin Laden.
After 9/11, Prince Turki would deny that any such deal was done with bin Laden. Other Saudi royals, however, may have been involved in payoff arrangements. A former Clinton administration official has claimed—and U.S. intelligence sources concurred—that at least two Saudi princes had been paying, on behalf of the kingdom, what amounted to protection money since 1995. The former official added, “The deal was, they would turn a blind eye to what he was doing elsewhere. ‘You don’t conduct operations here, and we won’t disrupt them elsewhere.’ ”
American and British official sources, speaking later with Simon Henderson, Baker Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, named the two princes in question. They were, Henderson told the authors, Prince Naif, the interior minister, and Prince Sultan. The money involved in the alleged payments, according to Henderson’s sources, had amounted to “hundreds of millions of dollars.” It had been “Saudi official money—not their own.”
Before 9/11, American officials visiting Riyadh usually discovered that it was futile to ask the Saudis for help in fighting terrorism. George Tenet, who became C.I.A. director during Bill Clinton’s second term, vividly recalled an audience he was granted by Prince Naif, the crown prince’s brother. Naif, who oversaw domestic intelligence, began the exchange with “an interminable soliloquy recounting the history of the U.S.-Saudi ‘special’ relationship, including how the Saudis would never, ever keep security-related information from their U.S. allies.”
There came a moment when Tenet had had enough. Breaching royal etiquette, he placed his hand on the prince’s knee and said, “Your Royal Highness, what do you think it will look like if someday I have to tell the Washington Post that you held out data that might have helped us track down al-Qaeda murderers?” Naif’s reaction, Tenet thought, was what looked “like a prolonged state of shock.”
On a flight home from Saudi Arabia in the late 1990s, F.B.I. director Louis Freeh told counterterrorism chief John O’Neill that he thought the Saudi officials they had met during the trip had been helpful. “You’ve got to be kidding,” retorted O’Neill, a New Jersey native who never minced his words. “They didn’t give us anything. They were just shining sunshine up your ass.”
Several years later, in two long conversations with Jean-Charles Brisard, author of a study on terrorist financing for a French intelligence agency, O’Neill was still venting his frustration. “All the answers, all the clues that could enable us to dismantle Osama bin Laden’s organization,” he said, “are in Saudi Arabia.” The answers and the clues, however, remained out of reach, in part, O’Neill told Brisard, because U.S. dependence on Saudi oil meant that Saudi Arabia had “much more leverage on us than we have on the kingdom.” And, he added, because “high-ranking personalities and families in the Saudi kingdom” had close ties to bin Laden.
These conversations took place in June and late July of 2001.
At his residence outside Washington on the morning of September 11, Prince Bandar rushed out an embassy statement. The kingdom, it read, “condemned the regrettable and inhuman bombings and acts which took place today. . . . Saudi Arabia strongly condemns such acts, which contravene all religious values and human civilized concepts; and extends sincere condolences.”
Behind the political scenery, and on the festering subject of Israel, relations between Riyadh and Washington had recently become unprecedentedly shaky. Crown Prince Abdullah had long fumed about America’s apparent complacency over the plight of the Palestinians. That spring he had pointedly declined an invitation to the White House. Three weeks before 9/11, enraged by television footage of an Israeli soldier putting his boot on the head of a Palestinian woman, he had snapped. Bandar, the crown prince’s nephew, was told to deliver an uncompromising message to President Bush.
“I reject this extraordinary, un-American bias whereby the blood of an Israeli child is more expensive and holy than the blood of a Palestinian child. . . . A time comes when peoples and nations part. . . . Starting today, you go your way and we will go our way. From now on, we will protect our national interests, regardless of where America’s interests lie in the region.” There was more, much more, and it rocked the Bush administration. The president responded with a placatory letter that seemed to go far toward the Saudi position of endorsing the creation of a viable Palestinian state.
Then came the shattering events of Tuesday the 11th. In Riyadh within 24 hours—himself now in turn placatory—Abdullah pulled the lever that gave his nation its only real power, the economic sword it could draw or sheathe at will. He ordered that nine million barrels of oil be dispatched to the United States over the next two weeks. The certainty of supply had the effect, it is said, of averting what had otherwise been a possibility at that time—an oil shortage that would have pushed prices through the roof and caused, on top of the economic effects of the 9/11 calamity, a major financial crisis.
Into the mix, on Wednesday the 12th, came troubling news. In a phone call that night, a C.I.A. official told Ambassador Bandar that 15 of the hijackers had been Saudis. As Bandar recalled it, he felt the world collapsing around him. “That was a disaster,” Crown Prince Abdullah’s foreign-affairs adviser Adel al-Jubeir has said, “because bin Laden, at that moment, had made in the minds of Americans Saudi Arabia into an enemy.”
Royal and rich Saudis scrambled to get out of the United States and return home. Seventy-five royals and their entourage, ensconced at Caesars Palace hotel and casino in Las Vegas, decamped within hours of the attacks to the Four Seasons. They felt “extremely concerned for their personal safety,” they explained to the local F.B.I. field office, and bodyguards apparently deemed the Four Seasons more secure.
In Washington, Saudis who wished to leave included members of the bin Laden family. One of Osama’s brothers, never named publicly, had hastily called the Saudi Embassy wanting to know where he could best go to be safe. He was installed in a room at the Watergate Hotel and told to stay there until advised that transportation was available. Across the country, more than 20 bin Laden family members and staff were getting ready to leave.
In Lexington, Kentucky, the mecca of Thoroughbred racing in America, Prince Ahmed bin Salman, a nephew of King Fahd’s, had been attending the annual yearling sales. After the attacks, Ahmed quickly began to round up members of his family for a return to Saudi Arabia. He ordered his son and a couple of friends, who were in Florida, to charter a plane and get themselves to Lexington to connect with the plane he was taking home. They managed it, one of them told the security man hired for the flight, because “his father or his uncle was good friends with George Bush Sr.”
Late on the night of the 13th, Prince Bandar’s assistant called the F.B.I.’s assistant director for counterterrorism, Dale Watson. He needed help, the assistant said, in getting bin Laden “family members” out of the country. Watson said Saudi officials should call the White House or the State Department. The request found its way to counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke, who has acknowledged that he gave the go-ahead for the flights. He has said he has “no recollection” of having cleared it with anyone more senior in the administration.
An F.B.I. memo written two years after the exodus appears to acknowledge that some of the departing Saudis may have had information pertinent to the investigation. Asked on CNN the same year whether he could say unequivocally that no one on the evacuation flights had been involved in 9/11, Saudi Embassy information officer Nail al-Jubeir responded by saying he was sure of only two things, that “there is the existence of God, and then we will die at the end of the world. Everything else, we don’t know.”
Saudis in Denial
In spite of the fact that it had almost immediately become known that 15 of those implicated in the attacks had been Saudis, President George W. Bush did not hold Saudi Arabia’s official representative in Washington at arm’s length. As early as the evening of September 13, he kept a scheduled appointment to receive Prince Bandar at the White House. The two men had known each other for years. They reportedly greeted each other with a friendly embrace, smoked cigars on the Truman Balcony, and conversed with Vice President Dick Cheney and National-Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
There is a photograph of the meeting, which has been published in the past. This year, however, when the authors asked the George W. Bush presidential library for a copy, the library responded in an e-mail that the former president’s office was “not inclined to release the image from the balcony at this time.”
It would soon become evident that, far from confronting the Saudis, the Bush administration wanted rapprochement. The president would invite Crown Prince Abdullah to visit the United States, press him to come when he hesitated, and—when he accepted—welcome him to his Texas ranch in early 2002. Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice were there, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell and First Lady Laura Bush.
It seems that 9/11 barely came up during the discussions. Speaking with the press afterward, the president cut off one reporter when he began to raise the subject.
Official Saudi Arabia was tortoise-slow in acknowledging even the fact that almost all of the hijackers had been Saudi citizens. Two days after Bandar was given that information, his spokesman said the terrorists had probably used stolen identities.
“There is no proof or evidence,” claimed Sheikh Saleh al-Sheikh, minister of Islamic affairs, “that Saudis carried out these attacks.” Prince Sultan doubted whether only bin Laden and his followers were responsible, and hinted that “another power with advanced technical expertise” must have been behind 9/11. As of December 2001, Prince Naif was saying he still did not believe 15 hijackers had been Saudis.
Not until February 2002 did Naif acknowledge the truth. “The names we have got confirmed [it],” he then conceded. “Their families have been notified. . . . I believe they were taken advantage of in the name of religion, and regarding certain issues pertaining to the Arab nation, especially the issue of Palestine.”
Even after that admission, Sultan and Naif were not done. They began pointing to a familiar enemy. “It is enough to see a number of [U.S.] congressmen wearing Jewish yarmulkes,” Sultan said, “to explain the allegations against us.” In late 2002, Naif blamed the “Zionists,” saying, “We put big question marks and ask who committed the events of September 11 and who benefited from them I think [the Zionists] are behind these events.”
As the months passed, leading Saudis would suggest publicly that their nation had been entirely open with the United States on the security front all along—even claim that they had alerted Washington in advance to possible calamity.
A year after 9/11, Prince Turki expounded at length on the relationship the G.I.D. had had with the C.I.A. From about 1996, he wrote, “at the instruction of the senior Saudi leadership, I shared all the intelligence we had collected on bin Laden and al-Qaeda with the C.I.A. And in 1997 the Saudi minister of defense, Prince Sultan, established a joint intelligence committee with the United States to share information on terrorism in general and on bin Laden (and al-Qaeda) in particular.”
There was a core of truth to this. The G.I.D. and U.S. services had had a long, if uneasy, understanding on sharing intelligence. Other Saudi claims were far more startling.
Bandar had hinted right after 9/11 that both the U.S. and Saudi intelligence services had known more about the hijackers in advance than they were publicly admitting. In 2007, however, by which time he had risen to become national-security adviser to former crown prince—now king—Abdullah, Bandar produced a bombshell. “Saudi security,” he asserted, “had been actively following the movements of most of the terrorists with precision. . . . If U.S. security authorities had engaged their Saudi counterparts in a serious and credible manner, in my opinion, we would have avoided what happened.”
Though there was no official U.S. reaction to that claim, Michael Scheuer, the former chief of the C.I.A.’s bin Laden unit, later dismissed it in his book Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq as a “fabrication.”
Prince Turki had long since come out with an allegation similar to Bandar’s, but far more specific. He said that in late 1999 and early 2000—just before the first two future 9/11 hijackers reached the United States—his staff had informed the C.I.A. that both men were terrorists. “What we told them,” he said, “was these people were on our watch list from previous activities of al-Qaeda, in both the [East Africa] embassy bombings and attempts to smuggle arms into the Kingdom in 1997.”
C.I.A. spokesman Bill Harlow dismissed Turki’s claim as being supported by “not a shred of evidence.” Harlow said information on the two hijackers-to-be had been passed on only a month after the attacks. What the 9/11 commission thought of Turki’s assertion has not been made public. The National Archives told the authors that it was not permissible even to say whether commission files contain a record of an interview with the former head of the G.I.D. Information on the intelligence background to 9/11 apparently remains highly sensitive.
The Hijackers’ Helpers
Saudi Arabia long remained a black hole for American official investigators probing 9/11. They were not, for example, allowed access to the families of those believed to have carried out the attacks. “We’re getting zero cooperation,” former C.I.A. counterterrorism chief Vincent Cannistraro said a month after the attacks.
Within the United States, however, the probe proceeded intensively and over several years. And some of the most significant information gleaned, it turned out, concerned the same two terrorists to whom Prince Turki had alluded. They are said to have been handpicked by Osama bin Laden to be first to enter the United States, and they would eventually be part of the group that seized American Airlines flight 77, the plane used in the strike against the Pentagon.
They were Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, both Saudis, both experienced jihadis—holy warriors—though still in their mid-20s. They entered the country through Los Angeles International Airport as early as January 15, 2000, with scant knowledge of the English language and zero experience of life in the West. The 9/11-commission report declared it “unlikely” that the pair “would have come to the United States without arranging to receive assistance from one or more individuals informed in advance of their arrival.”
The investigation identified individuals who helped or may have helped Mihdhar and Hazmi following their arrival in California—whether by happenstance or because of foreknowledge.
An imam named Fahad al-Thumairy, an accredited diplomat appointed by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs to liaise with the huge nearby mosque, served at the time at the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles. According to one witness, Thumairy had at the relevant time arranged for two men—whom the witness first identified from photographs as having been the two terrorists—to be given a tour of the area by car.
A fellow Saudi, a San Diego resident named Omar al-Bayoumi, said by individuals interviewed to have had frequent contact with Thumairy, acknowledged that he met Mihdhar and Hazmi during a visit to Los Angeles on February 1, two weeks after their arrival.
According to a person interviewed by the F.B.I., Bayoumi said before the trip that he was going to “pick up visitors.” What is agreed by all is that he made the journey by car, accompanied by an American Muslim named Caysan bin Don. On the way, bin Don said, Bayoumi mentioned that he was accustomed to going to the consulate to obtain religious materials. They did stop at the consulate, where, according to bin Don, a man in a Western business suit, with a full beard, greeted Bayoumi and took him off to talk in an office. Bayoumi emerged some time later, carrying a box of Korans. He would describe the encounter differently, saying he was “uncertain” with whom he had met and “didn’t really know people in [the Saudi ministry of] Islamic Affairs.”
Both men agreed, however, that they proceeded to a restaurant and while there—this is the crucial moment in their story—met and talked with future hijackers Mihdhar and Hazmi, who had just arrived in the country. Bayoumi and bin Don were to tell the F.B.I. the encounter occurred merely by chance.
Bayoumi urged Mihdhar and Hazmi to come south to San Diego, assisted them in finding accommodations, and stayed in touch. On the day the two terrorists moved into the apartment they first used, next door to Bayoumi’s, there were four calls between his phone and that of the local imam, New Mexico-born Anwar Aulaqi—later to be characterized in the congressional report on 9/11 as having served as “spiritual adviser” to Mihdhar and Hazmi.
Bayoumi’s income, which was paid by Ercan, a subsidiary of a contractor for the Saudi Civil Aviation Administration—though, according to a fellow employee, he did no known work—reportedly increased hugely following the future hijackers’ arrival. Another Saudi living in San Diego, Osama Basnan, was also of interest to 9/11 investigators probing the money flow.
A three-page section of Congress’s Joint Inquiry report (the product of joint hearings on the 9/11 attacks by the House and Senate intelligence committees), containing more lines withheld than released, tells us only that Basnan was a close associate of Bayoumi in San Diego. According to former U.S. senator Bob Graham, co-chair of the inquiry, and to press reports, regular checks flowed in 2000 from Basnan to Bayoumi’s wife. The payments, ostensibly made to help cover medical treatment, had originated with the Saudi Embassy in Washington.
There are separate reasons to question the activity of Thumairy, Bayoumi, and Basnan. Thumairy, who had a reputation as a fundamentalist, was later refused re-entry into the United States—well after 9/11—on the ground that he “might be connected with terrorist activity.” Bayoumi had first attracted the interest of the F.B.I. years earlier, and the bureau later learned he had “connections to terrorist elements.” He left the country two months before the attacks.
As for Basnan, his name had come up in a counterterrorism inquiry a decade earlier. He had reportedly hosted a party for Omar Abdel Rahman—today notorious as the “Blind Sheikh,” serving life for his part in plotting to blow up the World Trade Center and other New York City landmarks in 1993—when he visited the United States, and had once claimed he did more for Islam than Bayoumi ever did. A partially censored commission document suggests that—after Mihdhar, Hazmi, and fellow future 9/11 terrorists arrived in the United States to learn to fly—a Basnan associate was in e-mail and phone contact with accused key 9/11 conspirator Ramzi Binalshibh. A year after 9/11, Basnan was arrested for visa fraud and deported.
Available information suggests that two of the trio were employed by or had links to the Saudi regime—Thumairy through his accreditation by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Bayoumi through his employment by the company linked to the Saudi Civil Aviation Authority. At least five people told the F.B.I. they considered Bayoumi to be some sort of government agent. The C.I.A., Bob Graham has said, thought Basnan was also an agent. Graham also cited an agency memo that referred to “incontrovertible evidence” of support for the terrorists within the Saudi government.
In 2003 and 2004, but only following a high-level request from the White House, 9/11-commission staff were able to make two visits to Saudi Arabia to interview Thumairy, Bayoumi, and Basnan.
The questioners, a recently released commission memo notes, believed Thumairy “was deceptive during both interviews. . . . His answers were either inconsistent or at times in direct conflict with information we have from other sources.” Most significantly, he denied knowing Bayoumi, let alone Mihdhar and Hazmi. Shown a photograph of Bayoumi, he did not budge. He knew no one of that name, he said. Then, prompted by a whispered interjection from one of the Saudi officials present, he said he had heard of Bayoumi—but only from 9/11 news coverage.
At a second interview, told by commission staff that witnesses had spoken of seeing him with Bayoumi, Thumairy said perhaps they had taken someone else for him. Told that telephone records showed numerous calls between his phones and Bayoumi’s phones, just before the arrival of Mihdhar and Hazmi in the United States, Thumairy was stumped. Perhaps, he ventured, his phone number had been assigned to somebody else after he had it? Perhaps the calls had been made by someone else using Bayoumi’s phone? Everything Thumairy came up with, his questioners noted, was “implausible.”
Bayoumi, interviewed earlier, made a more favorable impression. He stuck to his story about having met Mihdhar and Hazmi by chance. He said that he had rarely seen them after they came to San Diego, that they had been his neighbors for only a few days. Bayoumi said he had then decided he did not want to have much to do with them. Philip Zelikow, who was present during the interview, did not think Bayoumi had been a Saudi agent.
The commission report, however, was to note that Bayoumi’s passport contained a distinguishing mark that may be acquired by “especially devout Muslims”—or be associated with “adherence to al-Qaeda.” Investigators had also turned up something else. Bayoumi’s salary had been approved by a Saudi official whose son’s photograph was later found on a computer disk in Pakistan that also contained photographs of three of the hijackers. The son, Saud al-Rashid, was produced for an interview in Saudi Arabia. He admitted having been in Afghanistan and having “cleansed” his passport of the evidence that he had traveled there. He said, though, that he had known nothing of the 9/11 plot. Commission staff who questioned Rashid thought he had been “deceptive.”
Finally, there was Basnan. The commission’s interview with him, Dietrich Snell wrote afterward, established only “the witness’ utter lack of credibility on virtually every material subject.” His demeanor “engendered a combination of confrontation, evasiveness, and speechmaking … his repudiation of statements made by him on prior occasions,” and the “inherent incredibility of many of his assertions when viewed in light of the totality of the available evidence.”
Two men did not face questioning by commission investigators. One of them, a Saudi religious official named Saleh al-Hussayen, certainly should have, although his name does not appear in the commission report. Hussayen, who was involved in the administration of the holy mosques in Mecca and Medina, had been in the States for some three weeks before 9/11. For four days before the attacks, he had stayed at a hotel in Virginia.
Then, on September 10, he had made an unexplained move. With his wife, he checked into the Marriott Residence Inn in Herndon, Virginia—the hotel at which 9/11 hijackers Mihdhar and Hazmi were spending their last night alive.
Commission memos state that F.B.I. agents arrived at Hussayen’s room at the Marriott after midnight on the 11th. The Saudi official began “muttering and drooping his head,” sweating and drooling. Then he fell out of his chair and appeared to lose consciousness for a few moments. Paramedics summoned to the room were puzzled. Could the patient be “faking”?, they asked the agents. Doctors who examined Hussayen at a local hospital, moreover, found nothing wrong with him. An F.B.I. agent said later that the interview had been cut short because—the agent suggested—Hussayen “feigned a seizure.”
Asked by an F.B.I. agent why they had moved to the Marriott, Hussayen’s wife said it was because they had wanted a room with a kitchenette. There was no sign, however, that the kitchenette in the room had been used. Asked whether she thought her husband could have been involved in the 9/11 attacks in any way, she replied, “I don’t know.” Agents never did obtain an adequate interview with Saleh al-Hussayen. Instead of continuing with his tour of the United States, he flew back to Saudi Arabia—and went on to head the administration of the two holy mosques. It remains unknown whether he had contact with Mihdhar and Hazmi on the eve of 9/11, or whether his presence at the Marriott that night was, as Bayoumi claimed of his meeting with the two terrorists, just a matter of chance.
As Hussayen left Virginia for home, other F.B.I. agents in the state were interviewing former San Diego-area imam Anwar Aulaqi. He did not deny having had contact with Mihdhar and Hazmi in California and later—with Hazmi—in Virginia. He could not deny that he had transferred from San Diego to the East Coast in a time frame that paralleled theirs. He made nothing of it, however, and U.S. authorities apparently pursued the matter no further.
Aulaqi had reportedly preached in the precincts of the U.S. Capitol shortly before 9/11. Not long afterward, he lunched at the Pentagon—in an area undamaged by the strike in which his acquaintances Mihdhar and Hazmi had played such a leading role. The reason for the lunch? An outreach effort to ease tensions between Muslim Americans and non-Muslims.
Though American-born, Aulaqi is the son of a former minister of agriculture in Yemen. He remained on and off in the United States after 9/11, apparently unimpeded, before departing first for Britain and eventually for Yemen. Suspicion that he may have had foreknowledge of the 9/11 plot is fueled by the fact that the phone number of his Virginia mosque turned up among items found in an apartment used by accused conspirator Ramzi Binalshibh, who now languishes in Guantánamo.
Only seven years later, starting in 2009, did Aulaqi begin to gain world notoriety. His name has been associated with: the multiple shootings by a U.S. Army major at Fort Hood, the almost successful attempt to explode a bomb on an airliner en route to Detroit, the major car-bomb scare in Times Square, and the last-minute discovery of concealed explosives aboard cargo planes destined for the United States.
When Aulaqi’s name began to feature in the Western press, Yemen’s foreign minister cautioned that, pending real evidence, he should be considered not a terrorist but a preacher. President Obama took a different view. By early 2010 he had authorized the C.I.A. and the U.S. military to seek out, capture, or kill the Yemeni—assigning Aulaqi essentially the same status as that assigned at the time to Osama bin Laden. Aulaqi remains, as Zelikow noted when his name finally hit the headlines, “a 9/11 loose end.”
Taken together, the roles and activities of Thumairy, Bayoumi, Basnan, Hussayen, and Aulaqi—and the dubious accounts some of them have given of themselves—heightened suspicion that the perpetrators of 9/11 had support and sponsorship from backers never clearly identified.
Trouble on the Home Front
Congress’s Joint Inquiry, its co-chair Bob Graham told the authors, had found evidence “that the Saudis were facilitating, assisting, some of the hijackers. And my suspicion is that they were providing some assistance to most if not all of the hijackers. . . . It’s my opinion that 9/11 could not have occurred but for the existence of an infrastructure of support within the United States. By ‘the Saudis,’ I mean the Saudi government and individual Saudis who are for some purposes dependent on the government—which includes all of the elite in the country.”
Those involved, in Graham’s view, “included the royal family” and “some groups that were close to the royal family.” Was it credible that members of the Saudi royal family would knowingly have facilitated the 9/11 operation? “I think,” the former senator said, “that they did in fact take actions that were complicit with the hijackers.”
At page 396 of the Joint Inquiry’s report, in the final section of the body of the report, a yawning gap appears. All 28 pages of Part Four, entitled “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters,” have been redacted. The pages are there, but—with the rare exception of an occasional surviving word or fragmentary, meaningless clause—they are entirely blank. The decision to censor that entire section caused a furor in 2003.
Inquiries established that, while the withholdings were technically the responsibility of the C.I.A., the agency would not have obstructed release of most of the pages. The order that they must remain secret had come from President Bush.
Bob Graham and his Republican co-chairman, former senator Richard Shelby, felt strongly that the bulk of the withheld material could and should have been made public. So did Representative Nancy Pelosi, the ranking Democrat in the House. Shelby said, “My judgment is that 95 percent of that information should be declassified, become uncensored, so the American people would know.”
Know what? “I can’t tell you what’s in those pages,” the Joint Inquiry’s staff director, Eleanor Hill, said. “I can tell you that the chapter deals with information that our committee found in the F.B.I. and C.I.A. files that was very disturbing. It had to do with sources of foreign support for the hijackers.” The focus of the material, leaks to the press soon established, had been Saudi Arabia.
There were, sources said, additional details about Bayoumi, who had helped Mihdhar and Hazmi in California, and about his associate Basnan. The censored portion of the report had stated that Anwar Aulaqi, the San Diego imam, had been a “central figure” in a support network for the future hijackers.
A U.S. official who had read the censored section told the Los Angeles Times that it described “very direct, very specific links” with Saudi officials, links that “cannot be passed off as rogue, isolated or coincidental.” The New York Times journalist Philip Shenon has written that Senator Graham and his investigators became “convinced that a number of sympathetic Saudi officials, possibly within the sprawling Islamic Affairs Ministry, had known that al-Qaeda terrorists were entering the United States beginning in 2000 in preparation for some sort of attack. Graham believed the Saudi officials had directed spies operating in the United States to assist them.”
Most serious of all, Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff reported that the information uncovered by the investigation had drawn “apparent connections between high-level Saudi princes and associates of the hijackers.” Absent release of the censored pages, one can only surmise what the connections may have been.
There may be a clue, however, in the first corroboration—arising from the authors’ interview with a former C.I.A. officer—of an allegation relating to the capture in Pakistan, while the Joint Inquiry was at work, of senior bin Laden aide Abu Zubaydah. Many months of interrogation followed, including, from about June or July 2002, no fewer than 83 sessions of waterboarding. Zubaydah was the first al-Qaeda prisoner on whom that controversial “enhanced technique” was used.
John Kiriakou, then a C.I.A. operative serving in Pakistan, had played a leading part in the operation that led to the capture of Zubaydah—gravely wounded—in late March that year. Back in Washington early that fall, Kiriakou informed the authors, he was told by colleagues that cables on the interrogation reported that Zubaydah had come up with the names of several Saudi princes. He “raised their names in sort of a mocking fashion, [indicating] he had the support of the Saudi government.” The C.I.A. followed up by running name traces, Kiriakou said.
Zubaydah had named three princes, but by late July all three had died—within a week of one another. First to go was Prince Ahmed bin Salman, the leading figure in the international horse-racing community who was mentioned earlier, in our account of Saudis hastening to get out of the United States after 9/11. Ahmed, a nephew of both King Fahd’s and Prince Sultan’s, died of a heart attack following abdominal surgery at the age of 43, according to the Saudis.
Prince Sultan bin Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah al-Saud, also a nephew of King Fahd’s and Prince Sultan’s, reportedly died in a car accident. A third prince, Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al-Kabir, whose father was a cousin of Fahd’s and Sultan’s, was said to have died “of thirst.”
Former C.I.A. officer Kiriakou later said his colleagues had told him they believed that what Zubaydah had told them about the princes was true. “We had known for years,” he told the authors, “that Saudi royals—I should say elements of the royal family—were funding al-Qaeda.”
In 2003, during the brouhaha about the redacted chapter in the Joint Inquiry report, Crown Prince Abdullah’s spokesman, Adel al-Jubeir, made a cryptic comment that has never been further explained. The Saudi regime’s own probe, he said, had uncovered “wrongdoing by some.” He noted, though, that the royal family had thousands of members, and insisted that the regime itself had no connection to the 9/11 plot.
More than 40 U.S. senators clamored for the release of the censored section of the report. They included John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, Charles Schumer, Sam Brownback, Olympia Snowe, and Pat Roberts.
Bob Graham, with his long experience in the field as a member and chair not only of the Joint Inquiry but also of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has continued to voice his anger over the censorship even in retirement. President Bush, he wrote in his book Intelligence Matters in 2004, had “engaged in a cover-up . . . to protect not only the agencies that failed but also America’s relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. . . . He has done so by misclassifying information on national security data. While the information may be embarrassing or politically damaging, its revelation would not damage national security.” Richard Shelby concluded independently that virtually all the censored pages were “being kept secret for reasons other than national security.”
“It was,” Graham wrote, “as if the president’s loyalty lay more with Saudi Arabia than with America’s safety.” In Graham’s view, Bush’s role in suppressing important information about 9/11, along with other transgressions, should have led to his impeachment and removal from office.
Within weeks of his inauguration, in 2009, Bush’s successor, Barack Obama, made a point of receiving relatives of those bereaved on 9/11. The widow of one of those who died at the World Trade Center, Kristen Breitweiser, has said that she brought the new president’s attention to the infamous censored section of the Joint Inquiry report. Obama told her, she said afterward, that he was willing to get the suppressed material released. Two years later, the chapter remains classified—and the White House will not say why. “If the 28 pages were to be made public,” said one of the officials who was privy to them before President Bush ordered their removal, “I have no question that the entire relationship with Saudi Arabia would change overnight.”
Blame It on Iraq
The 9/11-commission report certainly blurred the truth about the Saudi role. By the time it was published, in July 2004, more than a year had passed since the invasion of Iraq, a country that—the report said—had nothing to do with 9/11.
In the 18 months before the invasion, however, the Bush administration had persistently seeded the notion that there was an Iraqi connection to 9/11. While never alleging a direct Iraqi role, President Bush had linked Saddam Hussein’s name to that of Osama bin Laden. Vice President Cheney had gone further, suggesting repeatedly that there had been Iraqi involvement in the attacks.
Polls suggest that the publicity about Iraq’s supposed involvement affected the degree to which the U.S. public came to view Iraq as an enemy deserving retribution. Before the invasion, a Pew Research poll found that 57 percent of those polled believed Hussein had helped the 9/11 terrorists. Forty-four percent of respondents to a Knight-Ridder poll had gained the impression that “most” or “some” of the hijackers had been Iraqi. In fact, none were. In the wake of the invasion, a Washington Post poll found that 69 percent of Americans believed it likely that Saddam Hussein had been personally involved in 9/11.
None of the speculative leads suggesting an Iraqi link to the attacks proved out. “We went back 10 years,” said Michael Scheuer, who looked into the matter at the request of director Tenet. “We examined about 20,000 documents, probably something along the lines of 75,000 pages of information, and there was no connection between [al-Qaeda] and Saddam.”
What About Pakistan?
In the years during which the conflict in Iraq had the world’s attention, the real evidence that linked other nations to Osama bin Laden and 9/11 faded from the public consciousness. This was in part the fault of the 9/11 commission, which failed to highlight and fully detail the evidence. It was, ironically, a former deputy homeland-security adviser to President Bush, Richard Falkenrath, who loudly expressed that uncomfortable truth. The commission’s report, Falkenrath wrote, had produced only superficial coverage of the fact that al-Qaeda was “led and financed largely by Saudis, with extensive support from Pakistani intelligence.”
Pakistan has a strong Islamic-fundamentalist movement. It was, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, one of only three nations that recognized the Taliban. Osama bin Laden had operated there as early as 1979, with the blessing of Saudi intelligence, in the first phase of the struggle to oust the Soviets from neighboring Afghanistan. The contacts he made were durable.
What bin Laden himself had said about Pakistan two years before 9/11 seemed to speak volumes. “Pakistani people have great love for Islam,” he observed in 1998 after the late-summer U.S. missile attack on his camps, in which seven Pakistanis were killed. “And they always have offered sacrifices for the cause of religion.” Later, in another interview, he explained how he himself had managed to avoid the attack. “We found a sympathetic and generous people in Pakistan … receive[d] information from our beloved ones and helpers of jihad.”
Pakistan sees Afghanistan as strategically crucial, not least on account of an issue of which many members of the public in the West have minimal knowledge or none at all. Pakistan and India have fought three wars in the past half-century over Kashmir, a large, disputed territory over which each nation has claims and which each partially controls, and where there is also a homegrown insurgency. Having leverage over Afghanistan, given its geographical position, enabled Pakistan to recruit Afghan and Arab volunteers to join the Kashmir insurgency—and tie down a large part of the Indian army.
The insurgents inserted into Kashmir have been by and large mujahideen, committed to a cause they see as holy. Lieutenant General Hamid Gul, who in 1989 headed the ISI—the Pakistani equivalent of the C.I.A.—himself saw the conflict as jihad. Bin Laden, for his part, made common cause with Gul and, in the years that followed, with like-minded figures in the ISI. Many ISI recruits for the fight in Kashmir were trained in bin Laden camps. He would still be saying, as late as 2000, “Whatever Pakistan does in the matter of Kashmir, we support it.”
So powerful was the ISI in Afghanistan, former U.S. special envoy Peter Tomsen told the 9/11 commission, that the Taliban “actually were the junior partners in an unholy alliance” of ISI, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban. As it grew in influence, the ISI liaised closely with Saudi intelligence, and the Saudis reportedly lined the pockets of senior Pakistani officers with cash. The ISI over the years achieved not only military muscle but massive political influence within Pakistan, so much so that some came to characterize it as “the most influential body in Pakistan,” a “shadow government.”
While no hard evidence would emerge that Pakistan had any foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, two days later Washington issued a blunt warning as it prepared to retaliate against the bin Laden organization and its hosts in Afghanistan. It was then—according to ISI director Mahmoud Ahmed, who was visiting Washington at the time—that U.S. deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage said the U.S. would bomb Pakistan “back to the Stone Age” should it fail to go along with American demands for assistance. (Armitage has denied having used that extreme language.)
The former C.I.A. station chief in Islamabad Robert Grenier recently confirmed that Pakistani cooperation against al-Qaeda did improve vastly after 9/11. The arrests of three of the best-known top al-Qaeda operatives—Abu Zubaydah, Ramzi Binalshibh, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed—were, it seems, made by Pakistani intelligence agents and police, in some if not all cases working in collaboration with the C.I.A.
From the time America routed al-Qaeda, however, incoming information indicated that the ISI continued to remain in touch with bin Laden or was aware of his location. ISI officials, Peter Tomsen told the 9/11 commission, were “still visiting [bin Laden] as late as December 2001”—and continued to know his location thereafter. In 2007, Kathleen McFarland, a former senior Defense Department official, spoke of bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan as a fact. “I’m convinced,” military historian Stephen Tanner told CNN in 2010, “that he is protected by the ISI. I just think it’s impossible after all this time to not know where he is.”
Obama had vowed during his campaign for the presidency, “We will kill bin Laden. . . . That has to be our biggest national-security priority.” In office, he made no such public statements. The hunt for bin Laden, meanwhile, seemed to be getting nowhere—and not to be a high priority. Looking back, though, there was a trickle of fresh information that suggested otherwise.
General David Petraeus, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was asked on Meet the Press in 2010 whether it was now less necessary to capture bin Laden. “I think,” he replied, “capturing or killing Osama bin Laden is still a very, very important task for all of those who are engaged in counterterrorism around the world.”
For those who doubted that bin Laden was still alive, late fall 2010 brought two new bin Laden audio messages. There had been intercepts of al-Qaeda communications, U.S. officials told The New York Times, indicating that he still shaped strategy. Then, within weeks, CNN quoted a “senior NATO official” as saying bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, were believed to be hiding not far from each other in northwestern Pakistan, and not “in a cave.” The same day, the New York Daily News cited a source with “access to all reporting on bin Laden” as having spoken of two “sightings considered credible” in recent years—even “a grainy photo of bin Laden inside a truck.”
The End of bin Laden
Then, at 11:35 p.m. on the night of Sunday, May 1, President Obama appeared on television screens across the globe to say: “Tonight I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.”
Killed he was, and in Pakistan. It looked to many as though Pakistan had been knowingly harboring him. For the world’s most wanted terrorist had been living—by all accounts for years, comfortably housed and well protected—in not just any Pakistani city, but in the pleasant town of Abbottabad, where many serving and retired military officers live, and within shouting distance of the nation’s most prestigious military academy, the equivalent of America’s West Point. The ISI also has a presence there.
Officials in Washington were scathingly critical when these facts became public. The Pakistanis, C.I.A. director Leon Panetta reportedly told lawmakers, had been either “involved or incompetent.” The president’s counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, thought it “inconceivable” that bin Laden had not had a “support system” in Abbottabad. On 60 Minutes, Obama himself speculated “whether there might have been some people inside of government, people outside of government [supporting bin Laden], and that’s something we have to investigate, and more importantly the Pakistani government has to investigate.”
Bin Laden had been tracked to Abbottabad, U.S. sources later revealed, thanks to information on his use of couriers to hand-carry messages to his fellow terrorists. Unmentioned were facts about the link between Abbottabad and al-Qaeda that former president Pervez Musharraf had made public in his 2006 memoir. Pakistan’s 2005 capture and transfer to U.S. custody of another very senior bin Laden aide—Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libbi—Musharraf had written, had been achieved after a prolonged pursuit by Pakistani investigators. In the course of the hunt, according to Musharraf, the investigators discovered that Libbi used no less than three safe houses—all in Abbottabad. Far from being a place where one would not expect to find a top terrorist hiding, it turns out, Abbottabad has a track record for being exactly that.
A week after the strike against bin Laden, the correspondent for The Guardian in Islamabad reported that a decade ago—after 9/11—President Bush struck a deal with Musharraf: should bin Laden be located inside Pakistan’s borders, the U.S. would be permitted unilaterally to conduct a raid. “There was an agreement,” a former senior U.S. official was quoted as saying, “that if we knew where Osama was, we were going to come and get him. The Pakistanis would put up a hue and cry, but they wouldn’t stop us.” Musharraf has denied that such a deal was made. According to The Guardian, however, an unnamed Pakistani official offered corroboration for the story. “As far as our American friends are concerned,” he said, “they have just implemented the agreement.”
We cannot yet know the full background to how the U.S. tracked down bin Laden. We do have a better sense, a decade on, as to whether powerful players in foreign nations had a hand in 9/1
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|ARAB REVOLT, from GoldSeek and, By: Jim Willie CB, GoldenJackass.com|
|The Western press seems to have attributed almost no
importance to the death of King Fahd, the long ailing monarch from Saudi
Arabia. Not me. It marked a sea change in the Persian Gulf. The newly
anointed King Abdullah is much more a friend to Europe than to the United
States, and maintains a quiet deep distrust for USGovt leaders and
American culture generally. Abdullah has a stronger backbone, more willing
to oppose the West. Within weeks he announced a desire to balance favor
between Europe and the US, in commerce and in currency reserves
management. The OPEC nations surrounding the Persian Gulf have been the
beneficiary of doubled income since 2003 when crude oil sold for half the
price. They have not materially changed in production output, hence
revenues. They have gone nuts with a construction boom, have gone nuts
with a boom and (in progress) mini-bust with their stock markets. As Saudi
Arabia goes, so will many nations follow, like Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab
Emirates, Bahrain, Oman. These guys are close friends. Since the EuroBond
offers 1% less in yield versus the USTBond, money is directed toward gold
Arabs have a longstanding love of and trust in gold. The United States, England, and Europe have not acted like saints toward Arabs over the past century. Arab royals don’t exactly trust the paper they are given in exchange for all the wonderful oil, lifeblood to our economies. Arabs take two steps to avert the long arm of the Western dominance. They purchase gold in Turkey. This eludes some detection, some formal accounting, and the clear snub to London and New York. They also handle brokered purchases of USTBond in London. This sidesteps any politically awkward gestures and reactions from neighbors Arab states. They can support the USTBond or not, with some measure of privacy. The London USTreasury data becomes thoroughly mixed with hedge funds and illicit USFed agency operations. If and when the permanent war spreads in the Persian Gulf region, if and when the Iraqi Civil War intensifies, if and when the Iran nation is attacked pre-emptively, if and when the Saudi gigantic oil operation facilities are attacked, look for gold to be purchased by Arabs, and their USTBonds to be sold, and even some of their EuroBonds to be sold. Gold held in the secure confines of Turkish bullion banks is far safer than London or New York in their eyes. War favors gold.
Whether you do or don’t believe the war against radical Islam is for real and justified and managed with a deft hand in a capable manner, gold is an excellent hedge in an uncertain time of growing conflict. Whether you do or don’t believe the USGovt leaders resemble the Three Stooges, incapable of wiring or plumbing your 2-bedroom home, gold is an excellent hedge in a time of unprecedented waste, record deficits, and horrendous management.
|April 21, 2006 -- SPECIAL REPORT. Porter Goss's Cocaine Import Agency
(CIA) has links to "Al Qaeda" and Saudis. Last year, WMR
reported on links between the Saudi Royal Family and CIA proprietary
airline companies involved in cocaine smuggling. On April 10, Mexican
police, acting on a tip from INTERPOL, seized a DC-9 aircraft carrying 5.5
tons of cocaine with an estimated street value of $100 million. The
U.S.-registered plane was en route from Caracas, Venezuela, which,
according to French intelligence, is a known hub for cocaine shipments
from Colombia to Saudi Arabia (see article below). The DC-9 (registration
number N900SA) made an emergency landing at Ciudad del Carmen in Campeche
state. A Falcon aircraft that arrived at Ciudad del Carmen from Toluca
airport in Mexico state in advance of the arrival of the DC-9 was also
seized. The cocaine was contained in 128 suitcases. The Mexican police
later claimed the unidentified DC-9's pilot managed to escape. However,
the police did arrest the co-pilot.
The DC-9 was painted in the familiar blue and white colors of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration with am official-looking seal with an American eagle bearing the inscription: "Sky Way Aircraft - Protection of America's Skies." The registered owner of the aircraft is: Royal Sons Inc., 15875 Fairchild Drive, Clearwater, Florida. On April 5, 2006, the plane flew from St. Petersburg/Clearwater International to Simon Bolivar International in Caracas. "Sky Ways" (see article below) has also been linked to the Saudi government and Bush family/CIA activities. Royal Sons, the name of which may indicate the involvement of Saudi princes, such as the cocaine-transporting Prince Nayif, cited below, also maintained an office at 224 East Airport Ave., Venice, Florida, at the same time lead hijacker Mohammad Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi were training at Huffman Aviation, which was located near by at 400 East Airport Avenue. Two years before 911, Venice was also the subject of intensive intelligence operations by Israeli intelligence agents masquerading as "art students." Not surprisingly in light of Saudi involvement with cocaine smuggling, the activities of the Israelis drew the particular attention of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which had Venice airport under surveillance and later prepared a lengthy report on the activities of the Israelis. Atta and al Shehhi also used Clearwater airport for practice take-off and landings during off-peak hours.
Official-looking TSA plane busted for hauling cocaine in Mexico.
In 2004 a Sky Way Aircraft Beechcraft BE-200, registration N391SA, flying under the false registration of N168D, was confiscated by the Venezuelan government after flying from Caracas Charallave airport to Santiago Marino airport on Margarita island. FAA records indicate that Sky Way's office of record was 341 8th Ave. SE # 3C, St. Petersburg, Florida. The FAA registration database also states, "N391SA has multiple records" in addition to its status as being "exported" to Venezuela and, thus, "de-registered" with the FAA. After the revelations about CIA rendition flights and proprietary companies, it was discovered that N168D was the tail number for a Casa CN-235-300 registered to Devon Holding and Leasing of Lexington, North Carolina.
Sky Way Beechcraft that was held by Venezuela after it used a false registration number N168D, the same tail number used by one of the CIA's rendition planes.
The DC-9 seized by Mexico was previously owned by a partnership of Royal Sons and Skyway Communications Holding Corp. (Symbol: SWYCQ) of 6021, 142nd Avenue North Clearwater, Florida. SWYCQ's web site states, "SWYC was founded in 2000 by Mr. Brent Kovar. SWYC’s focus includes in-flight wireless Homeland Security and In-flight Entertainment (IFE) service." In 2003, then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay appointed Kovar as Honorary Chairman of the Business Advisory Council of the National Republican Congressional Committee. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR database, "Kovar has been President and Director of Sky Way Aircraft since inception. In addition, as president and director of research and development and engineering, Mr. Kovar founded Sky Way Global in 2000, a high speed broadband wireless service company. From 1996 to 2000, Mr. Kovar served as the executive vice president and director of research and development for Satellite Access Systems, a satellite services company. In 1990, Mr. Kovar founded PC, Ltd., a company that produced specialty-designed remote controlled arm and RF/communications related products, and until 1996, he served as president and director of new product engineering. From 1987 to 1989, he was associated with Jacobs Engineering, an national engineering company in Pasadena, California. From 1986 to 1987, Mr. Kovar worked with Falcon Communications as a wireless communications engineer.
Also, EDGAR provides details on SWYCQ's CEO and CFO Jim Kent, "Mr. Kent has been CEO and Director of Sky Way Aircraft since July 2002 and its CFO since February 2003. He has been director of business operations for Sky Way Global since 2000. From 1998 to 1999, Mr. Kent served as director of operations for Satellite Access Systems, Inc., a satellite services company where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations. From 1997 to 1998 he served as a senior management consultant for Booz, Allen & Hamilton, a government contractor and national/international business consulting firm providing program and financial management services to the U. S. Government. From 1980 to 1997, Mr. Kent served in various government contract management positions providing financial and program management services supporting national communications and intelligence projects for the Department of Defense, National Security Agency, and Department of the Navy." Also, according to the SEC, Kovar is affiliated with Net Command Tech Inc. (a St. Petersburg, Florida-based corporation formerly known as Acunet Corporation and Corsaire, Inc.). The company primarily markets video surveillance systems. According to SEC records, Banque Francaise De L'Orient has a significant financial stake in Net Command Tech. According to SEC filings, one of the significant shareholders is Fever Holdings Limited, c/o Banque Francaise de L'Orient, with an office listed at50 Curzon Street, London, England. Satellite Access Systems of Nevada is a Net Command Tech subsidiary.
Banque Francaise de l'Orient was originally Banque Al Saoudi, which was under the financial control of the Bin Laden family and other top Saudi royals and businessmen. In 1989, Banque Indosuez partly assumed control of the near bankrupt Bank Al Saoudi and it became Banque Francaise de l'Orient. The bank then merged with the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's Mediterranee Group. Banque Francaise de L'Orient maintains an office in Geneva. Bank Indosuez (now Credit Agricole Suez) maintains an address in Sana'a, Yemen. Bank Indosuez was used by the CIA for the establishment of secret accounts held by top Kazakhstan officials in return for lucrative Tengiz oil field contracts for Amoco, Mobil, Phillips Petroleum, Texaco, and Halliburton (scandal that became known as "Kazakhgate"). Previously, WMR also reported on the use of Christian missionary aircraft linked to the CIA to smuggle high-grade heroin out of Afghanistan.
Intelligence insiders report that CIA Director Porter Goss has authorized the CIA to resume Iran-contra-era networks that is permitting former agency contractors to renew their illicit trade in drugs.
The sudden in flow of cocaine and heroin into the United States is an early warning sign that covert operators are attempting to earn large amounts of cash for one or more "special projects." On April 20, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that security guards at the Beaver Valley Power Station in Pennsylvania stopped a truck containing $504,230 in cash wrapped in ten bundles with clear plastic and duct tape. The bundles were locked in a duffel bag. A drug sniffing dog reacted positively to the bag. The driver of the truck and a passenger came from Texas and said they were en route from Chicago and were to deliver tools from the power plant to Youngstown, Ohio. Police in Shippingport, Beaver County stopped the truck after the power plant security guards notified them. The guards grew suspicious when they cut the lock off the duffel bag and saw the cash. The truck occupants said the cash belonged to their boss in Houston. The trucking company was reportedly a contractor for San Francisco-based Bechtel Corporation, which was doing construction work at the power plant. When the guards called the boss in Houston he denied the cash was his. The truck quickly left the power plant, which is owned by First Energy Nuclear Operating Company. Shippingport Police and Pennsylvania state troopers later stopped the truck near the Shippingport Bridge and confiscated the cash. The passenger in the truck claimed his identification had been stolen from the truck the previous night. Shippingport Police Sgt. R. N. Davis, Jr., scoffed at that explanation in remarks to the Post-Gazette. "Your ID is stolen but not that bag of cash? Red flags were popping up all over," Davis said. The incident is highly reminiscent of cases involving Israeli "movers" picked up around the United States after 9-11 who had similarly unconvincing stories. The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force was notified about the Pennsylvania incident and are said to be "investigating."
In 1999, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) broke open a major conspiracy involving a Saudi prince’s Colombian cocaine smuggling from Venezuela to support some “future intention” involving Koranic prophecy. The DEA operations were contained in a “Declassification of a Secret DEA 6 Paris Country Office” memorandum dated June 26, 2000, a date which coincided with the height of Israeli art student and 911 hijacker activity in the United States. In June 1999, 808 kilograms of cocaine were seized in Paris. At the same time, the DEA was conducting a major investigation of the Medellin drug cartel called Operation Millennium.
Through an intercepted fax, the Bogota Country Office of the DEA learned of the Paris cocaine seizure and linked the drug smuggling operation to the Saudis. The DEA investigation centered around Saudi Prince Nayif al Saud, whose alias was El Principe (the Prince). Nayif's full name is Nayif (or Nayef) bin Fawwaz al-Shaalan al-Saud. In pursuit of his international drug deals, Nayif traveled in his own Boeing 727 and used his diplomatic status to avoid customs checks. The DEA report stated Nayif studied at the University of Miami, Florida, owned a bank in Switzerland, speaks eight languages, was heavily invested in Venezuela’s petroleum industry, regularly visited the United States, and traveled with millions of dollars of U.S. currency. Nayif is also invested in Colombia's petroleum industry.
Nayif was also reported to have met with drug cartel members in Marbella, Spain, where the late Saudi King Fahd and the Saudi royal family maintained a huge palatial residence. The report states that when a group of cartel members traveled to Riyadh to meet Nayif, “they were picked up in a Rolls Royce automobile belonging to Nayif, and driven to the Riyadh Holiday Inn hotel. The next day they were met by Nayif and his brother [believed to be named Saul [sic] [His twin brother is Prince Saud. Nayif's older brother, Prince Nawaf, is married to King Abdullah's daughter].)… The second day they all traveled to the desert in terrain vehicles [hummers]. During this desert trip they discussed narcotics trafficking. UN [The DEA informant] and Nayif agreed to conduct the 2,000 kilogram cocaine shipment, which would be delivered to Caracas, VZ, by UN’s people, where Nayif would facilitate the cocaine’s transport to Paris, France. Nayif explained he would utilize his 727 jet airliner, under Diplomatic cover, to transport the cocaine. The Boeing 727 was operated by Skyways International,a Saudi-owned airline with past connections to the mysterious James Bath, George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard friend and later Arbusto and Harken Energy investment pass-through between the Saudis and Bush. These investors included Salem Bin Laden, Osama Bin Laden's late older brother who was killed in a 1988 plane crash in Texas. Bath was the registered agent for Salem Bin Laden.
Nayif told "UN" that he could transport up to 20,000 kilograms of cocaine in his jet airliner, and propositioned "UN" “to conduct 10-20,000 kilogram shipments in the future.” "UN" wondered why Nayif, supposedly a devout Muslim, would be involved with drugs. Nayif’s response in light of what is now known about Saudi funding of terrorism, is worth a close perusal. During the Riyadh meeting, Nayif responded to "UN’s" question by stating that “he is a strict advocate of the Muslim Corran [sic].” "UN" stated, “Nayif does not drink, smoke, or violate any of the Corran’s [sic] teachings. "UN" asked Nayif why he [Nayif] wanted to sell cocaine and Nayif stated that the world is already doomed and that he has been authorized by God to sell drugs. Nayif stated that "UN" would later learn of Nayif’s true intentions for trafficking narcotics although Nayif would not comment further.” The Saudi prince’s drug smuggling operation was smashed by the DEA and French police in October 1999.
On May 16, 1999, Prince Nayif's Skyways Boeing 727 touched down at LeBourget Airport outside of Paris ( this is the same airport that received the Bin Laden family flight from the United States following the 911 attacks). Also on board the plane were a number of Saudi princes and princesses. Two tons of cocaine, smuggled on to the aircraft in Caracas, were transported as one large diplomatic pouch by two waiting Saudi vans. The cocaine was transported to Noissy-le-Sec, a Paris suburb. A French-US law enforcement case against Nayif and his entourage, complete with evidence and confidential informants soon collapsed.
Wayne Madsen Report.com has come into possession of a "Confidential Diplomatic" cable from the French embassy in Saudi Arabia to Paris warning that Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef had warned that if France pursued the case against the Saudi prince, a lucrative $7 billion radar defense contract, Project SBGDP (Garde Frontiere), with the French firm Thales would be canceled. The embassy cable sought pressure against the French Interior Ministry to drop its investigation of Nayif. The cable also indicated that Saudi Interior Minister Nayef's irritation at the French investigation was shared by his brothers Abdullah (then-Crown Prince) and Sultan (Defense Minister) as well as the Governor of Riyadh Province Prince Salman. Saudi informers have revealed that Al Qaeda members routinely traveled through Riyadh on their way to Pakistan and then to Taliban Afghanistan. These insiders report that Salman's office arranged for cash payments, hotels, and air fares for the Al Qaeda members.
The French cable also states that the Saudis reiterated that it was merciless to drug traffickers for which Saudi youth were often the victims. The Saudis also told the French that unlike Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, Saudi Arabia was not a base for drug trafficking. The reaction by the Saudi government's key principals to the French drug investigation indicates they had something to hide. Perhaps similar to the Bush family, they had an off-the-books operation to generate hundreds of millions of dollars for their Wahhabi compatriots in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The French cable draws attention to intelligence rumors that the cocaine transported by Nayif from Venezuela originated in Colombia -- the same country where George H. W. Bush and his Iran-contra co-conspirators arranged for cocaine-for-cash-for-weapons transfers involving Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega as a middleman. CIA sources have recently reported that lead hijacker Mohammed Atta was known to U.S., British, and Saudi intelligence as a heroin courier from Mujaheddin-controlled Afghanistan as early as 1991. Atta was also identified as a cocaine user. Hence, what the French and U.S. law enforcement investigators discovered in 1999 may have been a major financial source for Al Qaeda's terrorist attacks. Recent revelations that a Top Secret U.S. Special Operations Command/Defense Intelligence Agency unit code named Able Danger was shadowing Al Qaeda operatives in 1999, the same year that Nayif and his courier activities were discovered, indicates high level collusion inside the United States Defense and Justice Departments with elements that did not want to embarrass the Saudis. As with the DEA investigation of Nayif, Able Danger was shut down on orders by Pentagon lawyers.
It is quite possible that the massive amounts of Able Danger data reported to have been destroyed on the Atta team may have included gigabytes of financial data on Prince Nayif's drug money laundering activities. Wayne Madsen Report.com has obtained a European intelligence agency flow chart titled "Operation Palme," illustrating the connections of Nayif's brother Nawwaf's financial operations to a myriad of other entities, a large number of them based in Geneva, a city where Wayne Madsen Report.com has previously reported the presence of a number of Bush-connected entities tied to the 911 attacks, including a money transfer to at least one of the hijackers.
According to the Operation Palme chart, Nawwaf bin Fawwaz al-Shaalan is Vice President of Kanz Bank located at 65 rue du Rhone in Geneva. This bank is linked to Bammer Financial Trade Organization at 7 rue Versonnex in Geneva, Virgin Corporation LLC in Vessy (Geneva Canton), Maison Virgin Corporation also in Vessy, Degroof Luxembourg SA of Genf, Geneva Canton, and Capital Trust SA, 640 Avenida Diagonal, Barcelona, Spain.
The most interesting document passed to Wayne Madsen Report is a business card that shows a clear link between Skyways International, the firm tied to the Bush family and the Saudis, and the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia. The business card for a flight engineer named Keith Monroe indicates that Skyways International is a subsidiary of the National Commercial Bank.
In 1992, according to The Houston Chronicle, George W. Bush's friend James Bath was investigated by the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) and the FBI. Investigators suspected Saudi investors who worked with Bath of illegally trying to influence U.S. policy during the Reagan and Bush I administrations. Bath invested Saudi money in Arbusto '70 Ltd., Arbusto '80 Ltd., and Bush Exploration Co. (which later morphed into Harken Energy Corp., which included George W. Bush as its director). After Desert Storm, Harken was granted lucrative off-shore drilling rights by Bahrain, a Desert Storm coalition partner. One of the other shareholders of Harken, along with Bush, was Saudi businessman Abdullah Taha Bakhsh. According to the Chronicle, Bath, who was a sole agent of Salem Bin Laden, was also the sole director of Skyway Aircraft Leasing Corp., one of the affiliates of Skyways International. Bath established four corporate entities with the name "Skyway" and the firm that incorporated the corporate contrivances in the Cayman Islands for Bath was the same one that established a Cayman-based money laundering front company for Oliver North in the Iran-contra scandal. In 1977, Bath bought Houston Gulf Airport on behalf of Salem Bin Laden. Skyway Aircraft Leasing Corporation was, according to the Chronicle, owned by Khalid Bin Mahfouz, a major shareholder in the defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), a major money laundering activity for George H. W. Bush's Iran-contra caper. Bin Mahfouz was also the owner of the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia.
There has never been any explanation by the Saudis of what Prince Nayif’s ultimate intentions were and what he was planning to do with the cash from the illegal cocaine shipments. In light of the funding for 911 and other terrorist incidents, the DEA report on Operation Millenium takes on greater significance. Did Saudi drug smuggling proceeds help pay for the 911 attack? Why was this possible connection overlooked by the 911 Commission? What did the Able Danger team stumble across while Nayif was smuggling drugs? Was Atta a part of this Saudi drug network? If so, why was Atta, a drug courier, permitted to enter the United States on numerous occasions?
It would appear that the Saudis, in connection with people closely associated with George W. Bush (perhaps including Bush himself as well as his father), have been giving a "wink and a nod" to illicit airline smuggling businesses involving drugs and money laundering for a number of years. There are American citizens currently sitting in prisons under mandatory harsh drug-related sentences for doing much less than what the Bush crime family, their Saudi partners, and their network of drug mules and couriers (including Mohammed Atta and Saudi Prince Nayif) have been getting away with for decades. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) statutes cry out for an accounting by these individuals before a court of law.
 Drug Enforcement Administration, Memorandum, Declassification of Secret DEA 6 for Paris Country Office, June 26, 2000.
|Middle East Israel Palestine Zionism 1 Iran|
Also see Franklingate-Plamegate Timeline Comparison UPDATED DAILY
Connecting the dots (1)Plame, Wilson, Novak (2)AIPAC / Franklin Pentagon mole. (3)Bush's State of the Union speech lies.
to 9/11 source Boston
The Wahhabi Taliban in Afghanistan had the blessings of the Saudi royal family and of The Big Three--the bin Laden family, the al Ahmoudi family, and the Mahfouz family--the richest clans in that medieval kingdom. (Khalid bin Mahfouz is bin Laden’s brother-in-law, according to the C.I.A.). The desert oligarchs profited from world-wide investments as well as sleazy banking schemes such as the infamous Bank of Credit and Commerce International.
Salem bin Laden, Osama’s brother, has conducted all his American affairs through James Bath, a Houston crony of the Bush family. Bath’s former business partner Bill White testified in court that Bath had been a liaison for the C.I.A. In 1979 Bath invested $50,000 in Arbusto, George W. Bush’s first business venture. Rumor had it that Bath was acting as Salem bin Laden’s representative. "In conflicting statements, Bush at first denied ever knowing Bath, then acknowledged his stake in Arbusto and that he was aware Bath represented Saudi interests." (4)
In addition to doing aviation business with Saudi sheiks, Bath was part owner of a Houston bank whose chief stockholder was Ghaith Pharaon, who represented the Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI), a criminal global bank with branches in 73 countries. BCCI proceeded to defraud depositors of $10 billion during the ‘80s, while providing a money laundry conduit for the Medellin drug cartel, Asia’s major heroin cartel, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, the C.I.A., and Islamist terrorist organizations worldwide. (5)
Big Three wheeler-dealer Khalid bin Mahfouz, one of the largest stockholders in the criminal bank, was indicted when the massive BCCI banking scandal blew apart in the early 1990s. The Saudi royal family placed him under house arrest after discovering that Mahfouz had used the royal bank to channel millions of dollars through fake charities into bin Laden’s organizations, but Mahfouz was not so much punished as inconvenienced. (6)
Members of the Wahhabist Saudi oligarchy are driven by the sometimes conflicting emotions of power lust and religious fervor. Their support of radical Islamists follows from their ambition to dominate the Muslim world, but their fear that radical Islamists might overthrow the Saudi regime at home motivates them to fund and encourage holy warriors in countries other than their own.
As Daniel Pipes points out, jihad (holy war) is a central tenet of Muslim belief . "According to one calculation, Muhammad himself engaged in 78 battles, of which just one (the Battle of the Ditch) was defensive. Within a century after the prophet's death in 632, Muslim armies had reached as far as India in the east and Spain in the west. " (7)
Pipes traces the bloody advance of fundamentalist jihadists against their twentieth century co-religionists. "Islamists, besides adhering to the primary conception of jihad as armed warfare against infidels, have also adopted as their own Ibn Taymiya's call to target impious Muslims. This approach acquired increased salience through the 20th century as Islamist thinkers . . . promoted jihad against putatively Muslim rulers who failed to live up to or apply the laws of Islam. The revolutionaries who overthrew the Shah of Iran in 1979 and the assassins who gunned down President Anwar Sadat of Egypt two years later overtly held to this doctrine. So does Osama bin Laden."
In 1989, bin Laden established al Qaeda (the Base) in Afghanistan to organize extremist Wahhabis and disperse their networks throughout the country. A year later, he returned to Saudi Arabia and founded a welfare agency for Arab-Afghan veterans. Bin Laden hoped to mobilize the veterans as a kind of religious-military army, but King Faud discouraged the venture. When King Faud invited 540,000 American troops to the kingdom to fight in the Gulf War, bin Laden lambasted the royal family and urged religious authorities to issue fatwahs (religious rulings) condemning the American infidels.
In 1991, Osama bin Laden and a band of Afghan veterans agitated in Sudan for a holy war against the enemies of Islam. In 1992, he claimed responsibility for the attack on American soldiers in Yemen, and again for attacks in Somalia in 1993. He was mum about the terrorist truck bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, the explosion that killed six people and injured more than a thousand, but investigators knew bin Laden had donated heavily to the religious "charity" that financed the bombing operation.
In February 1995, when he was appointed chief of the F.B.I.'s counter-terrorism section in Washington, John O’Neill immediately assembled and coordinated a team to capture Ramzi Yousef, who was en route from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Yousef was strongly suspected of planning and directing the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
In three days, the kingpin of the World Trade Center bombing was in custody, and O’Neill went on to accumulate damning evidence against the 1993 World Trade bombers that led to their conviction in American courts. For the next six years, John O’Neill tirelessly investigated terrorist strikes against Americans and American interests in Saudi Arabia, East Africa, and Yemen, often encountering American officials’ roadblocks on the way. Even in 1996, after Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl turned himself in at the American Embassy in Eritrea and divulged details of bin Laden’s and al Qaeda’s organization and operations, the State Department refused to list al Qaeda as a terrorist organization.
In February 1998, bin Laden assembled a number of terrorist groups, including Islamic Jihad, and issued a fierce fatwa calling for the deaths of all Americans. On August 7, 1998, 226 people died in the simultaneous bombing of American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Investigators blamed bin Laden for the attacks. On August 20, 1998, President Clinton amended Executive Order 12947 to add Osama bin Laden and his key associates to the list of terrorists, thus blocking their US assets--including property and bank accounts--and prohibiting all U.S. financial transactions with them. The United States conducted a missile attack against bin Laden's facilities in Afghanistan.
On October 12, 2000, two suicide bombers ignited their boatload of explosives next to the USS Cole, an American destroyer refueling in Aden, off the coast of Yemen. The blast killed seventeen sailors and wounded thirty-nine others. O’Neill and his crack investigating team were dispatched to Yemen and hit a stone wall. He had hoped satellite intercepts of phone calls between an al Qaeda operative in Aden and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan would lead him to the mastermind of the Cole attack, but the American ambassador and the Yemeni officials blocked the investigation at every turn.
O’Neill resigned from the F.B.I. in July 2001 and signed on as security chief for the World Trade Center in September. He died in the WTC attack on September 11, 2001.
In Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for bin Laden, two French intelligence analysts, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, claim that the Clinton and Bush administrations impeded investigations of bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist group in order to maintain good relations with Saudi Arabia and to maintain the stability of the oil market. "As the late John O’Neill told one of the authors [Brisard] of this book, ‘All of the answers, all of the clues allowing us to dismantle Osama bin Laden’s organization, can be found in Saudi Arabia.'" (8)
In articles and interviews, Brisard has expanded on this statement, pronouncing the official story about bin Laden’s exile from his native Saudi Arabia in 1994 and his frozen assets to be a canard. Not only did O’Neill and the F.B.I. have extensive information concerning the finances of bin Laden and al Qaeda, but the business connections between the bin Ladens, the Mahfouzes, the al Ahmoudis, the Saudi royal family, and the Bush family kept turning up in their investigations.
Mahfouz, who owns Nimir Petroleum, has conducted joint ventures with the al Amoudi family, which owns Delta Oil. Delta Oil and Unocal planned to build a pipeline through Afghanistan before the Taliban backed away. These Saudi companies are still partnered with bigger oil companies (such as Texaco and Unocal) in developing Central Asian oil projects.
Although Brisard’s interpretation of events has been disputed, the documentation of Forbidden Truth is impeccable. Clearly, the finances and fortunes of the Saudi oligarchs and the Bush family have been intertwined for many years, and oil has been the lubricant of choice, even non-existent oil.
In The Conspirators, Al Martin describes an instance of the latter. He says that the Gulf Oil Drilling Supply, of New York, Miami, and Bahrain, was Jeb Bush’s favorite artifice for oil and gas frauds:
"The fraud was rather simple. Richard Secord arranged through then Vice President George Bush Sr.’s old friend, Ghaith Pharaon, the then retired head of Saudi intelligence, for Gulf Oil and Drilling to purchase from the Saudi government oil and gas leases in the Gulf which were effectively worthless."
The leases would be embellished to appear extremely valuable and then used as loan collateral. Great American Bank and Trust of West Palm Beach subsequently failed under the weight of unpaid Iran-Contra loans.
"Also, in the case of Gulf Oil Drilling Supply, there was some moderately large international lending to that company. As you would suspect, it was principally out of the old George Bush friendly banks--Credit Lyonnais and Banque Paribas, which, combined lent $60 million dollars to Gulf Oil Drilling Supply, which, of course, was defaulted on later." (9)
Michael Springmann, formerly chief of the visa section at the US Embassy in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, claims that he rejected hundreds of suspicious visa applications, but the C.I.A. officer overruled him and ordered the visas to be issued. Springmann protested to the State Department, the Office of Diplomatic Security, the F.B.I., the Justice Department and congressional committees, but in vain. (10)
Springmann observed that 15 of the 19 people who allegedly flew airplanes into buildings in the United States got their visas from the same CIA-dominated consulate in Jeddah. As a special favor to residents of Saudi Arabia (including non-Saudi citizens), applicants for non-immigrant visas can apply at private travel agencies and receive their visa through the mail. During the months following the 9-11 attack, 102 applicants received their visas by mail, 2 more were interviewed, and none were rejected.
The Saudis always got special treatment. In a November 6, 2001 BBC broadcast Greg Palast revealed just how special that treatment was. Even after Pakistan expelled the World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY) and India claimed that the organization was linked to terrorist bombings in Kashmir and the Philippines military accused WAMY of funding Muslim insurgency, the F.B.I. got orders to leave the "charitable association" alone.
After 9/11, investigators of the Islamic charities discovered overwhelming evidence that Saudis at all levels worked in tandem with the terrorists. David Kaplin reports, “At the Saudi High Commission in Bosnia, which coordinated local aid among Saudi charities, police found before-and-after photos of the World Trade Center, files on pesticides and crop dusters, and information on how to counterfeit State Department badges. At Manila's international airport, authorities stopped Agus Dwikarna, an al Haramain representative based in Indonesia. In his suitcase were C4 explosives.” The interlocking charities make it difficult to follow the money trail. “Many share directors, office space, and cash flow. For two years, investigators have followed the money to offshore trusts and obscure charities which, according to court records, they believe are tied to Hamas, al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups.” (US News and World Report, December 15, 2003).
"The White House official line is that the Bin Ladens are above suspicion --apart from Osama, the black sheep, who they say hijacked the family name. That's fortunate for the Bush family and the Saudi royal household, whose links with the Bin Ladens could otherwise prove embarrassing. But Newsnight has obtained evidence that the FBI was on the trail of other members of the Bin Laden family for links to terrorist organisations before and after September 11th." (11)
In the Boston Globe, March 11, 20004, Carl Unger, author of House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World’s Two Most Powerful Dynasties, states that the 9/11 commission should ask who authorized the evacuation of 140 Saudi nationals on at least 8 aircraft making stops in 12 cities immediately following the attacks. “Many of the passengers were high-ranking members of the royal House of Saud. About 24 of them were members of the bin Laden family, which owned the Saudi Binladin Group, a multibillion-dollar construction conglomerate.” Unger obtained passenger lists for 4 of the flights, which are posted on his website: www.houseofbush.com and includes the name of Prince Ahmed bin Salman.
“As reported last year by Gerald Posner in 'Why America Slept,' Prince Ahmed not only had alleged ties to Al Qaeda, but may also have known in advance that there would be attacks on 9/11. According to Posner, Abu Zubaydah, an Al Qaeda operative who was part of Osama bin Laden's inner circle and was captured in 2002, made these assertions when he was interrogated by the CIA. The commission should ask Mueller about Zubaydah's interrogation. They should also ask whether the FBI interrogated Prince Ahmed before his departure.
"But Prince Ahmed will never be able to answer any questions because not long after the CIA interrogation, he died of a heart attack at the age of 43. Yet we do know that he was on one of the flights.”
Unger believes that this episode “raises particularly sensitive questions for the administration. Never before in history has a president of the United States had such a close relationship with another foreign power as President Bush and his father have had with the Saudi royal family, the House of Saud. I have traced more than $1.4 billion in investments and contracts that went from the House of Saud over the past 20 years to companies in which the Bushes and their allies have had prominent positions -- Harken Energy, Halliburton, and the Carlyle Group among them. Is it possible that President Bush himself played a role in authorizing the evacuation of the Saudis after 9/11? What did he know and when did he know it?”
Home > News > Boston Globe > Ideas
The 9/11 commission should ask who authorized the evacuation of Saudi nationals in the days following the attacks
By Craig Unger, 4/11/2004
IN ITS TOUGH QUESTIONING of Richard Clarke and Condoleezza Rice, the 9/11 commission has already shown itself to be more resolute than some skeptics predicted. Many Americans now realize that multiple warnings of an Al Qaeda attack on American soil crossed the desks of Bush administration officials in the months leading up to 9/11. The administration's previously unchallenged narrative has begun to unravel.
But when hearings resume on Tuesday, we may learn exactly how tough the commission is prepared to be. This time the stars will be Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI director Robert S. Mueller III, among others. When they testify -- especially Mueller -- we will see whether or not the commission has the stomach to address what may be the single most egregious security lapse related to the attacks: the evacuation of approximately 140 Saudis just two days after 9/11.
This episode raises particularly sensitive questions for the administration. Never before in history has a president of the United States had such a close relationship with another foreign power as President Bush and his father have had with the Saudi royal family, the House of Saud. I have traced more than $1.4 billion in investments and contracts that went from the House of Saud over the past 20 years to companies in which the Bushes and their allies have had prominent positions -- Harken Energy, Halliburton, and the Carlyle Group among them. Is it possible that President Bush himself played a role in authorizing the evacuation of the Saudis after 9/11? What did he know and when did he know it?
Let's go back to Sept. 13, 2001, and look at several scenes that were taking place simultaneously. Three thousand people had just been killed. The toxic rubble of the World Trade Center was still ablaze. American airspace was locked down. Not even Bill Clinton and Al Gore, who were out of the country, were allowed to fly home. And a plane bearing a replacement heart for a desperately ill Seattle man was forced down short of its destination by military aircraft. Not since the days of the Wright Brothers had American skies been so empty.
But some people desperately wanted to fly out of the country. That same day, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States and a long-time friend of the Bush family, dropped by the White House. He and President George W. Bush went out to the Truman Balcony for a private conversation. We do not know everything they discussed, but the Saudis themselves say that Prince Bandar was trying to orchestrate the evacuation of scores of Saudis from the United States despite the lockdown on air travel.
Meanwhile, a small plane in Tampa, Fla. took off for Lexington, Ky. According to former Tampa cop Dan Grossi and former FBI agent Manny Perez, who were on the flight to provide security, the passengers included three young Saudis. Given the national security crisis, both Grossi and Perez were astonished that they were allowed to take off. The flight could not have taken place without White House approval.
The plane taking off from Tampa was the first of at least eight aircraft that began flying across the country, stopping in at least 12 American cities and carrying at least 140 passengers out of the country over the next week or so. The planes included a lavishly customized Boeing 727 airliner that was equipped with a master bedroom suite, huge flat-screen TVs, and a bathroom with gold-plated fixtures. Many of the passengers were high-ranking members of the royal House of Saud. About 24 of them were members of the bin Laden family, which owned the Saudi Binladin Group, a multibillion-dollar construction conglomerate.
All this occurred at a time when intelligence analysts knew that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, that Saudi money was one of the major forces behind Al Qaeda, and that the prime suspect -- Osama bin Laden -- was Saudi as well.
For its part, the Bush administration has erected the proverbial stone wall on the topic of the Saudi evacuation. The White House told me that it is "absolutely confident" the Sept. 13 flight from Tampa did not take place. The FBI said "unequivocally" it played no role in facilitating any flights. The Federal Aviation Administration said that the Tampa-to-Lexington flight was not in the logs and did not take place.
But they are all wrong.. . .
How can I be sure? I have interviewed not only Dan Grossi and Manny Perez, but also sources who helped orchestrate the flights. I tracked down photos of the interior of one of the planes. Former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke told me, and later the 9/11 commission, about discussions in the White House that allowed the flights to begin.
Clarke says his advice was that the Saudis should be able to leave only after they had been vetted by the FBI. A basic procedure in any crime investigation is to interview friends and relatives of the primary suspect. When I talked to FBI special agents who participated in the Saudi evacuation, however, they said that they identified the passengers boarding the flights but did not have lengthy interviews with them.
"Here you have an attack with substantial links to Saudi Arabia," says John L. Martin, a former Justice Department official who supervised investigation and prosecution of national security offenses for 18 years. "You would want to talk to people in the Saudi royal family and the Saudi government, particularly since they have pledged cooperation."
Robert Mueller had taken over at the FBI just one week before 9/11 and cannot be held responsible for the bureau's shortcomings before the attacks. But he should be asked about the departure of the Saudis. How is it possible that this could have happened? Did the White House order the evacuation -- and thereby interfere in an investigation into the murder of nearly 3,000 people?
If such interviews had taken place, investigators might have uncovered a trove of intelligence. During the summer of 2001, just a few months before 9/11, several of the bin Ladens attended the wedding of Osama's son in Afghanistan, where Osama himself was present. Carmen bin Laden, an estranged sister-in-law of the Al Qaeda leader, has said she suspects many family members have continued to aid and abet him. Could the bin Ladens have shed light on these assertions? Two relatives, Abdullah and Omar bin Laden, had been investigated by the FBI as recently as September 2001 for their ties to the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, which has allegedly funded terrorism. The 9/11 commission should ask Mueller if they were on board. I have also obtained documents showing that Abdullah and Omar were being investigated by the FBI in September 2001. Mueller should be asked about the status of that investigation.
The Clinton administration had attempted to crack down on the Saudi funding of Islamic charities that funneled money to terrorists. More recently we have since had one revelation after another about Saudi royals who "inadvertently" funded terrorists. The Commission should ask Mueller if the Saudis who were allowed to leave were involved in financing terrorism. How could the FBI be sure without seriously interrogating them?
In addition, I have obtained passenger lists for four of the Saudi evacuation flights. (The documents can be seen at my website, www.houseofbush.com.) Out of several dozen names on those lists, the most astonishing is that of the late Prince Ahmed bin Salman.
A prominent figure in the Saudi royal family, Prince Ahmed is best known in this country as the owner of War Emblem, winner of the 2002 Kentucky Derby. But his name is of interest for another reason. As reported last year by Gerald Posner in "Why America Slept," Prince Ahmed not only had alleged ties to Al Qaeda, but may also have known in advance that there would be attacks on 9/11. According to Posner, Abu Zubaydah, an Al Qaeda operative who was part of Osama bin Laden's inner circle and was captured in 2002, made these assertions when he was interrogated by the CIA. The commission should ask Mueller about Zubaydah's interrogation. They should also ask whether the FBI interrogated Prince Ahmed before his departure.
But Prince Ahmed will never be able to answer any questions because not long after the CIA interrogation, he died of a heart attack at the age of 43. Yet we do know that he was on one of the flights.. . .That leaves the question of the White House's participation in expediting the departure of so many Saudis who may have been able to shed light on the greatest crime in American history.
Is it possible that the long relationship between President Bush's family and the House of Saud led Bush to turn a blind eye to the Saudi role in Islamic fundamentalist terrorism? Rather than aggressively seeking justice for the victims of 9/11, did the president instead authorize the departure of rich Saudi royals without even subjecting them to interrogation?
That may be the most difficult question of all for the commission to tackle. If the commission dares to confront this issue, it will undoubtedly be accused of politicizing the most important national security investigations in American history -- in an election year, no less. If it does not, it risks something far worse -- the betrayal of the thousands who lost their lives that day, and of the living who want answers.
|Bretton Woods top Back to Iran|
|June 20, 2007 -- Mystery U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia raises suspicions ... WMR has been told by informed sources that there is plenty of suspicions concerning the Bush administration's new ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ford M. Fraker. ... As the BAE Systems bribery scandal continues to circle around top Saudi officials, including the last two Saudi ambassadors to Washington, Princes Bandar and Turki bin Faisal, the Tony Blair government, and possibly, Bush administration officials aware of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations by BAE Systems, a major Pentagon contractor but failing to take action, the selection of Fraker, who has spent much of his career in London, the focal point of the BAE scandal, has taken on greater significance. ... There is a widespread suspicion in the U.S. State Department and intelligence community that Fraker, a fluent Arabic speaker, is in Riyadh as a "clean up man" to stifle an expanding investigation of BAE and its "payments" to Saudi officials and also possibly to assist in covering up Saudi financing of terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda. ... Saudi Arabia's new ambassador in Washington is the suave Adel Al Jubeir, the Saudi embassy's information officr during the time of the 9/11 attacks. ... Fraker was confirmed by a compliant and unquestioning Democratic U.S. Senate on March 29, 2007, and sworn in as ambassador on April 11, 2007. Fraker had been serving as the Chairman of Trinity Group, Ltd., a private investment banking firm in London. From 1972 to 1979, Fraker served as a representative for Chemical Bank in the Middle East, specifically, in Lebanon, and the then-newly independent United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. ... Bush's new ambassador to Saudi Arabia once worked for -- Saudi Arabia. Conflict of interests? Not for Team Bush. ... From 1979 to 1991, Fraker worked for the London-based Saudi Investment Bank (SIB), a J P Moran affiliate, and eventually was promoted to the bank's Management Committee. This was at the same time that Saudi Arabia was providing funding for the Afghan Mujaheddin, most notably the unit led by Saudi citizen Osama Bin Laden, which later became known as "Al Qaeda." ... In 1991, Fraker founded Fraker & Co. and in 1993, he joined MeesPierson Investment Finance as Managing Director. MeesPierson is also headquartered in London. Fraker also served as Managing Director of Flagship Ventures, a Cambridge, Massachusetts investment firm and a consultant for Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation in Boston. The firm is referred to as "International Real Estate Corporation" on the web site of the U.S. embassy in Riyadh. One of the firm's advisory board members is Rana el-Essa, the Assistant Deputy Director for Investment Accounting & Treasury at the Kuwait Fund for Arabic Development. Another is Thomas P. O'Neill III, former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts and son of the late House Speaker "Tip" O'Neill.|
|WMR The Dönmeh: The Middle East’s Most Whispered Secret (Part I) Wayne MADSEN | 25.10.2011 | 20:39|
|There is a historical “eight hundred pound gorilla” lurking in the
background of almost every serious military and diplomatic incident
involving Israel, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Greece, Armenia, the
Kurds, the Assyrians, and some other players in the Middle East and
southeastern Europe. It is a factor that is generally only whispered
about at diplomatic receptions, news conferences, and think tank
sessions due to the explosiveness and controversial nature of the
subject. And it is the secretiveness attached to the subject that has
been the reason for so much misunderstanding about the current breakdown
in relations between Israel and Turkey, a growing warming of relations
between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and increasing enmity between Saudi
Arabia and Iran…
Although known to historians and religious experts, the centuries-old political and economic influence of a group known in Turkish as the “Dönmeh” is only beginning to cross the lips of Turks, Arabs, and Israelis who have been reluctant to discuss the presence in Turkey and elsewhere of a sect of Turks descended from a group of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition in the 16th and 17th centuries. These Jewish refugees from Spain were welcomed to settle in the Ottoman Empire and over the years they converted to a mystical sect of Islam that eventually mixed Jewish Kabbala and Islamic Sufi semi-mystical beliefs into a sect that eventually championed secularism in post-Ottoman Turkey. It is interesting that “Dönmeh” not only refers to the Jewish “untrustworthy converts” to Islam in Turkey but it is also a derogatory Turkish word for a transvestite, or someone who is claiming to be someone they are not.
The Donmeh sect of Judaism was founded in the 17th century by Rabbi Sabbatai Zevi, a Kabbalist who believed he was the Messiah but was forced to convert to Islam by Sultan Mehmet IV, the Ottoman ruler. Many of the rabbi’s followers, known as Sabbateans, but also “crypto-Jews,” publicly proclaimed their Islamic faith but secretly practiced their hybrid form of Judaism, which was unrecognized by mainstream Jewish rabbinical authorities. Because it was against their beliefs to marry outside their sect, the Dönmeh created a rather secretive sub-societal clan.
The Dönmeh rise to power in Turkey
Many Dönmeh, along with traditional Jews, became powerful political and business leaders in Salonica. It was this core group of Dönmeh, which organized the secret Young Turks, also known as the Committee of Union and Progress, the secularists who deposed Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II in the 1908 revolution, proclaimed the post-Ottoman Republic of Turkey after World War I, and who instituted a campaign that stripped Turkey of much of its Islamic identity after the fall of the Ottomans. Abdulhamid II was vilified by the Young Turks as a tyrant, but his only real crime appears to have been to refuse to meet Zionist leader Theodore Herzl during a visit to Constantinople in 1901 and reject Zionist and Dönmeh offers of money in return for the Zionists to be granted control of Jerusalem.
Like other leaders who have crossed the Zionists, Sultan Adulhamid II appears to have sealed his fate with the Dönmeh with this statement to his Ottoman court: “Advise Dr. Herzl not to take any further steps in his project. I cannot give away even a handful of the soil of this land for it is not my own, it belongs to the entire Islamic nation. The Islamic nation fought jihad for the sake of this land and had watered it with their blood. The Jews may keep their money and millions. If the Islamic Khalifate state is one day destroyed then they will be able to take Palestine without a price! But while I am alive, I would rather push a sword into my body than see the land of Palestine cut and given away from the Islamic state.” After his ouster by Ataturk’s Young Turk Dönmeh in 1908, Abdulhamid II was jailed in the Donmeh citadel of Salonica. He died in Constantinople in 1918, three years after Ibn Saud agreed to a Jewish homeland in Palestine and one year after Lord Balfour deeded Palestine away to the Zionists in his letter to Baron Rothschild.
One of the Young Turk leaders in Salonica was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. When Greece achieved sovereignty over Salonica in 1913, many Dönmeh, unsuccessful at being re-classified Jewish, moved to Constantinople, later re-named Istanbul. Others moved to Izmir, Bursa, and Ataturk’s newly-proclaimed capital and future seat of Ergenekon power, Ankara.
Some texts suggest that the Dönmeh numbered no more than 150,000 and were mainly found in the army, government, and business. However, other experts suggest that the Dönmeh may have represented 1.5 million Turks and were even more powerful than believed by many and extended to every facet of Turkish life. One influential Donmeh, Tevfik Rustu Arak, was a close friend and adviser to Ataturk and served as Turkey’s Foreign Minister from 1925 to 1938.
Ataturk, who was reportedly himself a Dönmeh, ordered that Turks abandon their own Muslim-Arabic names. The name of the first Christian emperor of Rome, Constantine, was erased from the largest Turkish city, Constantinople. The city became Istanbul, after the Ataturk government in 1923 objected to the traditional name. There have been many questions about Ataturk’s own name, since “Mustapha Kemal Ataturk” was a pseudonym. Some historians have suggested that Ataturk adopted his name because he was a descendant of none other than Rabbi Zevi, the self-proclaimed Messiah of the Dönmeh! Ataturk also abolished Turkey’s use of the Arabic script and forced the country to adopt the western alphabet.
Modern Turkey: a secret Zionist state controlled by the Dönmeh
Ataturk’s suspected strong Jewish roots, information about which was suppressed for decades by a Turkish government that forbade anything critical of the founder of modern Turkey, began bubbling to the surface, first, mostly outside of Turkey and in publications written by Jewish authors. The 1973 book, The Secret Jews, by Rabbi Joachim Prinz, maintains that Ataturk and his finance minister, Djavid Bey, were both committed Dönmeh and that they were in good company because “too many of the Young Turks in the newly formed revolutionary Cabinet prayed to Allah, but had their real prophet [Sabbatai Zevi, the Messiah of Smyrna].” In The Forward of January 28, 1994, Hillel Halkin wrote in The New York Sun that Ataturk recited the Jewish Shema Yisrael (“Hear O Israel”), saying that it was “my prayer too.” The information is recounted from an autobiography by journalist Itamar Ben-Avi, who claims Ataturk, then a young Turkish army captain, revealed he was Jewish in a Jerusalem hotel bar one rainy night during the winter of 1911. In addition, Ataturk attended the Semsi Effendi grade school in Salonica, run by a Dönmeh named Simon Zevi. Halkin wrote in the New York Sun article about an email he received from a Turkish colleague: “I now know – know (and I haven’t a shred of doubt) – that Ataturk’s father’s family was indeed of Jewish stock.”
It was Ataturk’s and the Young Turks’ support for Zionism, the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, after World War I and during Nazi rule in Europe that endeared Turkey to Israel and vice versa. An article in The Forward of May 8, 2007, revealed that Dönmeh dominated Turkish leadership “from the president down, as well as key diplomats . . . and a great part of Turkey’s military, cultural, academic, economic, and professional elites” kept Turkey out of a World War II alliance with Germany, and deprived Hitler of a Turkish route to the Baku oilfields.” In his book, The Donme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries and Secular Turks, Professor Marc David Baer wrote that many advanced to exalted positions in the Sufi religious orders.
Israel has always been reluctant to describe the Turkish massacre of the Armenians by the Turks in 1915 as “genocide.” It has always been believed that the reason for Israel’s reticence was not to upset Israel’s close military and diplomatic ties with Turkey. However, more evidence is being uncovered that the Armenian genocide was largely the work of the Dönmeh leadership of the Young Turks. Historians like Ahmed Refik, who served as an intelligence officer in the Ottoman army, averred that it was the aim of the Young Turks to destroy the Armenians, who were mostly Christian. The Young Turks, under Ataturk’s direction, also expelled Greek Christians from Turkish cities and attempted to commit a smaller-scale genocide of the Assyrians, who were also mainly Christian.
One Young Turk from Salonica, Mehmet Talat, was the official who carried out the genocide of the Armenians and Assyrians. A Venezuelan mercenary who served in the Ottoman army, Rafael de Nogales Mendez, noted in his annals of the Armenian genocide that Talat was known as the “renegade Hebrew of Salonica.” Talat was assassinated in Germany in 1921 by an Armenian whose entire family was lost in the genocide ordered by the “renegade Hebrew.” It is believed by some historians of the Armenian genocide that the Armenians, known as good businessmen, were targeted by the business-savvy Dönmeh because they were considered to be commercial competitors.
It is not, therefore, the desire to protect the Israeli-Turkish alliance that has caused Israel to eschew any interest in pursuing the reasons behind the Armenian genocide, but Israel’s and the Dönmeh’s knowledge that it was the Dönmeh leadership of the Young Turks that not only murdered hundreds of thousands of Armenians and Assyrians but who also stamped out Turkey’s traditional Muslim customs and ways. Knowledge that it was Dönmeh, in a natural alliance with the Zionists of Europe, who were responsible for the deaths of Armenian and Assyrian Christians, expulsion from Turkey of Greek Orthodox Christians, and the cultural and religious eradication of Turkish Islamic traditions, would issue forth in the region a new reality. Rather than Greek and Turkish Cypriots living on a divided island, Armenians holding a vendetta against the Turks, and Greeks and Turks feuding over territory, all the peoples attacked by the Dönmeh would realize that they had a common foe that was their actual persecutor.
Challenging Dönmeh rule: Turkey’s battle against the Ergenekon
It is the purging of the Kemalist adherents of Ataturk and his secular Dönmeh regime that is behind the investigation of the Ergenekon conspiracy in Turkey. Ergenekon’s description matches up completely with the Dönmeh presence in Turkey’s diplomatic, military, judicial, religious, political, academic, business, and journalist hierarchy. Ergenekon attempted to stop the reforms instituted by successive non-Dönmeh Turkish leaders, including the re-introduction of traditional Turkish Islamic customs and rituals, by planning a series of coups, some successful like that which deposed Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan’s Refah (Welfare) Islamist government in 1996 and some unsuccessful, like OPERATION SLEDGEHEMMER, which was aimed at deposing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2003. Some Islamist-leaning reformists, including Turkish President Turgut Ozal and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, died under suspicious circumstances. Deposed democratically-elected Prime Minister Adnan Menderes was hanged in 1961, following a military coup.
American politicians and journalists, whose knowledge of the history of countries like Turkey and the preceding Ottoman Empire, is often severely lacking, have painted the friction between Israel’s government and the Turkish government of Prime Minister Erdogan as based on Turkey’s drift to Islamism and the Arab world. Far from it, Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) seem to have finally seen a way to break free from the domination and cruelty of the Dönmeh, whether in the form of Kemalist followers of Ataturk or nationalist schemers and plotters in Ergenekon. But with Turkey’s “Independence Day” has come vitriol from the Dönmeh and their natural allies in Israel and the Israel Lobby in the United States and Europe. Turkey as a member of the European Union was fine for Europe as long as the Dönmeh remained in charge and permitted Turkey’s wealth to be looted by central bankers like has occurred in Greece.
When Israel launched its bloody attack on the Turkish Gaza aid vessel, the Mavi Marmara, on May 31, 2010, the reason was not so much the ship’s running of the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The brutality of the Israelis in shooting unarmed Turks and one Turkish-American, some at point blank range, according to a UN report, indicated that Israel was motivated by something else: vengeance and retaliation for the Turkish government’s crackdown on Ergenekon, the purging of the Turkish military and intelligence senior ranks of Dönmeh, and reversing the anti-Muslim religious and cultural policies set down by the Dönmeh’s favorite son, Ataturk, some ninety years before. In effect, the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara was in retaliation for Turkey’s jailing of several top Turkish military officers, journalists, and academics, all accused of being part of the Ergenekon plot to overthrow the AKP government in 2003. Hidden in the Ergenekon coup plot is that the Dönmeh and Ergenekon are connected through their history of being Kemalists, ardent secularists, pro-Israeli, and pro-Zionist.
With tempers now flaring between Iran on one side and Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States on the other, as the result of a dubious claim by U.S. law enforcement that Iran was planning to carry out the assassination of the Saudi ambassador to the United States on American soil, the long-standing close, but secretive relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia is coming to the forefront. The Israeli-Saudi connection had flourished during OPERATION DESERT STORM, when both countries were on the receiving end of Saddam Hussein’s Scud missiles.
What will surprise those who may already be surprised about the Dönmeh connection to Turkey, is the Dönmeh connection to the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia.
An Iraqi Mukhabarat (General Military Intelligence Directorate) Top Secret report, “The Emergence of Wahhabism and its Historical Roots,” dated September 2002 and released on March 13, 2008, by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency in translated English form, points to the Dönmeh roots of the founder of the Saudi Wahhabi sect of Islam, Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab. Much of the information is gleaned from the memoirs of a “Mr. Humfer,” (as spelled in the DIA report, “Mr. Hempher” as spelled the historical record) a British spy who used the name “Mohammad,” claimed to be an Azeri who spoke Turkish, Persian, and Arabic and who made contact with Wahhab in the mid-18th century with a view of creating a sect of Islam that would eventually bring about an Arab revolt against the Ottomans and pave the way for the introduction of a Jewish state in Palestine. Humfer’s memoirs are recounted by the Ottoman writer and admiral Ayyub Sabri Pasha in his 1888 work, “The Beginning and Spreading of Wahhabism.”
In his book, The Dönmeh Jews, D. Mustafa Turan writes that Wahhab’s grandfather, Tjen Sulayman, was actually Tjen Shulman, a member of the Jewish community of Basra, Iraq. The Iraqi intelligence report also states that in his book, The Dönmeh Jews and the Origin of the Saudi Wahhabis, Rifat Salim Kabar reveals that Shulman eventually settled in the Hejaz, in the village of al-Ayniyah what is now Saudi Arabia, where his grandson founded the Wahhabi sect of Islam. The Iraqi intelligence report states that Shulman had been banished from Damascus, Cairo, and Mecca for his “quackery.” In the village, Shulman sired Abdul Wahhab. Abdel Wahhab’s son, Muhammad, founded modern Wahhabism.
The Iraqi report also makes some astounding claims about the Saud family. It cites Abdul Wahhab Ibrahim al-Shammari’s book, The Wahhabi Movement: The Truth and Roots, which states that King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, the first Kingdom of Saudi Arabia monarch, was descended from Mordechai bin Ibrahim bin Moishe, a Jewish merchant also from Basra. In Nejd, Moishe joined the Aniza tribe and changed his name to Markhan bin Ibrahim bin Musa. Eventually, Mordechai married off his son, Jack Dan, who became Al-Qarn, to a woman from the Anzah tribe of the Nejd. From this union, the future Saud family was born.
The Iraqi intelligence document reveals that the researcher Mohammad Sakher was the subject of a Saudi contract murder hit for his examination into the Sauds’ Jewish roots. In Said Nasir’s book, The History of the Saud Family, it is maintained that in 1943, the Saudi ambassador to Egypt, Abdullah bin Ibrahim al Muffadal, paid Muhammad al Tamami to forge a family tree showing that the Sauds and Wahhabs were one family that descended directly from the Prophet Mohammed.
At the outset of World War I, a Jewish British officer from India, David Shakespeare, met with Ibn Saud in Riyadh and later led a Saudi army that defeated a tribe opposed to Ibn Saud. In 1915, Ibn Saud met with the British envoy to the Gulf region, Bracey Cocas. Cocas made the following offer to Ibn Saud: “I think this is a guarantee for your endurance as it is in the interest of Britain that the Jews have a homeland and existence, and Britain’s interests are, by all means, in your interest.” Ibn Saud, the descendant of Dönmeh from Basra, responded: “Yes, if my acknowledgement means so much to you, I acknowledge thousand times granting a homeland to the Jews in Palestine or other than Palestine.” Two years later, British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour, in a letter to Baron Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Zionists, stated: “His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people . . .” The deal had the tacit backing of two of the major players in the region, both descendant from Dönmeh Jews who supported the Zionist cause, Kemal Ataturk and Ibn Saud. The present situation in the Middle East should be seen in this light but the history of the region has been purged by certain religious and political interests for obvious reasons.
After World War I, the British facilitated the coming to power of the Saud regime in the former Hejaz and Nejd provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The Sauds established Wahhabism as the state religion of the new Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and, like the Kemalist Dönmeh in Turkey, began to move against other Islamic beliefs and sects, including the Sunnis and Shi’as. The Wahhabi Sauds accomplished what the Kemalist Dönmeh were able to achieve in Turkey: a fractured Middle East that was ripe for Western imperialistic designs and laid the groundwork for the creation of the Zionist state of Israel.
Deep states and Dönmeh
During two visits to Turkey in 2010, I had the opportunity of discussing the Ergenekon “deep state” with leading Turkish officials. It was more than evident that discussions about the Ergenekon network and its “foreign” connections are a highly-sensitive subject. However, it was also whispered by one high-ranking Turkish foreign policy official that there were other “deep states” in surrounding nations and Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria were mentioned by name. Considering the links between Ergenekon and the Dönmeh in Turkey and the close intelligence and military links between the Dönmeh-descendent Sauds and Wahhabis in Arabia, the reports of close links between ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and the Binyamin Netanyahu government in Israel may be seen in an entirely new light… And it would explain Erdogan’s support for Egypt’s revolution: in Turkey, it was a democratic revolution that curbed the influence of the Dönmeh. The influence of Wahhabi Salafists in Libya’s new government also explains why Erdogan was keen on establishing relations with the Benghazi-based rebels to help supplant the influence of the Wahhabis, the natural allies of his enemies, the Dönmeh (Ergenekon) of Turkey.
Erdogan’s desire to set the historical record straight by restoring history purged by the Kemalists and Dönmeh has earned him vitriolic statements from Israel’s government that he is a neo-Ottomanist who is intent on forming an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab countries. Clearly, the Dönmeh and their Zionist brethren in Israel and elsewhere are worried about Dönmeh and Zionist historical revisionism, including their role in the Armenian and Assyrian genocide, and their genocide denial being exposed.
In Egypt, which was once an Ottoman realm, it was a popular revolution that tossed out what may have amounted to the Dönmeh with regard to the Mubarak regime. The Egyptian “Arab Spring” also explains why the Israelis were quick to kill six Egyptian border police so soon after nine Turkish passengers were killed aboard the Mavi Marmara, some in execution style, by Israeli troops. Dönmeh doctrine is rife with references to the Old Testament Amalekites, a nomadic tribe ordered attacked by the Hebrews from Egypt by the Jewish God to make room for Moses’s followers in the southern region of Palestine. In the Book of Judges, God unsuccessfully commands Saul: “Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, and infant, ox, and sheep, camel and donkey.” The Dönmeh, whose doctrine is also present in Hasidic and other orthodox sects of Judaism, appear to have no problem substituting the Armenians, Assyrians, Turks, Kurds, Egyptians, Iraqis, Lebanese, Iranians, and Palestinians for the Amalekites in carrying out their military assaults and pogroms.
With reformist governments in Turkey and Egypt much more willing to look into the background of those who have split the Islamic world, Ataturk in Turkey and Mubarak in Egypt, the Sauds are likely very much aware that it is only a matter of time before their links, both modern and historical, to Israel will be fully exposed. It makes sense that the Sauds have been successful in engineering a dubious plot involving Iranian government agents trying to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington in an unnamed Washington, DC restaurant. The Iraqi intelligence report could have been referring to the Zionists and Dönmeh when it stated, “it strives to . . . [the] killing of Muslims, destructing, and promoting the turmoil.” In fact, the Iraqi intelligence report was referring to the Wahhabis.
With new freedom in Turkey and Egypt to examine their pasts, there is more reason for Israel and its supporters, as well as the Sauds, to suppress the true histories of the Ottoman Empire, secular Turkey, the origins of Israel, and the House of Saud. With various players now angling for war with Iran, the true history of the Dönmeh and their influence on past and current events in the Middle East becomes more important.
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