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Profile: UK Secret Intelligence Service


Positions that UK Secret Intelligence Service has held:




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UK Secret Intelligence Service actively participated in the following events:


March 1985: US Escalates War in Afghanistan      Complete 911 Timeline

Osama bin Laden in 1989.
The CIA, British MI6 (Britain's intelligence agency), and the Pakistani ISI agree to launch guerrilla attacks from Afghanistan into then Soviet-controlled Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, attacking military installations, factories, and storage depots within Soviet territory, and do so until the end of the war. The CIA also begins supporting the ISI in recruiting radical Muslims from around the world to come to Pakistan and fight with the Afghan mujahedeen. The CIA gives subversive literature and Korans to the ISI, who carry them into the Soviet Union. Eventually, around 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries will fight with the Afghan mujahedeen. Tens of thousands more will study in the hundreds of new madrassas funded by the ISI and CIA in Pakistan. Their main logistical base is in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. [The Hindu, 9/27/01; Washington Post, 7/19/92; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/23/01; Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 9/23/01] In the late 1980s, Pakistani President Benazir Bhutto, feeling the mujahedeen network has grown too strong, tells President George H. W. Bush, “You are creating a Frankenstein.” However, the warning goes unheeded. [Newsweek, 9/24/01] By 1993, President Bhutto tells Egyptian President Hasni Mubarak that Peshawar is under de facto control of the mujahedeen, and unsuccessfully asks for military help in reasserting Pakistani control over the city. Thousands of mujahedeen fighters return to their home countries after the war is over and engage in multiple acts of violence. One Western diplomat notes these thousands would never have been trained or united without US help, and says, “The consequences for all of us are astronomical.” [Atlantic Monthly, 5/96]
People and organizations involved: Benazir Bhutto, Central Intelligence Agency, UK Secret Intelligence Service

1996: British Intelligence and al-Qaeda Allegedly Cooperate in Plot to Assassinate Libyan Leader      Complete 911 Timeline

       Al-Muqatila, a cover for a Libyan al-Qaeda cell, tries to kill Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Al-Qadhafi survives, but several militants and innocent bystanders are killed. [Dawn, 10/30/02] According to David Shayler, a member of the British intelligence agency MI5, and Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, authors of the controversial book The Forbidden Truth, the British intelligence agency MI6 pays al-Qaeda the equivalent of $160,000 to help fund this assassination attempt. Shayler later goes to prison for revealing this information and the British press is banned from discussing the case (see November 5, 2002). [Observer, 11/10/02; New York Times, 8/5/98 Sources: David Shayler, Jean-Charles Brisard, Guillaume Dasquie] Anas al-Liby, a member of the group, is given political asylum in Britain and lives there until May 2000 despite suspicions that he is an important al-Qaeda figure (see Late 1996-May 2000). [FBI, 2002; Observer, 11/10/02]
People and organizations involved: Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, Al-Muqatila, UK Security Service, UK Secret Intelligence Service, Britain, al-Qaeda

April 1996: US and Britain Again Decline to Accept al-Qaeda Files      Complete 911 Timeline

       As in 1995, the US again rejects Sudan's offer to turn over voluminous files about bin Laden and al-Qaeda. An American involved in the secret negotiations later says that the US could have used Sudan's offer to keep an eye on bin Laden, but that another arm of the federal government blocks the efforts. “I've never seen a brick wall like that before. Somebody let this slip up,” he says. “We could have dismantled his operations and put a cage on top. It was not a matter of arresting bin Laden but of access to information. That's the story, and that's what could have prevented September 11. I knew it would come back to haunt us.” [Village Voice, 10/31/01; Washington Post, 10/3/01] Around this time, MI6, the British intelligence agency, also rebuffs Sudan's offer to provide al-Qaeda intelligence. Sudan makes a standing offer: “If someone from MI6 comes to us and declares himself, the next day he can be in [the capital city] Khartoum.” A Sudanese government source later adds, “We have been saying this for years.” The offer is not taken up until after 9/11. [Guardian, 9/30/01]
People and organizations involved: Sudan, Clinton administration, Osama bin Laden, UK Secret Intelligence Service, al-Qaeda

April 15, 1998: Libya Issues First Arrest Warrant for bin Laden      Complete 911 Timeline

Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi.
The first Interpol (international police) arrest warrant for bin Laden is issued—by Libya. [Observer, 11/10/02] According to the authors of the controversial book The Forbidden Truth, British and US intelligence agencies play down the arrest warrant, and have the public version of the warrant stripped of important information, such as the summary of charges and the fact that Libya requested the warrant. At this point, no Western country has yet issued a warrant for bin Laden, even though he publicly called for attacks on Western targets beginning in 1996. The arrest warrant is issued for the 1994 murder of two German antiterrorism agents. Allegedly, Britain and the US aren't interested in catching bin Laden at this time due to his involvement with Britain in attempts to assassinate Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in 1996 (see 1996). [Brisard, Dasquie and Madsen, 2002, pp 97-98]
People and organizations involved: Britain, Osama bin Laden, Central Intelligence Agency, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, United States, UK Secret Intelligence Service

1999: British Intelligence Warns al-Qaeda Plans to Use Aircraft, Possibly as Flying Bombs      Complete 911 Timeline

       MI6, the British intelligence agency, gives a secret report to liaison staff at the US embassy in London. The reports states that al-Qaeda has plans to use “commercial aircraft” in “unconventional ways,” “possibly as flying bombs.” [Sunday Times, 6/9/02]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, UK Secret Intelligence Service

June 2001: Germans Warn of Plan to Use Aircraft as Missiles on US and Israeli Symbols      Complete 911 Timeline

       German intelligence warns the CIA, Britain's intelligence agency, and Israel's Mossad that Middle Eastern militants are planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack “American and Israeli symbols, which stand out.” A later article quotes unnamed German intelligence sources who state the information was coming from Echelon surveillance technology, and that British intelligence had access to the same warnings. However, there were other informational sources, including specific information and hints given to, but not reported by, Western and Near Eastern news media six months before 9/11. [Fox News, 5/17/02; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 9/11/01; Washington Post, 9/14/01]
People and organizations involved: Central Intelligence Agency, UK Secret Intelligence Service, Israel Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks

(Mid-October 2001)      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Following a number of meetings in Rome and London between SISMI, Italy's military intelligence, and the British MI6 [Bamford, 2004, pp 303-304] , SISMI provides the British with an intelligence report on Iraq's alleged efforts to obtain uranium from Niger. The report—delivered by Rocco Martino under the surveillance of SISMI—is reportedly based on the collection of mostly forged documents put together in Italy (see (Between Late 2000 and September 11, 2001)). The MI6 will include this information in a report it sends to Washington saying only that it was obtained from a “reliable source.” Washington treats the report as an independent confirmation of the Italian report (see October 15, 2001) and French report (see November 22, 2002). [Independent, 11/6/2005; La Repubblica, 10/25/2005; La Repubblica, 10/24/2005; San Francisco Chronicle, 10/30/2005]
People and organizations involved: Rocco Martino, UK Secret Intelligence Service, SISMI

March 15, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       British Intelligence MI6 says in an intelligence assessment that information on Saddam's alleged arsenal of illicit weapons is “sporadic and patchy.” In its conclusion, the report states: “We believe Iraq retains some production equipment, and some small stocks of chemical warfare agent precursors, and may have hidden small quantities of agents and weapons. There is no intelligence on any biological agent production facilities.” [Daily Telegraph, 3/21/05]
People and organizations involved: UK Secret Intelligence Service

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