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Profile: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence

 
  

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Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence actively participated in the following events:

 
  

1984: Bin Laden Develops Ties with Pakistani ISI and Afghan Warlord      Complete 911 Timeline

       Bin Laden moves to Peshawar, a Pakistani town bordering Afghanistan, and helps run a front organization for the mujahedeen known as Maktab al-Khidamar (MAK), which funnels money, arms, and fighters from the outside world into the Afghan war. [New Yorker, 1/24/00] “MAK [is] nurtured by Pakistan's state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA's primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow's occupation.” [MSNBC, 8/24/98] Bin Laden becomes closely tied to the warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and greatly strengthens Hekmatyar's opium smuggling operations. [Le Monde, 9/14/01] Hekmatyar, who also has ties with bin Laden, the CIA, and drug running, has been called “an ISI stooge and creation.” [Asia Times, 11/15/01]
People and organizations involved: Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Osama bin Laden, Central Intelligence Agency, Maktab al-Khidamar, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

Mid-1980s: Pakistani ISI and CIA Gain from Drug Production      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Pakistani ISI starts a special cell of agents who use profits from heroin production for covert actions “at the insistence of the CIA.” “This cell promotes the cultivation of opium, the extraction of heroin in Pakistani and Afghan territories under mujahedeen control. The heroin is then smuggled into the Soviet controlled areas, in an attempt to turn the Soviet troops into heroin addicts. After the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, the ISI's heroin cell started using its network of refineries and smugglers for smuggling heroin to the Western countries and using the money as a supplement to its legitimate economy. But for these heroin dollars, Pakistan's legitimate economy must have collapsed many years ago.” [Financial Times (Asian edition), 8/10/01] The ISI grows so powerful on this money, that “even by the shadowy standards of spy agencies, the ISI is notorious. It is commonly branded ‘a state within the state,’ or Pakistan's ‘invisible government.’” [Time, 5/6/02]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency
          

1986: Bin Laden Works with CIA, at Least Indirectly      Complete 911 Timeline

       The CIA, ISI, and bin Laden build the Khost tunnel complex in Afghanistan. This will be a major target of bombing and fighting when the US attacks the Taliban in 2001. [Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 9/23/01; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/23/01; The Hindu, 9/27/01] It will be reported in June 2001 that “bin Laden worked closely with Saudi, Pakistani, and US intelligence services to recruit mujahedeen from many Muslim countries,” but this information has not been reported much since 9/11. [UPI, 6/14/01] A CIA spokesperson will later claim, “For the record, you should know that the CIA never employed, paid, or maintained any relationship whatsoever with bin Laden.” [Ananova, 10/31/01]
People and organizations involved: Taliban, Central Intelligence Agency, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Osama bin Laden
          

February 15, 1989: Soviet Forces Withdraw from Afghanistan      Complete 911 Timeline

       Soviet forces withdraw from Afghanistan, but Afghan communists retain control of Kabul, the capital, until April 1992. [Washington Post, 7/19/92] Richard Clarke, a counterterrorism official during the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations and the counterterrorism “tsar” by 9/11, later claims that the huge amount of US aid provided to Afghanistan drops off drastically as soon as the Soviets withdraw, abandoning the country to civil war and chaos. The new powers in Afghanistan are tribal chiefs, the Pakistani ISI, and the Arab war veterans coalescing into al-Qaeda. [Clarke, 2004, pp 52-53]
People and organizations involved: Richard A. Clarke, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, al-Qaeda
          

1993: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Has Ties with ISI      Complete 911 Timeline

       US agents uncover photographs showing Khalid Shaikh Mohammed with close associates of future Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The Financial Times later notes that Mohammed and his allies “must have felt confident that their ties to senior Pakistani Islamists, whose power had been cemented within the country's intelligence service [the ISI], would prove invaluable.” [Financial Times, 2/15/03] Also this year, Mohammed is involved in an operation to assassinate Benazir Bhutto, then prime minister of Pakistan (and an opponent of Sharif and the ISI). [Slate, 9/21/01; Guardian, 3/3/03 (B)] The Los Angeles Times later reports that Mohammed “spent most of the 1990s in Pakistan. Pakistani leadership through the 1990s sympathized with Osama bin Laden's fundamentalist rhetoric. This sympathy allowed Mohammed to operate as he pleased in Pakistan.” [Los Angeles Times, 6/24/02]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Osama bin Laden, Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto
          

June 1993-October 1994: 9/11 Funder Saeed Sheikh Joins Al-Qaeda      Complete 911 Timeline

       Saeed Sheikh, a brilliant British student at the London School of Economics, drops out of school and moves to his homeland of Pakistan. Two months later, he begins training in Afghanistan at camps run by al-Qaeda and the Pakistani ISI. By mid-1994, he has become an instructor. In June 1994, he begins kidnapping Western tourists in India. In October 1994, he is captured after kidnapping three Britons and an American, and is put in an Indian maximum-security prison, where he remain for five years. The ISI pays a lawyer to defend him. [Los Angeles Times, 2/9/02; Daily Mail, 7/16/02; Vanity Fair, 8/02] His supervisor is Ijaz Shah, an ISI officer. [Times of India, 3/12/02; Guardian, 7/16/02]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, al-Qaeda, Ijaz Shah, Saeed Sheikh
          

September 1994: ISI Creates the Taliban, Helps Them Begin Afghanistan Conquest      Complete 911 Timeline

       Starting as Afghan exiles in Pakistan religious schools, the Taliban begin their conquest of Afghanistan. [MSNBC, 10/2/01] “The Taliban are widely alleged to be the creation of Pakistan's military intelligence [the ISI], which, according to experts, explains the Taliban's swift military successes.” [CNN, 10/5/96] Richard Clarke, a counterterrorism official during the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations and the counterterrorism “tsar” by 9/11, later claims that not only does the ISI create the Taliban, but they also facilitate connections between the Taliban and al-Qaeda to help the Taliban achieve victory. [Clarke, 2004, pp 53] An edition of the Wall Street Journal will state in November 2001, “Despite their clean chins and pressed uniforms, the ISI men are as deeply fundamentalist as any bearded fanatic; the ISI created the Taliban as their own instrument and still support it.” [Asia Times, 11/15/01] ISI support of the Taliban is backed by the CIA. A long-time regional expert with extensive CIA ties later says, “I warned them that we were creating a monster.” He adds that even years later, “the Taliban are not just recruits from ‘madrassas’ (Muslim theological schools) but are on the payroll of the ISI.” [Times of India, 3/7/01] The same claim is made on CNN in February 2002. [CNN, 2/27/02]
People and organizations involved: Richard A. Clarke, Central Intelligence Agency, al-Qaeda, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Taliban
          

September 27, 1996: Victorious Taliban Supported by Pakistan; Viewed by US, Unocal as Stabilizing Force      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Taliban conquer Kabul [Associated Press, 8/19/02] , establishing control over much of Afghanistan. A surge in the Taliban's military successes at this time is later attributed to an increase in direct military assistance from Pakistan's ISI. [New York Times, 12/8/01] The oil company Unocal is hopeful that the Taliban will stabilize Afghanistan and allow its pipeline plans to go forward. According to some reports, “preliminary agreement [on the pipeline] was reached between the [Taliban and Unocal] long before the fall of Kabul . ... Oil industry insiders say the dream of securing a pipeline across Afghanistan is the main reason why Pakistan, a close political ally of America's, has been so supportive of the Taliban, and why America has quietly acquiesced in its conquest of Afghanistan.” [Daily Telegraph, 10/11/96] The 9/11 Commission later concludes that some State Department diplomats are willing to “give the Taliban a chance” because it might be able to bring stability to Afghanistan, which would allow a Unocal oil pipeline to be built through the country. [9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04]
People and organizations involved: Taliban, Unocal, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, US Department of State, 9/11 Commission
          

October 1996-early 2002: Arms Dealer Aligns with Taliban and ISI      Complete 911 Timeline

       Russian arms merchant Victor Bout, who has been selling weapons to Afghanistan's Northern Alliance since 1992, switches sides, and begins selling weapons to the Taliban and al-Qaeda instead. [Los Angeles Times, 1/20/02; Los Angeles Times, 5/17/02; Guardian, 4/17/02] The deal comes immediately after the Taliban captures Kabul in late October 1996 and gains the upper hand in Afghanistan's civil war. In one trade in 1996, Bout's company delivers at least 40 tons of Russian weapons to the Taliban, earning about $50 million. [Guardian, 2/16/02] Two intelligence agencies later confirm that Bout trades with the Taliban “on behalf of the Pakistan government.” In late 2000, several Ukrainians sell 150 to 200 T-55 and T-62 tanks to the Taliban in a deal conducted by the ISI, and Bout helps fly the tanks to Afghanistan. [Montreal Gazette, 2/5/02] Bout formerly worked for the Russian KGB, and now operates the world's largest private weapons transport network. Based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bout operates freely there until well after 9/11. The US becomes aware of Bout's widespread illegal weapons trading in Africa in 1995, and of his ties to the Taliban in 1996, but they fail to take effective action against him for years. [Los Angeles Times, 5/17/02] US pressure on the UAE in November 2000 to close down Bout's operations there is ignored. Press reports calling him “the merchant of death” also fail to pressure the UAE. [Financial Times, 6/10/00; Guardian, 12/23/00] After President Bush is elected, it appears the US gives up trying to get Bout, until after 9/11. [Guardian, 4/17/02; Washington Post, 2/26/02] Bout moves to Russia in 2002. He is seemingly protected from prosecution by the Russian government, which in early 2002 will claim, “There are no grounds for believing that this Russian citizen has committed illegal acts.” [Guardian, 4/17/02] The Guardian suggests that Bout may have worked with the CIA when he traded with the Northern Alliance, and this fact may be hampering current international efforts to catch him. [Guardian, 4/17/02]
People and organizations involved: United Arab Emirates, George W. Bush, Russia, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Victor Bout, Central Intelligence Agency, Northern Alliance
          

July 1998: Taliban and Saudis Meet and Purportedly Make a Deal      Complete 911 Timeline

       Taliban officials allegedly meet with Prince Turki, head of Saudi intelligence, to continue talks concerning the Taliban's ouster of bin Laden from Afghanistan. Reports on the location of this meeting, and the deal under discussion differ. According to some reports, including documents exposed in a later lawsuit, this meeting takes place in Kandahar. Those present include Prince Turki al-Faisal, head of Saudi Arabian intelligence, Taliban leaders, senior officers from the ISI, and bin Laden. According to these reports, Saudi Arabia agrees to give the Taliban and Pakistan “several hundred millions” of dollars, and in return, bin Laden promises no attacks against Saudi Arabia. The Saudis also agree to ensure that requests for the extradition of al-Qaeda members will be blocked and promise to block demands by other countries to close down bin Laden's Afghan training camps. Saudi Arabia had previously given money to the Taliban and bribe money to bin Laden, but this ups the ante. [Sunday Times, 8/25/02] A few weeks after the meeting, Prince Turki sends 400 new pickup trucks to the Taliban. At least $200 million follow. [New York Post, 8/25/02; Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 9/23/01] Controversial author Gerald Posner gives a similar account said to come from high US government officials, and adds that al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida also attends the meeting. [Posner, 2003, pp 189-90] Note that reports of this meeting seemingly contradict reports of a meeting the month before between Turki and the Taliban, in which the Taliban agreed to get rid of bin Laden (see June 1998).
People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Turki bin Faisal bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, Abu Zubaida, Pakistan, al-Qaeda, Taliban
          

August 9, 1998: Northern Alliance Stronghold Conquered by Taliban; Pipeline Project Now Looks Promising      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Northern Alliance capital of Afghanistan, Mazar-i-Sharif, is conquered by the Taliban. Military support of Pakistan's ISI plays a large role; there is even an intercept of an ISI officer stating, “My boys and I are riding into Mazar-i-Sharif.” [New York Times, 12/8/01] This victory gives the Taliban control of 90 percent of Afghanistan, including the entire proposed pipeline route. CentGas, the consortium behind the gas pipeline that would run through Afghanistan, is now “ready to proceed. Its main partners are the American oil firm Unocal and Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia, plus Hyundai of South Korea, two Japanese companies, a Pakistani conglomerate and the Turkmen government.” However, the pipeline cannot be financed unless the government is officially recognized. “Diplomatic sources said the Taliban's offensive was well prepared and deliberately scheduled two months ahead of the next UN meeting” where members are to decide whether the Taliban should be recognized. [Daily Telegraph, 8/13/98]
People and organizations involved: Energy Information Agency, Northern Alliance, Taliban, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

August 20, 1998: ISI Alerts the Taliban to Incoming Missiles Targeting Their Shared Training Camps      Complete 911 Timeline

       The US missile strike on Afghanistan on this day inadvertently reveals connections between al-Qaeda and the ISI. Two of the four camps in Afghanistan hit had strong connections to the ISI, and five ISI officers and some twenty trainees are killed. The US also loses the element of surprise. General Joseph Ralston, the vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was purposely scheduled to eat dinner with General Jehangir Karamat, the Pakistani Army's chief of staff, in Islamabad, Pakistan the night of the missile strike. At one point during the dinner, Ralston looks at his watch and announces that in ten minutes about sixty cruise missiles will be entering Pakistan's airspace on their way to Afghanistan. This is done to make sure the missiles wouldn't be misidentified and shot down. [New Yorker, 1/24/00] But this carefully timed ploy is not successful. Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke claims he was promised by the Navy that it would fire their missiles from below the ocean surface. However, in fact, many destroyers fired their missiles from the surface. [Clarke, 2004, pp 188-89] He adds, “not only did they use surface ships—they brought additional ones in, because every captain wants to be able to say he fired the cruise missile.” [New Yorker, 7/28/03] As a result, the ISI (or bin Laden sympathizers within) had many hours to alert bin Laden. Clarke says he believes that “if the [ISI] wanted to capture bin Laden or tell us where he was, they could have done so with little effort. They did not cooperate with us because ISI saw al-Qaeda as helpful in pressuring India, particularly in Kashmir.” [Clarke, 2004, pp 188-89] In 1999 the US will intercept communications suggesting that Hamid Gul, ISI Director in the early 1990's, played a role in forewarning the Taliban about the missile strike which may even had predated the firing of the cruise missiles (see July 1999).
People and organizations involved: Jehangir Karamat, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Osama bin Laden, Richard A. Clarke, Joseph Ralston, Hamid Gul, al-Qaeda, Taliban
          

October 1999: Joint US-ISI Operation to Kill Osama Falters      Complete 911 Timeline

       The CIA readies an operation to capture or kill bin Laden, secretly training and equipping approximately 60 commandos from the Pakistani ISI. Pakistan supposedly agrees to this plan in return for the lifting of economic sanctions and more economic aid. The plan is ready to go by this month, but it is aborted because on October 12, General Musharraf takes control of Pakistan in a coup. Musharraf refuses to continue the operation despite the promise of substantial rewards. [Washington Post, 10/3/01 (C)] Some US officials later say the CIA was tricked, that the ISI just feigned to cooperate as a stalling tactic, and never intended to get bin Laden. [New York Times, 10/29/01]
People and organizations involved: Central Intelligence Agency, Osama bin Laden, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Pervez Musharraf
          

October 12, 1999: General Musharraf Takes Control of Pakistan; Ousted ISI Leader Has Curious Finances      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
General Pervez Musharraf becomes leader of Pakistan in a coup. One major reason for the coup is the ISI felt the previous ruler had to go “out of fear that he might buckle to American pressure and reverse Pakistan's policy [of supporting] the Taliban.” [New York Times, 12/8/01] Shortly thereafter Musharraf replaces the leader of the ISI, Brig Imtiaz, because of his close ties to the previous leader. Imtiaz is arrested and convicted of “having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.” It comes out that he was keeping tens of millions of dollars earned from heroin smuggling in a Deutsche Bank account. This is interesting because insider trading just prior to 9/11 will later connect to a branch of Deutsche Bank recently run by “Buzzy” Krongard, now executive director of the CIA. [Financial Times (Asian edition), 8/10/01] The new director of the ISI is Lieutenant General Mahmood Ahmed, a close ally of Musharraf who is instrumental in the success of the coup. [Guardian, 10/9/01]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Pervez Musharraf, Taliban, Mahmood Ahmed, Deutsche Bank, Brig Imtiaz
          

December 24-31, 1999: Hijacked Flight Leads to Freeing of Future 9/11 Funder      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Hijackers threaten the Indian Airlines plane, under Taliban supervision.
An Indian Airlines flight is hijacked and flown to Afghanistan where 155 passengers are held hostage for eight days. They are freed in return for the release of three militants held in Indian prisons. One of the hostages is killed. One of the men freed in the exchange is 9/11 paymaster Saeed Sheikh. [BBC, 12/31/99] Another freed militant is Maulana Masood Azhar. Azhar emerges in Pakistan a few days later, and tells a crowd of 10,000, “I have come here because this is my duty to tell you that Muslims should not rest in peace until we have destroyed America and India.” [Associated Press, 1/5/00] He then tours Pakistan for weeks under the protection of the ISI. [Vanity Fair, 8/02] The ISI and Saeed helps Azhar form a new Islamic militant group called Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Azhar is soon plotting attacks again. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02; Washington Post, 2/8/03; Guardian, 7/16/02]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Maulana Masood Azhar, Saeed Sheikh, Central Intelligence Agency, Jaish-e-Mohammed
          

January 1, 2000-September 11, 2001: Following Release from Prison, Saeed Sheikh Lives Openly; Supports Future 9/11 Hijackers      Complete 911 Timeline

       After being released from prison at the end of 1999, Saeed Sheikh stays in Kandahar, Afghanistan, for several days and meets with Taliban leader Mullah Omar. He also meets with bin Laden, who is said to call Saeed “my special son.” He then travels to Pakistan and is given a house by the ISI. [Vanity Fair, 8/02] He lives openly and opulently in Pakistan, even attending “swanky parties attended by senior Pakistani government officials.” US authorities conclude he is an asset of the ISI. [Newsweek, 3/13/02] Amazingly, he is allowed to travel freely to Britain, and visits family there at least twice. [Vanity Fair, 8/02] He works with Ijaz Shah, a former ISI official in charge of handling two militant groups; Lieutenant-General Mohammed Aziz Khan, former deputy chief of the ISI in charge of relations with Jaish-e-Mohammed; and Brigadier Abdullah, a former ISI officer. He is well known to other senior ISI officers. He regularly travels to Afghanistan and helps train new al-Qaeda recruits in training camps there. [National Post, 2/26/02; Guardian, 7/16/02; New York Times, 2/25/02; India Today, 2/25/02] Saeed helps train the 9/11 hijackers also, presumably in Afghanistan. [Daily Telegraph, 9/30/01] He also helps al-Qaeda develop a secure web-based communications system, and there is talk that he could one day succeed bin Laden. [Daily Telegraph, 7/16/02; Vanity Fair, 8/02] He wires money to the 9/11 hijackers in August 2001 and possibly several other times. Presumably, he sends the money from the United Arab Emirates during his many trips there. [Guardian, 2/9/02]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, Abdullah, Mohammed Aziz Khan, Ijaz Shah, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Osama bin Laden, Saeed Sheikh, Mullah Omar
          

March 17, 2000: Bin Laden Reportedly Ill      Complete 911 Timeline

       Reports suggest bin Laden appears weak and gaunt at an important meeting of supporters. He may be very ill with liver ailments, and is seeking a kidney dialysis machine. [Associated Press, 3/25/00] It is believed he gets the dialysis machine in early 2001. [Times of London, 11/01/01] He is able to talk, walk with a cane, and hold meetings, but little else. [Deutsche Presse-Agenteur, 3/16/00; Asiaweek, 3/24/00] The ISI is said to help facilitate his medical treatment. [CBS News, 1/28/02]
People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

Early June 2001: Extensive ISI Support for Taliban Continues      Complete 911 Timeline

       UPI reporters visiting Taliban leader Mullah Omar note, “Saudi Arabia and the [United Arab Emirates] secretly fund the Taliban government by paying Pakistan for its logistical support to Afghanistan. Despite Pakistan's official denials, the Taliban is entirely dependent on Pakistani aid. This was verified on the ground by UPI. Everything from bottled water to oil, gasoline and aviation fuel, and from telephone equipment to military supplies, comes from Pakistan.” [UPI, 6/14/01]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Mullah Omar, Taliban, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
          

June 12, 2001: Sting Operation Exposes al-Qaeda, ISI, and Drug Connections; Investigators Face Obstacles to Learn More      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Kevin Ingram, Randy Glass, and Diaa Mohsen in August 1999.
Operation Diamondback, a sting operation uncovering an attempt to buy weapons illegally for the Taliban, bin Laden, and others, ends with a number of arrests. An Egyptian named Diaa Mohsen and a Pakistani named Mohammed Malik are arrested and accused of attempting to buy Stinger missiles, nuclear weapon components, and other sophisticated military weaponry for the Pakistani ISI. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 8/23/01; Washington Post, 8/2/02 (B)] Malik appears to have had links to important Pakistani officials and Kashmiri militants, and Mohsen claims a connection to a man “who is very connected to the Taliban” and funded by bin Laden. [Washington Post, 8/2/02 (B); MSNBC, 8/2/02] Some other ISI agents came to Florida on several occasions to negotiate, but they escaped being arrested. They wanted to pay partially in heroin. One mentioned that the WTC would be destroyed. These ISI agents said some of their purchases would go to the Taliban in Afghanistan and/or militants associated with bin Laden. [Washington Post, 8/2/02 (B); MSNBC, 8/2/02] Both Malik and Mohsen lived in Jersey City, New Jersey. [Jersey Journal, 6/20/01] Mohsen pleads guilty after 9/11, “but remarkably, even though [he was] apparently willing to supply America's enemies with sophisticated weapons, even nuclear weapons technology, Mohsen was sentenced to just 30 months in prison.” [MSNBC, 8/2/02] Malik's case appears to have been dropped, and reporters find him working in a store in Florida less than a year after the trial ended. [MSNBC, 8/2/02] Malik's court files remain completely sealed, and in Mohsen's court case, prosecutors “removed references to Pakistan from public filings because of diplomatic concerns.” [Washington Post, 8/2/02 (B)] Also arrested are Kevin Ingram and Walter Kapij. Ingram pleads guilty to laundering $350,000 and he is sentenced to 18 months in prison. [Associated Press, 12/1/01] Ingram was a former senior investment banker with Deutsche Bank, but resigned in January 1999 after his division suffered costly losses. [Jersey Journal, 6/20/01] Walter Kapij, a pilot with a minor role in the plot, is given the longest sentence, 33 months in prison. [Palm Beach Post, 1/12/02] Informant Randy Glass plays a key role in the sting, and has thirteen felony fraud charges against him reduced as a result, serving only seven months in prison. Federal agents involved in the case later express puzzlement that Washington higher-ups did not make the case a higher priority, pointing out that bin Laden could have gotten a nuclear bomb if the deal was for real. Agents on the case complain that the FBI did not make the case a counterterrorism matter, which would have improved bureaucratic backing and opened access to FBI information and US intelligence from around the world. [Washington Post, 8/2/02 (B); MSNBC, 8/2/02] Federal agents frequently couldn't get prosecutors to approve wiretaps. [Cox News Service, 8/2/02] Glass says, “Wouldn't you think that there should have been a wire tap on Diaa [Mohsen]'s phone and Malik's phone?” [WPBF Channel 25, 8/5/02] An FBI supervisor in Miami refused to front money for the sting, forcing agents to use money from US Customs and even Glass's own money to help keep the sting going. [Cox News Service, 8/2/02]
People and organizations involved: Mohammed Malik, Kevin Ingram, Diaa Mohsen, Walter Kapij, Operation Diamondback, Randy Glass, Osama bin Laden, World Trade Center, Taliban, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, US Customs Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

July 2, 2001: Osama bin Laden Periodically Undergoes Dialysis with Approval of the ISI      Complete 911 Timeline

       Indian sources claim that “bin Laden, who suffers from renal deficiency, has been periodically undergoing dialysis in a Peshawar military hospital with the knowledge and approval of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), if not of [Pakistani President] Musharraf himself.” [SARPA, 7/2/01] While one might question the bias of an Indian newspaper on this issue, highly respected intelligence newsletter Jane's Intelligence Digest later reports the story, and adds, “None of [these details] will be unfamiliar to US intelligence operatives who have been compiling extensive reports on these alleged activities.” [Jane's Intelligence Digest, 9/20/01] CBS will later report bin Laden had emergency medical care in Pakistan the day before 9/11. [CBS News, 1/28/02] If these stories are true, it appears Pakistan could have captured bin Laden for the US at any time. The Jane's Intelligence Digest article adds, “It is becoming clear that both the Taliban and al-Qaeda would have found it difficult to have continued functioning—including the latter group's terrorist activities—without substantial aid and support from Islamabad [Pakistan].” [Jane's Intelligence Digest, 9/20/01]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, Taliban, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Osama bin Laden
          

July 21, 2001: US Official Threatens Possible Military Action Against Taliban by October if Pipeline Is Not Pursued      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Niaz Naik.
Three former American officials, Tom Simons (former US Ambassador to Pakistan), Karl Inderfurth (former Deputy Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs), and Lee Coldren (former State Department expert on South Asia) meet with Pakistani and Russian intelligence officers in a Berlin hotel. [Salon, 8/16/02] This is the third of a series of back-channel conferences called “brainstorming on Afghanistan.” Taliban representatives sat in on previous meetings, but boycotted this one due to worsening tensions. However, the Pakistani ISI relays information from the meeting to the Taliban. [Guardian, 9/22/01] At the meeting, Coldren passes on a message from Bush officials. He later says, “I think there was some discussion of the fact that the United States was so disgusted with the Taliban that they might be considering some military action.” [Guardian, 9/26/01] Accounts vary, but former Pakistani Foreign Secretary Niaz Naik later says he is told by senior American officials at the meeting that military action to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan is planned to “take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.” The goal is to kill or capture both bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar, topple the Taliban regime, and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place. Uzbekistan and Russia would also participate. Naik also says, “It was doubtful that Washington would drop its plan even if bin Laden were to be surrendered immediately by the Taliban.” [BBC, 9/18/01] One specific threat made at this meeting is that the Taliban can choose between “carpets of bombs” —an invasion—or “carpets of gold” — the pipeline. [Brisard, Dasquie and Madsen, 2002, pp 43] Naik contends that Tom Simons made the “carpets” statement. Simons claims, “It's possible that a mischievous American participant, after several drinks, may have thought it smart to evoke gold carpets and carpet bombs. Even Americans can't resist the temptation to be mischievous.” Naik and the other American participants deny that the pipeline was an issue at the meeting. [Salon, 8/16/02]
People and organizations involved: Tom Simons, Bush administration, Taliban, Niaz Naik, Osama bin Laden, Russia, Karl Inderfurth, Lee Coldren, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Uzbekistan, Mullah Omar
          

Mid-August 2001: Afghan Leader Organizes Taliban Resistance Without US Support      Complete 911 Timeline

       Abdul Haq, a famous Afghan leader of the mujahedeen, returns to Peshawar, Pakistan, from the US. Having failed to gain US support, except for that of some private individuals such as former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, Haq begins organizing subversive operations in Afghanistan. [Los Angeles Times, 10/28/01 (B); Wall Street Journal, 11/2/01] He is later killed entering Afghanistan in October 2001, after his position is reportedly betrayed to the Taliban by the ISI.
People and organizations involved: Abdul Haq, Taliban, Robert C. McFarlane, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

September 19, 2001: Rumored Meeting Between Saudi Fundamentalists and ISI      Complete 911 Timeline

       According to the private intelligence service Intelligence Online, a secret meeting between fundamentalist supporters in Saudi Arabia and the ISI takes place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on this day. Crown Prince Abdullah, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, and Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, the new head of Saudi intelligence, meet with General Mohamed Youssef, head of the ISI's Afghanistan Section, and ISI Director Mahmood (just returning from discussions in Afghanistan). They agree “to the principle of trying to neutralize Osama bin Laden in order to spare the Taliban regime and allow it to keep its hold on Afghanistan.” There has been no confirmation that this meeting in fact took place, but if it did, its goals were unsuccessful. [Intelligence Online, 10/4/01] There may have been a similar meeting before 9/11 in the summer of 2001.
People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, Taliban, Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, Mahmood Ahmed, Mohamed Youssef, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

Late September-November 2001: Pakistani ISI Aids Taliban Against US      Complete 911 Timeline

       The ISI secretly assists the Taliban in its defense against a US-led attack. Between three and five ISI officers give military advice to the Taliban in late September. [Daily Telegraph, 10/10/01] At least five key ISI operatives help the Taliban prepare defenses in Kandahar, yet none are punished for their activities. [Time, 5/6/02] Secret advisers begin to withdraw in early October, but some stay on into November. [Knight Ridder, 11/3/01] Large convoys of rifles, ammunition, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers for Taliban fighters cross the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan on October 8 and 12, just after US bombing of Afghanistan begins and after a supposed crackdown on ISI fundamentalists. The Pakistani ISI secretly gives safe passage to these convoys, despite having promised the US in September that such assistance would immediately stop. [New York Times, 12/8/01] Secret ISI convoys of weapons and nonlethal supplies continue into November. [UPI, 11/1/01; Time, 5/6/02] An anonymous Western diplomat later states, “We did not fully understand the significance of Pakistan's role in propping up the Taliban until their guys withdrew and things went to hell fast for the Talibs.” [New York Times, 12/8/01]
People and organizations involved: Taliban, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

October 25, 2001: Afghan Resistance Leader Killed      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Abdul Haq.
Abdul Haq, a leader of the Afghan resistance to the Taliban, is killed. According to some reports, he “seemed the ideal candidate to lead an opposition alliance into Afghanistan to oust the ruling Taliban.” [Observer, 10/28/01] Four days earlier, he had secretly entered Afghanistan with a small force to try to raise rebellion, but was spotted by Taliban forces and surrounded. He calls former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane (who had supported him in the past) who then calls the CIA and asks for immediate assistance to rescue Haq. A battle lasting up to twelve hours ensues. (The CIA had previously rejected Haq's requests for weapons to fight the Taliban, and so his force is grossly underarmed.) [Sydney Morning Herald, 10/29/01] The CIA refuses to send in a helicopter to rescue him, alleging that the terrain is too rough, even though Haq's group is next to a hilltop once used as a helicopter landing point. [Observer, 10/28/01; Los Angeles Times, 10/28/01 (B)] An unmanned surveillance aircraft eventually attacks some of the Taliban forces fighting Haq, but not until five hours after Haq has been captured. The Taliban executes him. [Wall Street Journal, 11/2/01] Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA director of counterterrorism, and others suggest that Haq's position was betrayed to the Taliban by the ISI. Haq was already an enemy of the ISI, which may have killed his family. [Knight Ridder, 11/3/01; Toronto Star, 11/5/01; USA Today, 10/31/01; Village Voice, 10/26/01]
People and organizations involved: Taliban, Abdul Haq, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, Robert C. McFarlane, Vincent Cannistraro
          

November 3, 2001: US Is Said to Be Relying on ISI for Intelligence in Afghan War      Complete 911 Timeline

       The US, lacking local agents and intelligence in Afghanistan, is said to be heavily reliant on the ISI for information about the Taliban. The US is said to be confident in the ISI, even though the ISI was the main supporter of the Taliban up until 9/11. Knight Ridder Newspapers comments, “Anti-Taliban Afghans, foreign diplomats, and Pakistani government security officials say that pro-Taliban officers remain deeply embedded within ISI and might still be helping America's enemies inside Afghanistan.” A leader of the resistance to the Taliban says, “There are lots of (ISI) officers who are fully committed to the way of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.” Former ISI Director Hamid Gul says, “It is a foolish commander who depends on someone else's intelligence, especially when that someone doesn't like him and was once friendly with the enemy.” [Knight Ridder, 11/3/01] Later in the month another article notes that the CIA continues to rely on the ISI for covert actions against the Taliban. One CIA agent says, “The same Pakistani case officers who built up the Taliban are doing the translating for the CIA. Our biggest mistake is allowing the ISI to be our eyes and ears.” [Toronto Star, 11/5/01]
People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, Taliban, Hamid Gul, Central Intelligence Agency, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

November 10, 2001: Reporter Investigating ISI-Taliban Ties Is Expelled from Pakistan      Complete 911 Timeline

       Daily Telegraph reporter Christina Lamb is arrested and expelled from Pakistan by the ISI. She had been investigating the connections between the ISI and the Taliban. [Daily Telegraph, 11/11/01]
People and organizations involved: Taliban, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Christina Lamb
          

December 13, 2001: ISI-Connected Militants Attack Indian Parliament      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Indian Parliament building in New Delhi is attacked by Islamic militants. Fourteen people, including the five attackers, are killed. India blames the Pakistani militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed for the attacks. Twelve days later, Maulana Masood Azhar, head of Jaish-e-Mohammed, is arrested by Pakistan and his group is banned. He is freed one year later. [Agence France-Presse, 12/25/01; Christian Science Monitor, 12/16/02] The Parliament attack leads to talk of war, even nuclear war, between Pakistan and India, until President Musharraf cracks down on militant groups in early January. [Daily Telegraph, 12/28/01; Wall Street Journal, 1/3/02; Guardian, 5/25/02] It appears that Saeed Sheikh and Aftab Ansari, working with the ISI, were also involved in the attacks. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02; Vanity Fair, 8/02]
People and organizations involved: Saeed Sheikh, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Maulana Masood Azhar, Aftab Ansari, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

January 22, 2002: Saeed Sheikh and ISI stage attacks in India      Complete 911 Timeline

       A crowd of mostly unarmed Indian police near the US Information Service building in Calcutta, India, is attacked by gunmen; four policemen are killed and 21 people injured. The gunmen escape. India claims that Aftab Ansari immediately calls to take credit, and India charges that the gunmen belong to Ansari's kidnapping ring are also connected to funding the 9/11 attacks in August 2001. [Associated Press, 2/10/02; Daily Telegraph, 1/24/02] Saeed Sheikh and the ISI assist Ansari in the attack. [Vanity Fair, 8/02; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02] This is the fourth attack in which they have cooperated, including the 9/11 attacks, and attacks in October and December 2001.
People and organizations involved: India, Saeed Sheikh, Aftab Ansari, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

January 23, 2002: Reporter Daniel Pearl Is Kidnapped While Investigating the ISI      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Daniel Pearl.
Wall Street Journal report Daniel Pearl is kidnapped while investigating the ISI's connection to Islamic militant groups. [BBC, 7/5/02; Guardian, 1/25/02] Saeed Sheikh is later convicted as the mastermind of the kidnap, and though it appears he lured Pearl into being kidnapped beginning January 11, the actual kidnapping is perpetrated by others who remain at large. [Vanity Fair, 8/02; Wall Street Journal, 1/23/03] The Guardian later suggests that Pearl must have been under ISI surveillance at the time of his kidnapping. “Any western journalist visiting Pakistan is routinely watched and followed. The notion that Daniel Pearl, setting up contacts with extremist groups, was not being carefully monitored by the Secret Services is unbelievable—and nobody in Pakistan believes it.” [Guardian, 4/5/02] Both al-Qaeda and the ISI appear to be behind the kidnapping. The overall mastermind behind the kidnapping seems to be Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, also mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. [CNN, 1/30/03; Time, 1/26/03]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Saeed Sheikh, Daniel Pearl, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

February 5, 2002: Pakistan Apprehends Saeed Sheikh      Complete 911 Timeline

       Pakistani police, with the help of the FBI, determine Saeed Sheikh is behind the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl, but are unable to find him. They round up about ten of his relatives and threaten to harm them unless he turns himself in. Saeed Sheikh does turn himself in, but to Ijaz Shah, his former ISI boss. [Boston Globe, 2/7/02; Vanity Fair, 8/02] The ISI holds Saeed for a week, but fails to tell Pakistani police or anyone else that they have him. This “missing week” is the cause of much speculation. The ISI never tells Pakistani police any details about this week. [Newsweek, 3/11/02] Saeed also later refuses to discuss the week or his connection to the ISI, only saying, “I will not discuss this subject. I do not want my family to be killed.” He adds, “I know people in the government and they know me and my work.” [Newsweek, 3/13/02; Vanity Fair, 8/02] It is suggested Saeed is held for this week to make sure that Pearl would be killed. Saeed later says that during this week he got a coded message from the kidnappers that Pearl had been murdered. Also, the time might have been spent working out a deal with the ISI over what Saeed would tell police and the public. [Newsweek, 3/11/02] Several others with both extensive ISI and al-Qaeda ties wanted for the kidnapping are arrested around this time. [Times of London, 2/25/02; Washington Post, 2/23/02] One of these men, Khalid Khawaja, “has never hidden his links with Osama bin Laden. At one time he used to fly Osama's personal plane.” [PakNews, 2/11/02]
People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Daniel Pearl, Khalid Khawaja, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Ijaz Shah, Saeed Sheikh, Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

February 12, 2002: ISI Deliver Saeed Sheikh to Pakistani Police      Complete 911 Timeline

       Saeed Sheikh, already in ISI custody for a week, is handed over to Pakistani police. Shortly afterwards, he publicly confesses to his involvement in reporter Daniel Pearl's murder. Later he will recant this confession. It appears that initially he thought he would get a light sentence. Newsweek describes him initially “confident, even cocky,” saying he would only serve three to four years if convicted, and would never be extradited. [Newsweek, 3/11/02] He is sentenced in July 2002 to hang instead. Pakistani militants respond to his arrest with three suicide attacks that kill more than 30 people. [Guardian, 7/16/02]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Saeed Sheikh, Daniel Pearl
          

March 1, 2002: ISI Maintains Huge Drug Economy      Complete 911 Timeline

       Vanity Fair suggests the ISI is still deeply involved in the drug trade in Central Asia. It estimates that Pakistan has a parallel drug economy worth $15 billion a year. Pakistan's official economy is worth about $60 billion. The article notes that the US has not tied its billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan to assurances that Pakistan will stop its involvement in drugs. [Vanity Fair, 3/1/02]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, United States
          

June 4, 2002: 9/11 Mastermind Publicly Identified      Complete 911 Timeline

      
The photo of Mohammed on the right has been flipped to better compare it with the photo on the left. Reporter Yosri Fouda says that the photo on the right is an “electronically enhanced version” of the photo on the left. [Guardian, 3/4/03] Both have generally been portrayed as different photos in the media.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is publicly identified as the “mastermind” behind the 9/11 attacks. He is believed to have arranged the logistics while on the run in Germany, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In 1996, he had been secretly indicted in the US for his role in Operation Bojinka (see January 6, 1995), and the US began offering a $2 million reward for his capture in 1998, which increased to $25 million in December 2001. [New York Times, 6/5/02; Associated Press, 6/4/02 (B)] There are conflicting accounts on how much US investigators knew about Mohammed before 9/11. Mohammed is Pakistani (though born in Kuwait [CBS News, 6/5/02] ) and a relative of Ramzi Yousef, the bomber of the WTC in 1993. [New York Times, 6/5/02] Though not widely reported, Yossef Bodansky, Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, says Mohammed also has ties to the ISI, and they had acted to shield him in the past. [UPI, 9/30/02]
People and organizations involved: Operation Bojinka, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
          

June 25, 2002: Suspicions of ISI-al-Qaeda Links Continue      Complete 911 Timeline

       Although the Western media continues to report that the ISI has reformed itself, “few in Pakistan believe it.” The Independent later reports rumors that on this day ISI officers hide three al-Qaeda members after a gun battle in which ten soldiers were killed. This follows several other betrayals—now the FBI and the other Pakistani law enforcement authorities no longer tell the ISI about their raids in advance. Other Pakistani investigators are forced to build files on militants from scratch, because the ISI will not share what it knows. [Independent, 7/21/02]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, al-Qaeda
          

March 10, 2003: Dubious Arrest Video Raises Question of Mohammed-ISI Connection      Complete 911 Timeline

       One week after the purported arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Pakistan, the ISI show what they claim is a video of the capture. It is openly mocked as a bad forgery by the few reporters allowed to see it. [Reuters, 3/11/03; Daily Times, 3/13/03; PakNews, 3/11/03; ABC News, 3/11/03] For instance, a Fox News reporter says, “Foreign journalists looking at it laughed and said this is baloney, this is a reconstruction.” [Fox News, 3/10/03] Other information about the arrest also raises questions about his relationship with the ISI. At the time of Mohammed's alleged arrest, he was staying in a neighborhood filled with ISI officials, just a short distance from ISI headquarters, leading to suspicions that he'd been doing so with ISI approval. One expert notes that after his arrest, “Those who think they have ISI protection will stop feeling that comfort level.” [Australian Broadcasting Corp., 3/2/03] Journalist Robert Fisk reports, “Mohammed was an ISI asset; indeed, anyone who is ‘handed over’ by the ISI these days is almost certainly a former (or present) employee of the Pakistani agency whose control of Taliban operatives amazed even the Pakistani government during the years before 2001.” [Toronto Star, 3/3/03]
People and organizations involved: Taliban, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

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