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Profile: Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani

 
  

Positions that Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani has held:



 

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Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani actively participated in the following events:

 
  

1999      Complete Iraq timeline

       Iraqi diplomat and suspected intelligence officer Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani arrives in Prague to replace his predecessor, Jabir Salim, who had defected (see 1998). Fearing that Al-Ani had a similar mission to that of Salim, Czech intelligence closely monitors al-Ani's activities. Sometime in 1999, al-Ani is reportedly videotaped loitering around and photographing the Radio Free Europe building. Al-Ani is sometimes seen with a thinner, taller man wearing a Shell Oil jacket who is never identified. The pictures are passed onto the Czech intelligence agency [BIS]. [Newsweek, 4/28/01; Washington Post, 5/1/2002; Slate, 11/19/2003 Sources: Jan Kavan, Unnamed sources]
People and organizations involved: Radio Free Europe, Jabir Salim, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani
          

April 8, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       An informant for the BIS, the Czech intelligence agency, reportedly sees Iraqi diplomat Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani meeting in a restaurant outside Prague with an Arab man in his 20s. This draws concern from the intelligence community because the informant suggests the person is “a visiting ‘student’ from Hamburg—and ... potentially dangerous.” [Slate, 11/19/2003 Sources: Jan Kavan] The young man is never positively identified or seen again. Fearing that al-Ani may have been attempting to recruit the young man for a mission to blow-up Radio Free Europe headquarters, the diplomat is told to leave the country on April 18. [Slate, 11/19/2003; New York Times, 10/27/01; UPI, 10/21/02 Sources: Jan Kavan, Unnamed US officials] Information about the incident is passed on to US intelligence. After the 9/11 attacks and after it is reported on the news that Atta had likely visited Prague, the BIS informant will say the young man at the restaurant was Atta. (see September 14, 2001) This information leads hawks to come up with the so-called “Prague Connection” theory, which will hold that 9/11 plotter Mohammed Atta flew to Prague on April 8, met with al-Ani to discuss the planning and financing of the 9/11 attacks, and returned to the US on either April 9 or 10. [Slate, 11/19/2003; New York Times, 10/27/01; UPI, 10/21/02 Sources: Jan Kavan, Unnamed US officials, Unnamed BIS informant] The theory will be widely discounted by October 2002. [New York Times, 10/21/02 Sources: Unnamed BIS informant, Unnamed US officials]
People and organizations involved: Mohammed Atta, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, Jabir Salim, Radio Free Europe
          

April 20, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       Hynek Kmonicek, the Czech Republic's deputy foreign minister, informs the Iraqi charg? d'affaires in Prague that al-Ani must leave the Czech Republic within 24-hours because his “presence [is] not in the security interests of the Czech Republic” and because his activities are “incompatible with his diplomatic status.” [New York Times, 10/27/01; New York Times, 12/16/01; Slate, 11/19/2003; Independent, 10/26/01] Kmonicek will later deny that the dismissal is related to the meeting that allegedly took place on April 8 (see April 8, 2001). A Newsweek report in April 2002 will suggest the dismissal is related to video surveillance footage showing al-Ani photographing the Radio Free Europe building on several occasions. [Newsweek, 4/28/01] But a November 2003 report in Slate will say that the dismissal is indeed related to the alleged meeting, explaining that Czech intelligence had become nervous after learning of the meeting. [Slate, 11/19/2003 Sources: Jan Kavan] The real cause for his dismissal is never officially disclosed.
People and organizations involved: Hynek Kmonicek, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani
          

December 17, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       Czech Police Chief Jiri Kolar says that there is no evidence that 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta met an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague in April (see April 8, 2001). He also says—contradicting earlier reports—that there is no documentary evidence that Atta traveled to Prague at all in 2001. Additionally, an unnamed Czech intelligence official tells the newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes, that that the person who had met with al-Ani on April 2001 near Prague was not Atta. Another person with the same name had arrived in Prague in 2001 but he “didn't have the same identity card number.” Furthermore, “There was a great difference in their ages, their nationalities didn't match, basically nothing—it was someone else,” the source says. It is also reported that a man named Hassan, described as a businessman and a long-time member of Prague's Arab community, claims to have been a close friend of al-Ani. Hassan says that he believes the Czechs had mistaken another man for Atta, a used car dealer from Nuremberg by the name of Saleh, who often visited Prague to meet al-Ani and and who sold him at least one car. “I have sat with the two of them at least twice. The double is an Iraqi who has met with the consul. If someone saw a photo of Atta he might easily mistake the two,” Hassan says. [Telegraph, 12/18/01; New York Times, 12/16/01; Associated Press, 12/16/01 Sources: Jiri Kolar, Hassan, Unnamed Czech intelligence officials, Unnamed Interior Ministry official] Responding to the report, Gabriela Bartikova, spokeswoman for the Czech Minister of Interior, says that the Czech intelligence agency still believes that Mohammed Atta and al-Ani, the consul and second secretary of the Iraqi embassy met in April 2001. She says, “Minister Gross had the information from BIS (the Czech Republic's Intelligence Agency), and BIS guarantees the information. So we stick by that information.” At about the same time, US officials tell the Associated Press they also still believe the meeting had transpired. [Associated Press, 12/16/01]
People and organizations involved: Stanislav Gross, Mohammed Atta, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani
          

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