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Profile: Robert Baer

 
  

Positions that Robert Baer has held:

  • CIA agent


 

Quotes

 
  

No quotes or excerpts for this entity.


 

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Robert Baer actively participated in the following events:

 
  

1992-1996      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Over a period of four years, the CIA's Iraq Operation Group provides the Iraqi National Congress (INC) with $100 million, which the organization uses to set up training camps and propaganda operations in Northern Iraq. [Ritter, 2005, pp 128; Christian Science Monitor, 6/15/2004] During this time span, Chalabi allegedly misuses a lot of the funds. “There was a lot of hanky-panky with the accounting: triple billing, things that weren't mentioned, things inflated ... It was a nightmare,” a US intelligence official who works with Chalabi will say in 2004. [Newsweek, 4/5/2004] Chalabi refuses to share the organization's books with other members of the INC, and even with the US government itself. According to a former CIA officer, “[T]hey argued that it would breach the secrecy of the operation.” One night, government investigators break into the INC's offices to do an audit. They find that although the books are in order, many of the group's expenditures are wasteful. [New Yorker, 6/7/2004] Chalabi spends much of his time in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. Robert Baer, a CIA officer who is also working in Iraq, later recalls: “He was like the American Ambassador to Iraq. He could get to the White House and the CIA. He would move around Iraq with five or six Land Cruisers.” Hundreds of thousands of dollars flow “to this shadowy operator—in cars, salaries—and it was just a Potemkin village. He was reporting no intel; it was total trash. The INC's intelligence was so bad, we weren't even sending it in.” Chalabi tries to portray Saddam's regime as “a leaking warehouse of gas, and all we had to do was light a match,” Baer says. Chalabi, at certain points, claims to know about Iraqi troop movements and palace plans. But “there was no detail, no sourcing—you couldn't see it on a satellite.” [New Yorker, 6/7/2004 Sources: Robert Baer]
People and organizations involved: Iraqi National Congress, Robert Baer, Central Intelligence Agency
          

Early 1998: CIA Ignores Ex-Agent's Warning 9/11 Mastermind Is "Going to Hijack Some Planes," Visiting Germany      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Robert Baer.
in December 1997, CIA agent Robert Baer, newly retired from the CIA and working as a terrorism consultant, meets a former police chief from the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar. He learns that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was being sheltered by then Qatari Interior Minister Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani in 1996 (see January-May 1996). However, the ex-police chief knows other details, based on what Qatari police and intelligence learned when Mohammed was in the country. Mohammed was leading an al-Qaeda cell in Qatar together with Shawqui Islambuli, the brother of the Egyptian who had killed Anwar el-Sadat. They also were linked to bomber Ramzi Yousef. But what worries the former police chief is that Mohammed and Islambuli are experts in hijacking commercial planes. He tells Baer that Mohammed “is going to hijack some planes.” Further, he is told that Mohammed has moved to the Czech Republic, and has also travelled to Germany to meet bin Laden associates there. In early 1998 Baer sends this information to a friend in the CIA Counterterrorist Center, who forwards the information to his superiors. Baer doesn't hear back. He says, “There was no interest.” [UPI, 9/30/02; Vanity Fair, 2/02; Baer, 2002, pp 270-71] Baer also tries to interest reporter Daniel Pearl in a story about Mohammed before 9/11, but Pearl is still working on it when he is kidnapped and later murdered in early 2002. [UPI, 9/30/02] Baer's source later disappears, presumably kidnapped in Qatar. It has been speculated that the CIA turned on the source to protect its relationship with the Qatari government. [Gertz, 2002, pp 55-58] It appears bin Laden visits al-Thani in Qatar between the years 1996 and 2000. [ABC News, 2/7/03] Al-Thani continues to support al-Qaeda, providing Qatari passports and more than $1 million in funds to al-Qaeda. Even after 9/11, Mohammed is provided shelter in Qatar for two weeks in late 2001. [New York Times, 2/6/03] Yet the US still has not frozen al-Thani's assets or taken other action.
People and organizations involved: Ramzi Yousef, Counterterrorist Center, Qatar, Anwar el-Sadat, Shawqui Islambuli, Daniel Pearl, Osama bin Laden, Persian Gulf, al-Qaeda, Central Intelligence Agency, Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Robert Baer
          

August 2001: Persian Gulf Informant Gives Ex-CIA Agent Information About ‘Spectacular Terrorist Operation’      Complete 911 Timeline

       Former CIA agent Robert Baer is advising a prince in a Persian Gulf royal family, when a military associate of this prince passes information to him about a “spectacular terrorist operation” that will take place shortly. He is given a computer record of around 600 secret al-Qaeda operatives in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The list includes ten names that will be placed on the FBI's most wanted terrorists list after 9/11. He is also given evidence that a Saudi merchant family had funded the USS Cole bombing on October 12, 2000, and that the Yemeni government is covering up information related to that bombing. At the military officer's request, he offers all this information to the Saudi Arabian government. However, an aide to the Saudi defense minister, Prince Sultan, refuses to look at the list or to pass the names on (Sultan is later sued for his complicity in the 9/11 plot in August 2002). Baer also passes the information on to a senior CIA official and the CIA's Counter Terrorism Center, but there is no response or action. Portions of Baer's book describing his experience are blacked out, having been censored by the CIA. [Baer, 2002, pp 55-58; Financial Times, 1/12/02]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, USS Cole, Robert Baer
          

August 25, 2002: CIA Collects No Intelligence About Saudi Arabia      Complete 911 Timeline

       Appearing on NBC's Dateline, former CIA agent Robert Baer says the US collects virtually no intelligence about Saudi Arabia nor are they given any intelligence collected by the Saudis. He says this is because there are implicit orders from the White House that say: “Do not collect information on Saudi Arabia because we're going to risk annoying the royal family.” On the same television program, despite being on a US list of suspected terrorist financiers since October 2001, Saudi millionaire Yassin al-Qadi says, “I'm living my life here in Saudi Arabia without any problem” because he is being protected by the Saudi government. Al-Qadi admits to giving bin Laden money for his “humanitarian” work, but says this is different from bin Laden's militant activities. Presented with this information, the US Treasury Department only says that the US “is pleased with and appreciates the actions taken by the Saudis” in the war on terror. The Saudi government still has not given US intelligence permission to talk to any family members of the hijackers, even though some US journalists have had limited contact with a few. [MSNBC, 8/25/02]
People and organizations involved: Robert Baer, Yassin al-Qadi, Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden, United States, US Department of the Treasury
          

September 4, 2002: Iraq Sued for Conspiring with al-Qaeda in 9/11 Attacks      Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Over 1,400 relatives of 9/11 attack victims sue Iraq for more than $1 trillion, claiming there is evidence Iraq conspired with al-Qaeda on the 9/11 attacks. [CBS News, 9/5/02] One of the key pieces of evidence cited is an article in a small town Iraqi newspaper written by Naeem Abd Muhalhal on July 21, 2001. He describes bin Laden thinking “seriously, with the seriousness of the Bedouin of the desert, about the way he will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House.” He adds that bin Laden is “insisting very convincingly that he will strike America on the arm that is already hurting,” which has been interpreted as a possible reference to the 1993 bombing of the WTC. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein apparently praised this writer on September 1, 2001. The lawsuit is based largely on the idea that “Iraqi officials were aware of plans to attack American landmarks,” yet did not warn their archenemy, the US. [Associated Press, 9/4/02] Former CIA agent and terrorism consultant Robert Baer is hired by the prosecuting legal team to find evidence of a meeting between Mohamed Atta and Iraqi agents on April 8, 2001, but despite the help of the CIA, he is unable find any evidence of such a meeting. [CBS News, 9/5/02]
People and organizations involved: Robert Baer
          

'Passive' participant in the following events:

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