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Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: July 16, 2005 01:39AM

I finally read the 9/11 Commission Report and thought that there were glaring weaknesses in it. Re Osama Bin Laden's ascent to power, the report documents that when OBL left Sudan for Afghanistan, Al Qaeda was in financial trouble:

Section 2.2 - "Bin Ladin also began to have serious money problems. International pressure on Sudan, together with strains in the world economy, hurt Sudan's currency. Some of Bin Ladin's companies ran short of funds. As Sudanese authorities became less obliging, normal costs of doing business increased. Saudi pressures on the Bin Ladin family also probably took some toll. In any case, Bin Ladin found it necessary both to cut back his spending and to control his outlays more closely. He appointed a new financial manager, whom his followers saw as miserly.59 "

Then, his financial situation reversed while he was in Afghanistan:

"Bin Ladin eventually enjoyed a strong financial position in Afghanistan, thanks to Saudi and other financiers associated with the Golden Chain."

And who made up the mysterious "Golden Chain"?

Section 2.3 - "Bin Ladin understood better than most of the volunteers the extent to which the continuation and eventual success of the jihad in Afghanistan depended on an increasingly complex, almost worldwide organization. This organization included a financial support network that came to be known as the "Golden Chain," put together mainly by financiers in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states. Donations flowed through charities or other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Bin Ladin and the "Afghan Arabs" drew largely on funds raised by this network, whose agents roamed world markets to buy arms and supplies for the mujahideen, or "holy warriors."




Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: July 16, 2005 02:41AM

The 9/11 Commission Report relies heavily on third-hand information. One of the most significant caveats in the 9/11 Commission Report:

Section 5.1: "Detainee Interrogation Reports
Chapters 5 and 7 rely heavily on information obtained from captured al Qaeda members. A number of these "detainees" have firsthand knowledge of the 9/11 plot.

Assessing the truth of statements by these witnesses-sworn enemies of the United States-is challenging. Our access to them has been limited to the review of intelligence reports based on communications received from the locations where the actual interrogations take place. We submitted questions for use in the interrogations, but had no control over whether, when, or how questions of particular interest would be asked. Nor were we allowed to talk to the interrogators so that we could better judge the credibility of the detainees and clarify ambiguities in the reporting. We were told that our requests might disrupt the sensitive interrogation process.

We have nonetheless decided to include information from captured 9/11 conspirators and al Qaeda members in our report. We have evaluated their statements carefully and have attempted to corroborate them with documents and statements of others. In this report, we indicate where such statements provide the foundation for our narrative. We have been authorized to identify by name only ten detainees whose custody has been confirmed officially by the U.S. government.2"



Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: July 16, 2005 05:39AM

The 9/11 Commission Report never adequately explains why wealthy individuals contributed to Al Qaeda. The report seemingly brushes off the participation of any governments in funding Al Qaeda:

Section 5.4: "Nor were Bin Ladin's assets in Sudan a source of money for al Qaeda. When Bin Ladin lived in Sudan from 1991 to 1996, he owned a number of businesses and other assets. These could not have provided significant income, as most were small or not economically viable. When Bin Ladin left in 1996, it appears that the Sudanese government expropriated all his assets: he left Sudan with practically nothing. When Bin Ladin arrived in Afghanistan, he relied on the Taliban until he was able to reinvigorate his fund-raising efforts by drawing on ties to wealthy Saudi individuals that he had established during the Afghan war in the 1980s.114 "
................................................

"It does not appear that any government other than the Taliban financially supported al Qaeda before 9/11, although some governments may have contained al Qaeda sympathizers who turned a blind eye to al Qaeda's fundraising activities.121 Saudi Arabia has long been considered the primary source of al Qaeda funding, but we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization. (This conclusion does not exclude the likelihood that charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship diverted funds to al Qaeda.)122'



Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: July 19, 2005 07:01AM

The 9/11 commission Report on Al Qaeda and west African diamonds:

Section 5.4 "...Similarly, we have seen no persuasive evidence that al Qaeda funded itself by trading in African conflict diamonds.129 ..."

Over at the Counterterrorism blog, one expert agrees with the report and another doesn't:

[counterterror.typepad.com]

[counterterror.typepad.com]

Dateline NBC aired a story about Liberia this week and concluded that Liberia's former president, Charles Taylor, did traffic with Al Qaeda:

[www.msnbc.msn.com]

Interestingly, Pat Robertson, Christian broadcaster, vehemently protested the Bush administration's support of the ouster of Charles Taylor. Mr. Robertson had invested several million dollars in a gold mine with Charles Taylor's Liberian government:

[www.cbsnews.com]

Osama bin Laden's brother, Khalil M. Bin Laden, has been doing business in Liberia since at least 1981. He registered a Liberian company named Desert Bear in Florida that year. Desert Bear was also the listed as the owner of Khalil bin Laden's estate in Orlando FL.

[www.sunbiz.org]

As the Timeline notes, "He has been investigated by the Brazilian government for possible terrorist connections. [Vanity Fair, 10/03] "

Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: July 20, 2005 08:08AM

I was disappointed in the coverage that the 9/11 Commission Report gave Mohammed Atta. In Section 5.3, the report states that Atta was born to a middle class family headed by an attorney and that he attended Cairo University. That was it as far as Atta's background growing up in Egypt. A reader would think that Atta's grew up in the most normal of circumstances. I wanted to know about his family's political leanings, whether or not the Muslim Brotherhood was active at the university, etc.

The report mentions that on a visit home to Egypt in 1998, his college friend had obviously adopted fundmentalism by that time. The report never tell us how many times Atta visited Egypt after moving to Germany in 1992. Nor does the report tell us whether his family or anyone else was supporting him financially while he was in Germany. Just what the hell did his family think he doing in Germany? Did they wonder why he didn't get a job?

The report was careful to note that Atta took a course in German in Germany and that his commad of German was excellent but the report never mentioned where or when Atta learned English.

One of my questions has been answered by CNN today. CNN interviewed Atta's father, Mohamed el-Amir:

[www.cnn.com]

An excerpt from the interview:

"Speaking to CNN producer Ayman Mohyeldin Tuesday in his apartment in the upper-middle-class Cairo suburb of Giza, Mohamed el-Amir said he would like to see more attacks like the July 7 bombings of three London subway trains and a bus that killed 52 people, plus the four bombers.

Displayed prominently in the apartment were pictures of el-Amir's son, Mohamed Atta, the man who is believed to have piloted American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower of the World Trade Center as part of the attacks on the United States.

El-Amir said the attacks in the United States and the July 7 attacks in London were the beginning of what would be a 50-year religious war, in which there would be many more fighters like his son.

He declared that terror cells around the world were a "nuclear bomb that has now been activated and is ticking."

The man, who gave his age as "at least 70," said he had no sorrow for what happened in London, and said there was a double standard in the way the world viewed the victims in London and victims in the Islamic world.

Cursing in Arabic, el-Amir also denounced Arab leaders and Muslims who condemned the London attacks as being traitors and non-Muslims.

He passionately vowed that he would do anything within his power to encourage more attacks..."

Again, I think that the commission fell down on the job here. Of all of the hijackers, Atta was the easiest to investigate independently. According to the footnote however, the commission relied on an FBI report dated 9/13/2001 and a CIA anaylytic report. On the other hand, the commission may have deliberately omitted background information about Atta for a reason. One reason I can think of is that Egypt is a US ally and the commission did not want to highlight Islamic fundamentalism there.







Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: July 26, 2005 11:29AM

After my last post about Mohammed Atta, I found this story from the Mad Cow Morning News:

[www.madcowprod.com]

Mad Cow tends towards sensationalism but it does link to some interesting articles about Mohmmed Atta and the Muslim Brotherhood. Included is a lengthy one from the 9/11/2004 Washington Post about the Muslim Brotherhood entitled "In Search Of Friends Among The Foes" by John Mintz and Douglas Farah.

[www.washingtonpost.com]

The writers present the debate beween government agencies about Brotherhood ties to terrorism.

"...Some federal agents worry that the Muslim Brotherhood has dangerous links to terrorism. But some U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials believe its influence offers an opportunity for political engagement that could help isolate violent jihadists.

"It is the preeminent movement in the Muslim world," said Graham E. Fuller, a former CIA official specializing in the Middle East. "It's something we can work with." Demonizing the Brotherhood "would be foolhardy in the extreme," he warned.

The Brotherhood's history and the challenges it poses to U.S. officials illustrate the complexity of the political front in the campaign against terrorism three years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. FBI agents and financial investigators probe the group for terrorist ties and legal violations, while diplomats simultaneously discuss strategies for co-opting at least its moderate wings. In both sectors of the U.S. government, the Brotherhood often remains a mystery."

Apparently, the 9/11 Commission Report agrees with the CIA. It only mentions the Brotherhood twice: once to describe bin Ladin's reliance on on the Egyptian writer Sayyid Qutb, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was executed in 1966 on charges of attempting to overthrow the government and then to note that Sheik Khalid Sheikh Mohammed claims to have joined the Muslim Brotherhood at age 16.

The Report's footnote (Section 2 Note 64) goes pretty easy on the Brotherhood: The Muslim Brotherhood, which arose in Egypt in 1928 as a Sunni religious/nationalist opposition to the British-backed Egyptian monarchy, spread throughout the Arab world in the mid-twentieth century. In some countries, its oppositional role is nonviolent; in others, especially Egypt, it has alternated between violent and nonviolent struggle with the regime.

An popular article on the internet by John Loftus, a former federal prosecutor, is about the Brotherhood's ties to the Nazis and the CIA. Mr. Loftus claims to responsible for the prosecution of Dr. Sami al-Arian, a former professor at the University of South Florida, who is now on trial in Tampa on terrorism charges.

[www.frontpagemag.com]









Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: July 30, 2005 03:43AM

The 9/11 Commission never addressed the link between US's need to secure oil supplies and terrorism. The only reference to those interests are in Section 12.2:

"The leaders of the United States and the rulers of Saudi Arabia have long had friendly relations, rooted in fundamentally common interests against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, in American hopes that Saudi oil supplies would stabilize the supply and price of oil in world markets, and in Saudi hopes that America could help protect the Kingdom against foreign threats."

That's all I could find. The entire history of the US meddling in the Middle East is based on oil yet the Commission did not deem it necessary to mention that fact one of Osama bin Laden's main selling points for jihad against the West is that the claim that the US wants Middle East oil. No argument there, is there?

The Commission could have read the reports on energy from the James Baker Institute of Public Policy for authorative sources on the importance of oil to the US.

[www.rice.edu]

From its April 2001 report, "Strategic Energy Policy: Challenges for the 21st Century" which probably was prepared in conjunction with Cheney's secret energy policy proceedings in the spring of 2001:

"As the 21st century opens, the energy sector is in critical condition. A crisis could erupt at any time from any number of factors, from an accident on the Alaskan pipeline to a revolution in a major oil-producing country. It would inevitably affect every country in today’s globalized world. Oil is still readily available on international markets, but prices have doubled from levels that helped spur rapid economic growth through much of the 1990s. And with spare capacity scarce and Middle East tensions high, chances are greater than at any point in two decades of an oil supply disruption that would even more severely test the United States’ security and prosperity".








Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: August 2, 2005 12:28PM

As noted above, the 9/11 Commission Report never addresses the US's need for a secure supply of oil. Why? Perhaps because if the Commission brought up the US need for oil, it would have to reconcile the US oil industry's interests with the war on terror. Instead, readers got served a big heap of baloney about the US taking the high road. Take Libya and that lunatic, Colonel Gadhafi, for example.

In Section 12.3, the Commission wrote that the US should offer an example of moral leadership. It went on to say that the "vision of the future should stress life over death: individual educational and economic opportunity. This vision includes widespread political participation and contempt for indiscriminate violence. It includes respect for the rule of law, openness in discussing differences, and tolerance for opposing points of view."

The commission recommended that "Where Muslim governments, even those who are friends, do not respect these principles, the United States must stand for a better future. One of the lessons of the long Cold War was that short-term gains in cooperating with the most repressive and brutal governments were too often outweighed by long-term setbacks for America's stature and interests."

The Commission knew when the report was written that the Bush administration intended to lift sanctions against Libya. The Commission commented on the White House's successful effort to get Libya to stop its WMD program which only happened after the US intercepted a ship headed for Libya through the Suez Canal, loaded with thousands of parts for uranium centrifuge in October 2003. Yet the Commission never acknowledged that Colonel Gadhafi is still the dictator of a totalitarian country where, as Amnesty International reported, "Legislation remained in force that provides for the death penalty for activities which solely amount to the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and association" and that "torture remained common in detention centres."

The report described Libya's terrorism in the 1980s in great detail. It noted that Richard Clarke in 1999 considered Libya as a possible sanctuary for Al Qaeda (4.3) and that Donald Rumsfeld considered bombing Libya on 9/11/2001 (10.2). According to the Wall Street Journal, the CIA said Libya continues to have "biological and chemical weapons" programs and would like to acquire long-range ballistic missiles (see below).

And how about Colonel Gadhafi's reported attempt to have Crown Prince Abdullah assassinated despite Prince Bandar's help getting US sanctions lifted? That should make for more peace in the Middle East. Here's a report from Ahram Weekly, an Egyptian weekly which qoutes the NY Times:

[weekly.ahram.org.eg]

In the 2/1/2001 Wall Street Journal, a brother of one of the Lockerbie victims, Brian Flynn aptly described Gadhafi's Libya: "Meanwhile, Libya continues spinning its lies. Although Libya has hired a public-relations firm in the U.S. to improve its image, it continues to work at destabilizing Africa by supporting numerous rebel groups. It has also retained ties to groups that use violence to oppose the Middle East peace process. And within the past year illegal Scud missiles were intercepted in London on their way to Libya. Freedom House, the New York-based human-rights group, recently listed Libya as one of only 11 nations in its "worst of the worst" category, denying its citizens a broad range of the most basic freedoms..."

Colonel Gadhafi has been busy the last few years buying influence in Africa. With the price of oil today, he can buy a lot of it. The London Times reported on Colonel Gaddafi's bizarre trip to the 2002 African Union conference:

[www.timesonline.co.uk]

"THROWING fistfuls of cash from his open-top limousine to puzzled villagers lining the route, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and his flamboyant roadshow rumbled into drought-stricken Malawi yesterday. It is the Libyan leader’s latest stop on his charm offensive across southern Africa...

For all his typical showmanship, the Libyan leader was in Malawi to use his oil wealth to enlist the country’s support for his vision for the newly created African Union, which was launched in Durban last week...

It is his plan to make the long drive home, stopping off along the way to preach his vision for the African Union, which he wants to mould into a powerful organisation that will take on the United States and the West, with himself as its leader...

Colonel Gaddafi covets control of the oil pipeline that runs from the Mozambique port of Beira to Harare. He is battling against Kuwait for a sizeable part of Mozambique’s state-owned oil company, Petromoc, as well as storage terminals at Beira..."

The Bush administration did not decide to lift sanctions overnight. From the 1/14/2002 Wall Street Journal:

"As Osama bin Laden continues to elude U.S. capture, one of his predecessors as the nation's most-wanted terrorist, Libya's Col. Moammar Gadhafi, is attempting a rehabilitation.

Top U.S. and Libyan officials have held several unpublicized meetings in England and Switzerland in recent years to discuss improving ties. Public-relations campaigns and lobbying efforts on Libya's behalf are under way, funded in part by oil money and driven by a desire to cash in on future deals or resume business interrupted by sanctions. The Libyan leader himself has been taking steps and sending signals that suggest he may want to get out of the terrorism business, U.S. officials say...

But in its eagerness to win converts to the campaign against Mr. bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network, the U.S. could find itself setting a dangerously broad definition for what is acceptable behavior. With Mr. Gadhafi, for instance, Washington can't be certain that the mercurial strongman's latest change of heart is genuine. In an unclassified report released last week, the Central Intelligence Agency said Libya continues to have "biological and chemical weapons" programs and would like to acquire long-range ballistic missiles "to increase the number of U.S. and NATO targets it can hold at risk."...

Still, the diplomatic dance between the U.S. and Libya has produced a stark change in Libya's previously sharp anti-American rhetoric. It began in secret more than two years before Sept. 11, in a series of meetings on the outskirts of London and in Geneva, Switzerland. Those meetings brought together senior officials of the Clinton administration, British officials and a top Libyan intelligence operative, Musa Kusa, according to U.S. officials...

Turning over the terrorism suspects [in 1999] also bolstered a public-relations and lobbying campaign conducted by Libya and its supporters, with quiet help from American companies. Four days after Col. Gadhafi agreed to the hand-over, the U.S.-Libya Dialogue Group held its first meeting, in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Mustafa Fitouri, a Libyan who is an information-technology professor at the Maastricht School of Management, helped arrange the session. He says the nonprofit group was set up "to show people in both countries, away from government, that people can communicate, work with each other."...

The four American oil companies that were forced by U.S. sanctions to suspend operations in Libya -- Occidental Petroleum Corp., Amerada Hess Corp., Marathon Oil Co. and Conoco Inc. -- are eager to return to Libya. Tripoli hasn't awarded their properties to any competitors, but since the 1999 suspension of U.N. sanctions, several European companies have pressed Tripoli to do so. According to BP-Amoco's statistical review of world energy, at the end of 1999, Libya had proven oil reserves of 29.5 billion barrels, making it No. 8 in the world...

The oil companies already had friends in high places. Conoco's chairman and chief executive officer, Archie Dunham, has longtime ties to Vice President Dick Cheney, who formerly headed Halliburton Co., an energy-equipment maker. During his business career, Mr. Cheney was a regular critic of U.S. unilateral economic sanctions, to no avail..."

A personal observation: I suspect that there is more to this sordid story. In 2001, President Bush appointed Anthony Gioia as ambassador to Malta which has close ties to Libya and derives 80% of its revenue from trade with Libya. Mr. Gioia is a mobbed up, macaroni king from Buffalo, NY. I read some where that Gadhafi offered $100 million to anyone who got the sanctions lifted. I wonder who got the reward.





















Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: August 5, 2005 01:17PM

I'd been thinking of posting about the 9/11 Commission's treatment of the mysterious Ayman al-Zawahri and lo! and behold, his video shows up on Al-Jazeera yesterday. So I decided to put some links to the Zawahri story here and in my next post, I'll write about Zawahiri and the commission.

In February 2005, Al-Jazeera broadcast an audiotape of a speech made by Zawahiri. Here is a link to Al-Jazeera's February 2005 story and some excerpts:

[english.aljazeera.net]

"Al-Qaida's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has condemned the American concept of freedom in a taped speech broadcast by Aljazeera.

Aired on Thursday, the audiotape message said the freedom sought by millions in the Islamic world was "not the freedom to destroy others ... it is not the freedom that allows [America] to support oppressive regimes".

Al-Zawahiri said he could not accept Washington's continued promotion of "Israel's freedom to annihilate Muslims"...

Al-Zawahiri also slammed what he called "fraudulent elections held under occupation", in a reference to last month's polls in Iraq.

Liberty as construed by the Americans, he said, was based on "usurious banks, giant companies, misleading media outlets and the destruction of others for material gain".

Real freedom was "not the liberty of homosexual marriages and the abuse of women as a commodity to gain clients, win deals or attract tourists," al-Zawahiri added.

"It is not the freedom of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib," it said, referring to US-run prisons in Cuba and Iraq where serious allegations of torture have been levelled.

"Our freedom ... and the reform that we are seeking depends on three concepts - the rule of Sharia [Islamic law] ... freeing Islam from any aggressor ... and liberating the human being."

US and British excerpts from yesterday's video can be widely found. Here's a link to the BBC:

[news.bbc.co.uk]

What was not reported in the US or British media or Al-Jazeera were references to Egypt and Pakistan. Heres a link to Dawn, a Pakistani news website:

[www.dawn.com]

"...He [ Zawahiri] accused the Egyptian security services of “defending US and Israeli interests” after a trio of bombings which killed at least 67 people, including 16 foreigners, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on July 23.

He slammed Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf as a “bribe-taker”, and accused Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas of being a “heathen who has sold out his religion and goes from failure to failure.”"

Then there is the "report" from the neocon rag, the Weekly Standard, that Zawahiri is more dangerous than bin Laden:

[www.weeklystandard.com]

"First, while Osama bin Laden is a hateful, murderous Islamist radical, there is a difference in psychology between him and Zawahiri. Bin Laden falls into the category of those who became radicals to fill a void in their lives. The scion of a colossally rich family, bin Laden is said to have first arrived at the jihadist frontlines in Pakistan, decades ago, with the typical dress and manner of a cosmopolitan Saudi. His radicalism springs from resentment that the Saudi kingdom has strayed from the path of pure Wahhabism, the state religion.

Zawahiri is different. He was recruited to the Egyptian jihadist movement as a teenager, and his worldview has not changed since he became a young fanatic. In effect, he has never matured and never had a normal life, even though he was trained in medicine and has real standing as an Islamic scholar. Paradoxically, this contrasts with bin Laden, whose only professions have been those of playboy and terrorist.

But his Islamic studies give Zawahiri's statements more authority and credibility with young jihadist recruits, to whom the guidance of a Zawahiri surpasses that of a "media star" like Bin Laden...

But when Zawahiri speaks, more than rhetoric is involved. Real dangers to public security cannot be denied. Now is the time for U.S. preemptive action at home, including monitoring of the ideological messages in Sunni mosques and stepped-up surveillance and arrest of known radical preachers on our soil."













Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: August 6, 2005 03:06AM

Dr.Ayman al-Zawahri is invariably described in the media as bin Laden's second-in-command, deputy or lieutenant. He sometimes described as the Al Qaeda's CEO, the real brains behind the operation, or the guidinng light of Islamic terrorism.

What did the 9/11 Commission have to say about the very important, Ayman Zawahiri? Not very much. Here's every reference to Zawahiri in the report:

2.1 In February 1998, the 40-year-old Saudi exile Usama Bin Ladin and a fugitive Egyptian physician, Ayman al Zawahiri, arranged from their Afghan headquarters for an Arabic newspaper in London to publish what they termed a fatwa issued in the name of a "World Islamic Front." A fatwa is normally an interpretation of Islamic law by a respected Islamic authority, but neither Bin Ladin, Zawahiri, nor the three others who signed this statement were scholars of Islamic law. Claiming that America had declared war against God and his messenger, they called for the murder of any American, anywhere on earth, as the "individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it."1

2.3 The most important Egyptian in Bin Ladin's circle was a surgeon, Ayman al Zawahiri, who led a strong faction of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Many of his followers became important members in the new organization, and his own close ties with Bin Ladin led many to think of him as the deputy head of al Qaeda. He would in fact become Bin Ladin's deputy some years later, when they merged their organizations.29

2.5 The most important Egyptian in Bin Ladin's circle was a surgeon, Ayman al Zawahiri, who led a strong faction of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Many of his followers became important members in the new organization, and his own close ties with Bin Ladin led many to think of him as the deputy head of al Qaeda. He would in fact become Bin Ladin's deputy some years later, when they merged their organizations.29

2.5 Now effectively merged with Zawahiri's Egyptian Islamic Jihad,82 al Qaeda promised to become the general headquarters for international terrorism, without the need for the Islamic Army Shura. Bin Ladin was prepared to pick up where he had left off in Sudan. He was ready to strike at "the head of the snake."

2.5 On February 23, 1998, Bin Ladin issued his public fatwa. The language had been in negotiation for some time, as part of the merger under way between Bin Ladin's organization and Zawahiri's Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Less than a month after the publication of the fatwa, the teams that were to carry out the embassy attacks were being pulled together in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. The timing and content of their instructions indicate that the decision to launch the attacks had been made by the time the fatwa was issued.88

5.1 The al Qaeda-JI partnership yielded a number of proposals that would marry al Qaeda's financial and technical strengths with JI's access to materials and local operatives. Here, Hambali played the critical role of coordinator, as he distributed al Qaeda funds earmarked for the joint operations. In one especially notable example, Atef turned to Hambali when al Qaeda needed a scientist to take over its biological weapons program. Hambali obliged by introducing a U.S.-educated JI member, Yazid Sufaat, to Ayman al Zawahiri in Kandahar. In 2001, Sufaat would spend several months attempting to cultivate anthrax for al Qaeda in a laboratory he helped set up near the Kandahar airport.23

6.3 Back in Afghanistan, Bin Ladin anticipated U.S. military retaliation. He ordered the evacuation of al Qaeda's Kandahar airport compound and fled- first to the desert area near Kabul, then to Khowst and Jalalabad, and eventually back to Kandahar. In Kandahar, he rotated between five to six residences, spending one night at each residence. In addition, he sent his senior advisor, Mohammed Atef, to a different part of Kandahar and his deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri, to Kabul so that all three could not be killed in one attack.125

10.2 President Bush also tasked the State Department, which on the following day delivered to the White House a paper titled "Game Plan for a Political-Military Strategy for Pakistan and Afghanistan." The paper took it as a given that Bin Ladin would continue to act against the United States even while under Taliban control. It therefore detailed specific U.S. demands for the Taliban: surrender Bin Ladin and his chief lieutenants, including Ayman al Zawahiri; tell the United States what the Taliban knew about al Qaeda and its operations; close all terrorist camps; free all imprisoned foreigners; and comply with all UN Security Council resolutions.40

10.3 In December 2001, Afghan forces, with limited U.S. support, engaged al Qaeda elements in a cave complex called Tora Bora. In March 2002, the largest engagement of the war was fought, in the mountainous Shah-i-Kot area south of Gardez, against a large force of al Qaeda jihadists. The three-week battle was substantially successful, and almost all remaining al Qaeda forces took refuge in Pakistan's equally mountainous and lightly governed frontier provinces. As of July 2004, Bin Ladin and Zawahiri are still believed to be at large.

12.2 During the winter of 2003-2004, Musharraf made another strategic decision. He ordered the Pakistani army into the frontier provinces of northwest Pakistan along the Afghan border, where Bin Ladin and Ayman al Zawahiri have reportedly taken refuge. The army is confronting groups of al Qaeda fighters and their local allies in very difficult terrain. On the other side of the frontier, U.S. forces in Afghanistan have found it challenging to organize effective joint operations, given Pakistan's limited capabilities and reluctance to permit U.S. military operations on its soil. Yet in 2004, it is clear that the Pakistani government is trying harder than ever before in the battle against Islamist terrorists.9

APPENDICES

Ayman al Zawahiri Egyptian; UBL's deputy and leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist group

NOTES

2.1 1. "Text of World Islamic Front's Statement Urging Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders," Al Quds al Arabi, Feb. 23, 1998 (trans. Foreign Broadcast Information Service), which was published for a large Arab world audience and signed by Usama Bin Ladin,Ayman al Zawahiri (emir of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad),Abu Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha (leader of the Egyptian Islamic Group), Mir Hamzah (secretary of the Jamiat ul Ulema e Pakistan), and Fazlul Rah-man (head of the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh).

2.23 In his memoir,Ayman al Zawahiri contemptuously rejects the claim that the Arab mujahideen were financed (even "one penny") or trained by the United States. See Zawahiri,"Knights Under the Prophet's Banner," Al Sharq al Awsat, Dec. 2, 2001. CIA officials involved in aiding the Afghan resistance regard Bin Ladin and his "Arab Afghans" as having been militarily insignificant in the war and recall having little to do with him. Gary Schroen interview (Mar. 3, 2003).

2.82 The merger was de facto complete by February 1998, although the formal "contract" would not be signed until June 2001. See Intelligence report, Incorporation of Zawahiri's Organization into Bin Ladin's Al-Qa'ida, and Recent [1998] Activities of Egyptian Associates of Al-Qa'ida, Sept. 22, 1998; see also Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, Feb. 8, 2002.

6.125 For Bin Ladin's order to evacuate and subsequent actions, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, Dec. 13, 2003. For Bin Ladin's,Atef's, and Zawahiri's movements, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Sept. 27, 2003.

7.108 On the few operatives fully aware of the plot and Abu Turab's training, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 23, 2004.Abu Turab was the son-in-law of Ayman al Zawahiri. Intelligence report, interrogation of Zubaydah, Feb. 18, 2004. KSM also taught the muscle hijackers English and provided lessons about airplanes. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Apr. 2, 2004. Binalshibh also has discussed this training in post-capture statements, describing it as hand-to-hand combat training. Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Jan. 8, 2004. According to Binalshibh, after returning to Afghanistan, muscle hijacker recruits fought on the front lines alongside the Taliban and participated in the March 2001 destruction of the giant Buddha statues in Bamian Province, Afghanistan. Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Mar. 31, 2004.

7.180 Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004; Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, June 27, 2003; Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, Feb. 5, 2002. KSM also says that he and Atef were so concerned about this lack of discretion that they urged Bin Ladin not to make any additional remarks about the plot. According to KSM, only Bin Ladin,Atef,Abu Turab al Jordani, Binalshibh, and a few of the senior hijackers knew the specific targets, timing, operatives, and methods of attack. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Oct. 27, 2003; Feb. 23, 2004. Indeed, it was not until midsummer that Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader Ayman al Zawahiri learned of the operation, and only after his group had cemented its alliance with al Qaeda and Zawahiri had become Bin Ladin's deputy. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004.

7.182 On Omar's opposition, see, e.g., Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, May 30, 2002, in which the detainee says that when Bin Ladin returned after the general alert during July, he spoke to his confidants about Omar's unwillingness to allow an attack against the United States to originate from Afghanistan. See also Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Oct. 27, 2003. There is some discrepancy about the position of Zawahiri. According to KSM, Zawahiri believed in following the injunction of Mullah Omar not to attack the United States; other detainees, however, have said that Zawahiri was squarely behind Bin Ladin. Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, June 20, 2002; Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, June 27, 2003; Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Sept. 26, 2003.

That's it for Zawahiri, bin Laden's no. 2 guy. Not very much to go on.

In my July 16, 2002 post, I complained that much of the information about the attack was thirdhand and that most of it came from Khalkid Sheik Mohammed (KSM). The commission was not even permitted to interview the interrogators, let alone interview KSM.

Regarding Zawahiri's participation in the 9/11 attack:

In Note 7.180, according to KSM, "it was not until midsummer that Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader Ayman al Zawahiri learned of the operation, and only after his group had cemented its alliance with al Qaeda and Zawahiri had become Bin Ladin's deputy. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004."

Note 7.180 in the report references this information:

"While the details of the operation were strictly compartmented, by the time of the alert, word had begun to spread that an attack against the United States was coming. KSM notes that it was generally well known by the summer of 2001 that he was planning some kind of operation against the United States. Many were even aware that he had been preparing operatives to go to the United States, leading some to conclude that al Qaeda was planning a near-term attack on U.S. soil. Moreover, Bin Ladin had made several remarks that summer hinting at an upcoming attack and generating rumors throughout the worldwide jihadist community. Bin Ladin routinely told important visitors to expect significant attacks against U.S. interests soon and, during a speech at the al Faruq camp, exhorted trainees to pray for the success of an attack involving 20 martyrs. Others have confirmed hearing indications of an impending attack and have verified that such news, albeit without specific details, had spread across al Qaeda.180

We are told that in the summer of 2001, Bin Laden "ROUTINELY" told important vistors to expect significant attacks yet, according to Note 7.180, KSM claimed that "it was not UNTIL midsummer that Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader Ayman al Zawahiri learned of the operation, and only after his group had cemented its alliance with al Qaeda and Zawahiri had become Bin Ladin's deputy."

Hmm...bin Laden and Zawahiri are partners since 1998 yet we are expected to believe KSM's testimony that Zawahiri does not know about one of the world's biggest terrorist attack until one month before it happens. The commission strikingly shows no curiousity about this discrepancy nor does it appear that it even attempted to find out who bin Laden's "important visitors were in the summer of 2001.

This post is getting long so I'll continue in the next one.










Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: August 7, 2005 09:34PM

Correction to above post:

The first entry for 2.5 should be:

2.5 On February 23, 1998, Bin Ladin issued his public fatwa. The language had been in negotiation for some time, as part of the merger under way between Bin Ladin's organization and Zawahiri's Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Less than a month after the publication of the fatwa, the teams that were to carry out the embassy attacks were being pulled together in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. The timing and content of their instructions indicate that the decision to launch the attacks had been made by the time the fatwa was issued.88


Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: August 8, 2005 12:55PM

In my next-to-last post, I listed every reference in the 9/11 Commission Report to Dr. Dr.Ayman al-Zawahri. At the end of the post, I pointed out that, according to Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM), Zawahiri was only told about the 9/11 plan after he signed a "contract" with bin Laden in June 2001. Yet, for months, bin Laden was shooting his mouth off about the attacks to anyone who would listen. KSM also claimed that Zawahiri's son-in-law knew the details of the plan in late 2000. Perplexing, to say the least.

Here are the references:

2.3 ... Many of his [Zawahiri's] followers became important members in the new organization, and his own close ties with Bin Ladin led many to think of him as the deputy head of al Qaeda. He would in fact become Bin Ladin's deputy some years later, when they merged their organizations.

Note 2.82 The merger was de facto complete by February 1998, although the formal "contract" would not be signed until June 2001.

Note 7.108 On the few operatives fully aware of the plot and Abu Turab's training, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 23, 2004. Abu Turab was the son-in-law of Ayman al Zawahiri.

Note 7.180 KSM also says that he and Atef were so concerned about this lack of discretion that they urged Bin Ladin not to make any additional remarks about the plot. According to KSM, only Bin Ladin,Atef,Abu Turab al Jordani, Binalshibh, and a few of the senior hijackers knew the specific targets, timing, operatives, and methods of attack...Indeed, it was not until midsummer that Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader Ayman al Zawahiri learned of the operation, and only after his group had cemented its alliance with al Qaeda and Zawahiri had become Bin Ladin's deputy.

Note 7.182 On Omar's opposition - the detainee says that when Bin Ladin returned after the general alert during July, he spoke to his confidants about Omar's unwillingness to allow an attack against the United States to originate from Afghanistan...There is some discrepancy about the position of Zawahiri. According to KSM, Zawahiri believed in following the injunction of Mullah Omar not to attack the United States; other detainees, however, have said that Zawahiri was squarely behind Bin Ladin.

From Section 7.4: ...Bin Ladin routinely told important visitors to expect significant attacks against U.S. interests soon and, during a speech at the al Faruq camp, exhorted trainees to pray for the success of an attack involving 20 martyrs. Others have confirmed hearing indications of an impending attack and have verified that such news, albeit without specific details, had spread across al Qaeda.

I can't imagine what two terrorists supposedly in business since 1998 had to put into writing three years later. Video rights, maybe? I know if I made a deal and then found out that my partner had a plan that could get me blown off the face of the earth, I'd be ticked. I'd also be ticked if my son-in-law kept me in the dark about something that big.

By summer of 2001, everyone in the world except me and Zawahiri seems to have known that an attack from Al Qaeda was coming. The Cooperative Research Timeline has lots of entries about word of the pending attacks in early 2001:

[www.cooperativeresearch.org]

A few possibilities here. One, KSM's story is accurately reflected in the report and it's true. Then again, it may not be true but still accurately repeated. I just can't think why KSM would lie about something that doesn't matter. Zawahiri already had a bullseye on him whether he planned the attacks or not. And I'm sure life got harder for KSM if he tripped on details.

Two, the report just may be badly written. Hence, the apparent discrepancies could have been easily explained if anyone had taken the time to clarify a few points. But for the time and money spent, the end product should be better.

Or three, whoever gave the commission this information made it up. But why lie? The story only raises questions about the generally accepted tie between bin Laden and Zawahiri.
In most media reports, Zawahiri is the one with the real talent for terrorism but here, he's not involved at all in planning one of the world's biggest attacks. And he opposed the plan after he was told about it. So much for teamwork.

As an aside, the report is a little silly about dissent in the ranks. Me, I would have headed for the hills if I thought that for one minute, the plan would succeed. Yet "Mullah Omar is reported to have opposed this course of action for ideological reasons rather than out of fear of U.S. retaliation." Was the man an idiot? He didn't know he would be bombed into oblivion? At the same time, "From the Taliban's perspective, an attack against the United States might be counterproductive. It might draw the Americans into the war against them, just when final victory seemed within their grasp." You think?

Bin Laden, the genius, apparently is oblivious to what happens after the attacks. His big hope is that "an attack against the United States would benefit al Qaeda by attracting more suicide operatives, eliciting greater donations, and increasing the number of sympathizers willing to provide logistical assistance."
















Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: August 17, 2005 01:16PM

The 9/11 Commission on Bosnia:

2.2 Bin Ladin's impressive array of offices covertly provided financial and other support for terrorist activities. The network included a major business enterprise in Cyprus; a "services" branch in Zagreb; an office of the Benevolence International Foundation in Sarajevo, which supported the Bosnian Muslims in their conflict with Serbia and Croatia; and an NGO in Baku, Azerbaijan, that was employed as well by Egyptian Islamic Jihad both as a source and conduit for finances and as a support center for the Muslim rebels in Chechnya....

2.2 Bin Ladin maintained connections in the Bosnian conflict as well.

2.4 While his allied Islamist groups were focused on local battles, such as those in Egypt, Algeria, Bosnia, or Chechnya, Bin Ladin concentrated on attacking the "far enemy"-the United States.

3.7 In the decade before 9/11, presidential discussion of and congressional and public attention to foreign affairs and national security were dominated by other issues-among them, Haiti, Bosnia, Russia, China, Somalia, Kosovo, NATO enlargement, the Middle East peace process, missile defense, and glob-alization. Terrorism infrequently took center stage; and when it did, the context was often terrorists' tactics-a chemical, biological, nuclear, or computer threat-not terrorist organizations.

4.2 In the late summer and fall of 1998, the U.S. government also was worrying about the deployment of military power in two other ongoing conflicts. After years of war in the Balkans, the United States had finally committed itself to significant military intervention in 1995-1996. Already maintaining a NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia, U.S. officials were beginning to consider major combat operations against Serbia to protect Muslim civilians in Kosovo from ethnic cleansing. Air strikes were threatened in October 1998;a full-scale NATO bombing campaign against Serbia was launched in March 1999.55

5.1 Between 1988 and 1992, KSM helped run a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Peshawar and Jalalabad; sponsored by Sayyaf, it was designed to aid young Afghan mujahideen. In 1992, KSM spent some time fighting alongside the mujahideen in Bosnia and supporting that effort with financial donations.

5.2 Hazmi and Mihdhar were Saudi nationals, born in Mecca. Like the others in this initial group of selectees, they were already experienced mujahideen. They had traveled together to fight in Bosnia in a group that journeyed to the Balkans in 1995. By the time Hazmi and Mihdhar were assigned to the planes operation in early 1999, they had visited Afghanistan on several occasions.

7.1 Following Mihdhar's departure, Hazmi grew lonely and worried that he would have trouble managing by himself. He prayed with his housemate each morning at 5:00 A.M. and attended services at the Islamic Center. He borrowed his housemate's computer for Internet access, following news coverage of fighting in Chechnya and Bosnia.

12.3 Recommendation: Just as we did in the Cold War, we need to defend our ideals abroad vigorously. America does stand up for its values. The United States defended, and still defends, Muslims against tyrants and criminals in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. If the United States does not act aggressively to define itself in the Islamic world, the extremists will gladly do the job for us.

Notes:

2.37 For Bin Ladin's involvement in the Bosnian conflicts, see Evan F. Kohlmann, Al-Qaida's Jihad in Europe:The Afghan-Bosnian Network (Berg, 2004).

5.5 KSM adds that between 1993 and 1996, he traveled to China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bosnia (a second time), Brazil, Sudan, and Malaysia. Most, if not all, of this travel appears to have been related to his abiding interest in carrying out terrorist operations.

5.9 Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003. KSM's presence in Bosnia coincided with a police station bombing in Zagreb where the timing device of the bomb (a modified Casio watch) resembled those manufactured by KSM and Yousef in the Philippines for the Manila air operation. FBI report, Manila air investigation, May 23, 1999.

5.42 For Hazmi and Mihdhar's city of birth, see CIA analytic report,"11 September:The Plot and the Plotters," CTC 2003-40044HC, June 1, 2003, pp. 49-50. For their travel to Bosnia, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Saudi al Qaeda member, Oct. 3, 2001.

7.107 In December 1999, while still in high school in Saudi Arabia, Hamlan became involved with a group that gathered periodically to watch jihad propaganda tapes, and was encouraged by a mentor named Bandar Marui to pursue jihad, especially as practiced in the Bosnia-Herzegovina and Russian-Afghan wars and a book titled Gladiator of Passion.

So, the 9/11 Commission recommends that "Just as we did in the Cold War, we need to defend our ideals abroad vigorously. America does stand up for its values. The United States defended, and still defends, Muslims against tyrants and criminals in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. If the United States does not act aggressively to define itself in the Islamic world, the extremists will gladly do the job for us."

The Commission is a bunch of sanctimonius hypocrites. Read this report from the UK Guardian about how the Pentagon armed its good buddies, the terrorists. I guess the Commission never heard about the offical Dutch inquiry into the Srebinica massacres and the Pentagon never bothered to mention its role in Bosnia.

[prisonplanet.com]

The Guardian

By Richard J Aldrich

April 22, 2002

America used Islamists to arm the Bosnian Muslims
The Srebrenica report reveals the Pentagon's role in a dirty war

The official Dutch inquiry into the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, released last week, contains one of the most sensational reports on western intelligence ever published. Officials have been staggered by its findings and the Dutch government has resigned. One of its many volumes is devoted to clandestine activities during the Bosnian war of the early 1990s. For five years, Professor Cees Wiebes of Amsterdam University has had unrestricted access to Dutch intelligence files and has stalked the corridors of secret service headquarters in western capitals, as well as in Bosnia, asking questions.

His findings are set out in "Intelligence and the war in Bosnia, 1992-1995". It includes remarkable material on covert operations, signals interception, human agents and double-crossing by dozens of agencies in one of dirtiest wars of the new world disorder. Now we have the full story of the secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamist groups from the Middle East designed to assist the Bosnian Muslims - some of the same groups that the Pentagon is now fighting in "the war against terrorism". Pentagon operations in Bosnia have delivered their own "blowback".

In the 1980s Washington's secret services had assisted Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran. Then, in 1990, the US fought him in the Gulf. In both Afghanistan and the Gulf, the Pentagon had incurred debts to Islamist groups and their Middle Eastern sponsors. By 1993 these groups, many supported by Iran and Saudi Arabia, were anxious to help Bosnian Muslims fighting in the former Yugoslavia and called in their debts with the Americans. Bill Clinton and the Pentagon were keen to be seen as creditworthy and repaid in the form of an Iran-Contra style operation - in flagrant violation of the UN security council arms embargo against all combatants in the former Yugoslavia.

The result was a vast secret conduit of weapons smuggling though Croatia. This was arranged by the clandestine agencies of the US, Turkey and Iran, together with a range of radical Islamist groups, including Afghan mojahedin and the pro-Iranian Hizbullah. Wiebes reveals that the British intelligence services obtained documents early on in the Bosnian war proving that Iran was making direct deliveries.

Arms purchased by Iran and Turkey with the financial backing of Saudi Arabia made their way by night from the Middle East. Initially aircraft from Iran Air were used, but as the volume increased they were joined by a mysterious fleet of black C-130 Hercules aircraft. The report stresses that the US was "very closely involved" in the airlift. Mojahedin fighters were also flown in, but they were reserved as shock troops for especially hazardous operations.

Light weapons are the familiar currency of secret services seeking to influence such conflicts. The volume of weapons flown into Croatia was enormous, partly because of a steep Croatian "transit tax". Croatian forces creamed off between 20% and 50% of the arms. The report stresses that this entire trade was clearly illicit. The Croats themselves also obtained massive quantities of illegal weapons from Germany, Belgium and Argentina - again in contravention of the UN arms embargo. The German secret services were fully aware of the trade.

Rather than the CIA, the Pentagon's own secret service was the hidden force behind these operations. The UN protection force, UNPROFOR, was dependent on its troop-contributing nations for intelligence, and above all on the sophisticated monitoring capabilities of the US to police the arms embargo. This gave the Pentagon the ability to manipulate the embargo at will: ensuring that American Awacs aircraft covered crucial areas and were able to turn a blind eye to the frequent nightime comings and goings at Tuzla.

Weapons flown in during the spring of 1995 were to turn up only a fortnight later in the besieged and demilitarised enclave at Srebrenica. When these shipments were noticed, Americans pressured UNPROFOR to rewrite reports, and when Norwegian officials protested about the flights, they were reportedly threatened into silence.

Both the CIA and British SIS had a more sophisticated perspective on the conflict than the Pentagon, insisting that no side had clean hands and arguing for caution. James Woolsey, director of the CIA until May 1995, had increasingly found himself out of step with the Clinton White House over his reluctance to develop close relations with the Islamists. The sentiments were reciprocated. In the spring of 1995, when the CIA sent its first head of station to Sarajevo to liaise with Bosnia's security authorities, the Bosnians tipped off Iranian intelligence. The CIA learned that the Iranians had targeted him for liquidation and quickly withdrew him.

Iranian and Afghan veterans' training camps had also been identified in Bosnia. Later, in the Dayton Accords of November 1995, the stipulation appeared that all foreign forces be withdrawn. This was a deliberate attempt to cleanse Bosnia of Iranian-run training camps. The CIA's main opponents in Bosnia were now the mojahedin fighters and their Iranian trainers - whom the Pentagon had been helping to supply months earlier.

Meanwhile, the secret services of Ukraine, Greece and Israel were busy arming the Bosnian Serbs. Mossad was especially active and concluded a deal with the Bosnian Serbs at Pale involving a substantial supply of artillery shells and mortar bombs. In return they secured safe passage for the Jewish population out of the besieged town of Sarajevo. Subsequently, the remaining population was perplexed to find that unexploded mortar bombs landing in Sarajevo sometimes had Hebrew markings.

The broader lessons of the intelligence report on Srebrenica are clear. Those who were able to deploy intelligence power, including the Americans and their enemies, the Bosnian Serbs, were both able to get their way. Conversely, the UN and the Dutch government were "deprived of the means and capacity for obtaining intelligence" for the Srebrenica deployment, helping to explain why they blundered in, and contributed to the terrible events there.

Secret intelligence techniques can be war-winning and life-saving. But they are not being properly applied. How the UN can have good intelligence in the context of multinational peace operations is a vexing question. Removing light weapons from a conflict can be crucial to drawing it down. But the secret services of some states - including Israel and Iran - continue to be a major source of covert supply, pouring petrol on the flames of already bitter conflicts.

· Richard J Aldrich is Professor of Politics at the University of Nottingham. His 'The Hidden Hand: Britain, America and Cold War Secret Intelligence' is published in paperback by John Murray in August.






Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: August 18, 2005 11:24AM

In my first post, I excerpted the 9/11 Commission's every word about the Golden Chain.

2.3 "...This organization included a financial support network that came to be known as the "Golden Chain," put together mainly by financiers in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states..."

Note 2.21 21. Government's Evidentiary Proffer Supporting the Admissibility of Co-Conspirator Statements, United States v. Enaam Arnaout, No. 02-CR-892 (N.D. Ill. filed Jan. 6, 2003).

The members of the Golden Chain are some of the most wealthy and influential people in the world. Yet the commission made no attempt to explain why they would support a terrorist organization. The commission claimed that bin laden's message appeals to "people disoriented by cyclonic change as they confront modernity and globalization" but never once considered that bin Laden was used for political and financial motives by his financiers.

A list of the Golden Chain members can be found here:

[www.investigateur.info]

According to this website, the 20 Saudi financial sponsors include 6 bankers and 12 businessmen, among which 2 former ministers. Only two on the list have not been yet identified with certainty. Their estimated cumulative corporate net worth totals more than $85 billion US, or 42% of the Saudi annual GNP and equivalent to the annual GNP of Venezuela. They own or control 16 companies ranking among the top 100 Saudi companies.

In July 2003, the Bush administration refused to declassify any part of a congressional intelligence report on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist bombings. The Saudis wanted 28 redacted pages that reportedly focused on the role of foreign governments in the 900-page report released to clear up speculation they contained information linking Saudi Arabia to the terrorist attacks. Bush refused because of ongoing investigations and national security interests.

Did the Saudis stage a publicity stunt? Since then, there has been no more news about the ongoing investigations of foreign governments and the president has been holding hands with Crown Prince Abdullah while strolling among the bluebells.

Here's a first rate example of how political pressure could be brought to bear on those investigations and the 9/11 commission:

Jack Abramoff is a very wealthy, Republican lobbyist with financial ties to many powerful Republican politicians such as Tom DeLay. He recently was indicted for fraud in one case and is under investigation for his lobbying efforts on the behalf of some Indian tribes in another.

[www.theweeklystandard.com]

Shortly after 9/11, Abramoff took on the General Council for Islamic Banks as a client. According to the National Journal (Aug 31, 2002), the consortium was created after the 9/11 attacks as President Bush began cracking down on terrorist financing. Abramoff's job was to spread the word about Islamic banking practices and to refute claims that Islamic banks sheltered money used for terrorist networks.

The chairman of the General Council for Islamic Banks is Saleh Abdullah Kamel. Kamel is one of the members of the Golden Chain.

Kate Cambor of the TPM Cafe blog wrote about Abramoff, the General Council and Kamel on the TPM Cafe website.

[www.tpmcafe.com]

Here is her post minus the links:

Jack and Saleh

You know about Jack Abramoff's lobbying for Indian casino interests. But what about his work on behalf of Saudi petro-billionaires accused of ties to terrorist financing networks? As the Washington Post reported on Friday, in the first nine months of 2002, Abramoff collected $12.2 million in fees from Indian tribes and additional sums from the General Council for Islamic Banks and other clients while working for Greenberg Traurig.

So what's the General Council for Islamic Banks?

Shortly after 9/11, Abramoff signed up as a lobbyist for this consortium of banks that operate according to sharia, or Islamic law. According to the National Journal (Aug 31, 2002), the consortium was created after the attacks as President Bush began cracking down on terrorist financing. Abramoff's job was to spread the word about Islamic banking practices and to refute claims that Islamic banks sheltered money used for terrorist networks. And if anyone needed a good PR man, it was the chairman of the General Council for Islamic Banks, a Saudi businessman named Saleh Abdullah Kamel estimated to be worth in the neighborhood of $ 2.6 billion, who was quickly the subject of intense government scrutiny over his possible ties to terrorist activity.

You see, Kamel is also the chairman of Dallah al Baraka Group (DBG), which is suspected of having ties to al Qaeda and other extremist groups, and he was also the co-founder and large shareholder of Al Shamal Bank in Sudan, Osama bin Laden's bank of choice from 1983 onward. He was listed as being one of the seven "main individual sponsors of terrorism" in this report by French researcher Jean-Charles Brisard submitted to the UN Security Council in December 2002. (You might remember that Omar al-Bayoumi, who befriended and provided money to two of the 9/11 hijackers, was once an assistant to the Director of Finance for Dallah Avco, a DBG company that works with the Saudi aviation authority. And the WSJ has reported that the United States believes the Dallah al-Baraka Bank, another DBG company, was also used by al-Qaeda.)

Kamel's name also appeared in the "Golden Chain," a roster seized by Bosnian authorities in Sarajevo in March 2002 listing Saudi donors to bin Laden and his associates; and he was named as a defendant in two Sept. 11th related lawsuits: one filed by the victims' families in 2003 and another filed by Cantor Fitzgerald in September 2004 (Although claims of two plaintiffs from the first suit were dismissed, the same claims from other plaintiffs have yet to be.)






Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: 277fia (IP Logged)
Date: September 7, 2005 12:03PM

In my 8/2/05 post, I used Libya as an example of why the Bush administration is not serious about promoting democracy in the Middle East (or anywhere else). This article is about cooperation between Libyan and US intelligence. The head of Libyan intelligence has actually interrogated Libyans held at Guantanamo.

Los Angeles Times

By Ken Silverstein

September 4, 2005

How Kadafi Went From Foe to Ally
Common cause against Islamic radicals has woven U.S. intelligence ties with Libya, whose secular regime is still listed as a state sponsor of terrorism.

LONDON — As it struggles to combat Islamic terrorist networks, the Bush administration has quietly built an intelligence alliance with Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi, a onetime bitter enemy the U.S. had tried for years to isolate, topple or kill.

Kadafi has helped the U.S. pursue Al Qaeda's network in North Africa by turning radicals over to neighboring pro-Western governments. He also has provided information to the CIA on Libyan nationals with alleged ties to international terrorists.

In turn, the U.S. has handed over to Tripoli some anti-Kadafi Libyans captured in its campaign against terrorism. And Kadafi's agents have been allowed into the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba to interrogate Libyans being held there.

The rapprochement is partially the result of a decade of efforts by Kadafi to improve relations with the United States and end international sanctions imposed on Libya for bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. But it also reflects the fact that Libya and the United States regard Islamic extremism as a common enemy. Even though he long supported radical causes, Kadafi views religious militants as a menace to his secular regime.

"Their assistance has been genuine, if motivated in large measure by self-preservation," Bruce Hoffman, director of counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency studies at Rand Corp., said of the Libyans. "You have to give Kadafi credit for recognizing the existential threat posed to his rule and revolution by [Osama] bin Laden and Al Qaeda."

Critics charge that the partnership with Libya, like those with countries such as Sudan, Uzbekistan and Egypt, illustrates how Washington is allowing its war on terrorism to trump its effort to promote democracy and human rights in the Arab world. They say that in cooperating with Kadafi, the U.S. has strengthened his oil-rich regime and permitted him to crack down on political opponents, some with democratic credentials far stronger than his own.

Kadafi's point man for dealing with Washington is his head of foreign intelligence, who is banned from entering the U.S. because of his suspected involvement in terrorist acts, including the Lockerbie bombing. He also is suspected of taking part in a plot to kill Saudi Arabia's ruler.

Libyan dissidents, who for years thought they could count on American support, have been deeply disappointed by the Bush administration.

"Kadafi was considered to be a dictator and terrorist, and Libya was a rogue regime," said Ashur Shamis, a prominent London-based Libyan exile and longtime proponent of democratic reform. "Suddenly, everything has changed.

"The Americans no longer want to see Kadafi's regime destabilized," he said. "Opponents have written off the possibility of receiving tangible political support from the United States."

Reaching Out

Libya's decision in 1999 to turn over suspects in the Pan Am bombing, which killed 270 people, and, 4 1/2 years later, its renunciation of its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs have been the most public examples of its effort to improve relations.

But experts say Kadafi already had been moving in that direction because sanctions had crippled his economy, causing high unemployment, shortages of consumer goods and political discontent.

Kadafi came to power in 1969 at the age of 27, when he led an army coup that overthrew Libya's pro-Western monarchy. A decade later, the Carter administration placed Libya on a list of state sponsors of terrorism, where it remains.

In April 1986, U.S. warplanes attacked Libya in retaliation for the bombing of a Berlin disco that killed three people, including two U.S. soldiers. The U.S. attack killed dozens of people, including Kadafi's 15-month-old adopted daughter, and nearly killed the Libyan leader himself.

Meanwhile, the CIA funneled millions of dollars in money and equipment to anti-Kadafi rebels.

Kadafi began reaching out to the U.S. as early as the mid-1990s, expelling or severing ties with radical groups. In April 1999, he surrendered two Libyans who were suspected in the Pan Am bombing. The Clinton administration responded by launching secret talks with Tripoli.

The thaw accelerated in January 2001 with the inauguration of President Bush and the conviction of Abdel Basset Ali Megrahi of murder in the Lockerbie case. A Scottish court said Megrahi had acted "in furtherance of the purposes of … Libyan Intelligence Services," but it acquitted a second man. In 2003, Libya agreed to a $2.7billion payout to families of the Lockerbie victims. American oil companies, eager to invest in Libya, lobbied the Bush administration to improve ties.

Relations improved markedly after the Sept. 11 attacks, which Kadafi immediately condemned.

The Libyan leader said the United States had the right to retaliate, and urged Libyans to donate blood for American victims. He subsequently said Libya and the U.S. had a common interest in fighting Islamic extremism.

Record on Rights

Kadafi had strong reasons to enlist in the administration's war on Islamic extremists and ample resources to offer. But his regime's record on human rights remains a cause of serious concern in Washington.

In the early 1990s, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was founded by a group of Libyans back from battling Soviet troops in Afghanistan alongside Bin Laden and thousands of volunteers. Members of the group, which seeks to replace Kadafi's regime with a government modeled on Islamic law, tried to assassinate him in 1996 by throwing a bomb under his motorcade.

In response, the government cracked down, arresting hundreds of people, stepping up surveillance and repression of Islamic groups, and launching a major military campaign in regions where the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group enjoyed support. Within a few years, Kadafi's security forces had largely eliminated the group inside Libya, but its leaders had fled abroad. Musa Kusa, the head of Libya's foreign intelligence service, has boasted to foreign visitors that his service monitors domestic Islamic extremists so closely that he knows the name of every Libyan with a beard.

In 1998, Libya became the first country to issue an Interpol arrest warrant for Bin Laden, charging that Al Qaeda had collaborated with domestic radicals in the 1994 killing of two German anti-terrorism agents in Libya.

In October 2001, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State William J. Burns traveled to London to meet a delegation headed by Kusa.

Kusa, who earned a degree in sociology from Michigan State University in 1978, had written a fawning political biography of Kadafi for his master's thesis. The following year, he was posted to London as the head of Libya's embassy.

In February 1980, Kadafi called for the "physical liquidation" of his exiled opponents. Within months, the colonel's supporters in London had killed two Libyan dissidents. Britain expelled Kusa after he said in an interview that he approved of such killings and that other exiles would be targeted as well.

A CIA investigation of the Pan Am bombing determined that Kusa had a role in the attack, according to Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA officer who led the agency's inquiry. At the London meeting with Burns, Kusa provided information to the CIA on Libyan militants living abroad who had allegedly trained at Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.

"I gritted my teeth when I heard about the talks with Musa Kusa because he was directly involved in Lockerbie, which took American lives," Cannistraro said. "But that's the sort of pragmatism you need in the intelligence business. You sometimes have to deal with people with blood on their hands."

Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Burlingame), who has promoted engagement with Libya, met with Kusa during trips to Libya and Algeria.

"He is extremely intelligent, well informed, sophisticated and a strong proponent of improved U.S.-Libya ties," said Lantos, a co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. "I have qualms about working with people much nicer than him, but I consider him a valuable asset in building relations with a former rogue state."

The intelligence partnership has unfolded mostly in private, but both sides have publicly acknowledged its existence. In an accord reached this year, the CIA agreed to offer counter-terrorism training to Libyan security personnel, two U.S. government sources familiar with the deal told the Los Angeles Times.

A senior U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Libya's counter-terrorism cooperation was important to the United States and compared it to "the relationship we have with our long-standing friends."

The official acknowledged that Kusa might have been involved in acts of terrorism in the past, but said he was not under indictment in the U.S. and had been helpful.

"This is a regime that has had its hands dirty in the past. We have to be careful about how to deal with them. The most important thing is to make sure they don't do it again in the future," the official said.

"We are exchanging information with the U.S., which allows for greater coordination to combat terrorism," Ali S. Aujali, Libya's top diplomat in America, told The Times, adding that he could not provide details because of their sensitivity.

Although Bush has called for greater democratization in the Middle East, Libya's record on human rights is poor.

In March 2004, Bush praised Libya for freeing the country's most prominent dissident, Fathi Jahmi. He said that the United States backed "courageous reformers" such as Jahmi and that his release from prison marked an "encouraging step" by Kadafi's regime. Two weeks later, Jahmi granted interviews to two Arabic-language satellite TV stations in which he called for greater democracy in Libya. Security forces put him back in jail, where he remains.

Kusa, Libya's primary negotiator with the Bush administration on counter-terrorism and other major issues, has been barred from entering the U.S. because of his suspected involvement in the Lockerbie bombing. Last year, he was named in U.S. court records as a key planner of an alleged plot to kill Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah, who became king last month after the death of King Fahd.

According to a State Department report this year, Kusa's agency was part of an "extensive security apparatus" overseeing a "pervasive surveillance system." Security forces have held numerous detainees for years without charge or trial, and torture was routinely used on political foes, the report says. Methods allegedly included beatings, electric shock, pouring lemon juice on open wounds, breaking fingers "and allowing the joints to heal without medical care," suffocation with plastic bags and hanging by the wrists.

Battling Extremists

Libya sits at the heart of a region that has witnessed an explosive growth of Islamic extremism. U.S. Marines and Army Special Forces are training the armies of four countries in North Africa to combat radical groups.

Seif Islam Kadafi, the colonel's son and possible successor, wrote in the journal of the Washington-based Middle East Policy Council in 2003 that as an Arab state, "Libya has been far more adept than the West at infiltrating the fanatical groups that have been behind so much recent violence. The activities in our own country of cells linked organizationally and ideologically to extremism give us a shared interest with the West in stopping them."

Tripoli's intelligence-gathering capability is further heightened by its own past support for terrorist groups and insurgent movements. Libya has special access and influence in countries such as Chad and in Muslim areas of Nigeria, a major oil supplier to the United States.

Libyans have held senior positions in Al Qaeda, including Abu Anas Libi, who is on the FBI's list of most-wanted terrorism suspects and is alleged to have been a key planner of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Libyans also have enlisted in Abu Musab Zarqawi's Al Qaeda-linked network in Iraq.

"Their files are incredibly helpful in trying to track Al Qaeda and other radical groups, in part because so many Libyans have joined up with" those organizations, said Gary Gambill, who covers Islamic extremism for the Terrorism Monitor, a publication of the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation.

Kadafi's actions have led to threats of retaliation. In May, a popular Islamic website carried a statement from a group claiming to represent Al Qaeda in Libya that said "operations will begin soon against the tyrant's forces." The same month, Abed Shahada Tahawi, an Al Qaeda militant charged with conspiring to attack U.S. and Israeli embassies in Jordan, criticized Kadafi's cooperation with the United States. In a statement at his trial, he said the Libyan leader would "end up on the dust heap of history."

Libya's decision, brokered by Kusa, to renounce its nuclear program also produced an intelligence bonanza for the U.S.

In addition to turning over 55,000 pounds of nuclear equipment, Libya gave the CIA files with the names of black-market suppliers, front companies and transporters.

"The information they turned over helped us to track down aspects of the [black-market] network and contributed to the shutdown of parts of that network in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates," said Kenneth Katzman, a terrorism analyst with the Congressional Research Service.

Another U.S. official, who tracks Libya's counter-terrorism effort, and an Arab intelligence official said Libya had extradited Islamic militants to other Arab countries, including Egypt, Yemen and Jordan. Like several other people interviewed for this article, they spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they could not otherwise discuss such matters.

In late 2003, a rebel group in neighboring Chad captured Amari Saifi, the No. 2 figure in the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, which is fighting Algeria's secular government and is a major source of recruits and other support for Al Qaedainspired operations in Europe. Libya helped broker a deal by which the rebel group turned him over to Algeria.

"Libya facilitated the transfer," said a senior U.S. official with direct knowledge of the case. "They helped bring together the Algerians and the rebels, and generally served as an honest broker on the deal."

The cooperation on counter-terrorism has been a two-way street.

In early 2004, security agents in Asia, working with the U.S., detained two senior officials from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, according to Shamis, the Libyan exile, and two acquaintances of the men.

They said that Abdullah Sadeq, who was captured in Thailand, and Abu Munder Saadi, who was seized in Hong Kong, were interrogated by U.S. officials and then sent to Libya, where they are imprisoned.

Shamis and Noman Benotman, a former member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group who now lives in London and who knows the men, told The Times that they learned of the detentions from relatives of the two men in Tripoli. Nasir Benisse, who also lives in London and is Saadi's brother-in-law, confirmed their accounts.

Benotman fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s and said he was grateful to the Reagan administration for its backing then. But he added that intelligence collaboration with the U.S. had "strengthened Kadafi 100%."

"Now anyone who is an enemy of Kadafi is also an enemy of the United States," he said.

The CIA has also allowed Kadafi's intelligence officers to interrogate Libyan prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, according to Clive Stafford Smith, an attorney who represents 38 detainees there. Among his clients is Omar Deghayes, whose family fled to Britain from Libya in 1986, six years after Deghayes' father, a lawyer and dissident, was arrested and executed by Kadafi's regime.

A devout Muslim, Deghayes traveled to Afghanistan in 2000 to experience life under an Islamic regime, Stafford Smith said. He fled to Pakistan after the Sept. 11 attacks and was arrested by Pakistani forces, who turned him over to the Americans. In September 2002, he was sent to Guantanamo.

Stafford Smith said it appeared his client had been mistaken for a militant in a training video made by Chechen rebels.

Deghayes told Stafford Smith that four Libyan intelligence officers had interrogated him and other Libyans in September 2004. He said he was fully shackled when the Libyans questioned him Sept. 9 about alleged anti-Kadafi activities, in the presence of three Americans in civilian clothes. Two days later, the Libyans questioned him again, this time about anti-Kadafi exiles based in Britain.

According to Deghayes, Kadafi's agents showed him pictures of badly beaten Libyan detainees, and one of the agents told him: "You will be brought to judgment in Libya, and when we bring you to Libya, I will personally teach you the meaning of this. In here I cannot do anything, but if I meet you [later], I will kill you."

In late 2004, the Bush administration designated the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group a terrorist organization. Earlier in the year, during testimony before the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, then-CIA Director George J. Tenet included it among small extremist groups that posed an especially potent threat to the United States.

The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group has long focused exclusively on seeking Kadafi's overthrow and does not publicly endorse terrorism, but the State Department says that in recent years it has "embraced [Al Qaeda's] global jihadist agenda."

European anti-terrorism officials say the group has helped Al Qaeda link up with North African radicals and assisted in the training and operations of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, which was involved in attacks in Casablanca, Morocco, in 2003 and Madrid in 2004.

Labeling the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group a terrorist organization increases the risk that its members living abroad could be detained and returned to Libya, Gambill, of Terrorism Monitor, said.

"A lot of countries aren't going to take the risk of harboring the Fighting Group's members or giving them any type of support because it could cause trouble with the U.S.," he said.

Some intelligence experts and observers say Kadafi has exploited counter-terrorism cooperation to tar his political foes.

In October 2001, Libya's Justice Ministry offered $1 million for information leading to the detention of six exiles, including Shamis, who was accused of funneling money from a bank robbery in Libya to Al Qaeda. The following year, Interpol issued a "wanted" notice for Shamis and several other Kadafi foes on the basis of a request from the Libyan government. Shamis was charged with terrorism and illegal possession of firearms.

Shamis, who has been a vocal critic of Al Qaeda and who has lived near London for most of the last 30 years, was detained at the Orlando, Fla., airport when he came to the U.S. in 2002. He was questioned by local authorities and the FBI, who acknowledged, he said, that he was being interrogated on the basis of information from the Libyan government. Shamis returned to Britain after a night in jail.

"I said to the [U.S. authorities], 'Kadafi used to be Public Enemy No. 1 and now you are arresting people based on his information,' " Shamis said. "The Americans are desperate for any and all information after 9/11, and Kadafi is happy to capitalize on that."

Though the CIA declined to comment for this article, a former senior agency official familiar with counter-terrorism cooperation with Libya said Libyan officials "are probably sharing as much as possible to try to impress us and to dig out from the hole they are in."

The former official said the CIA was aware of the possibility that Kadafi would seek to unfairly discredit his political enemies and was guarding against it "at the highest levels on down."

Plot Against King

The primary obstacle to continued warming of U.S.-Libyan relations is the unresolved charge that the Kadafi regime tried to orchestrate the assassination of then-Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

In July 2004, Abdulrahman M. Alamoudi, a naturalized U.S. citizen and founder of the American Muslim Council, pleaded guilty in federal court to illegal business dealings with Libya stemming from his part in the plot and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

He told prosecutors that he was acting at the behest of Libyan officials after Kadafi and Abdullah got into an argument at an Arab League conference in March 2003. The dispute ended with Abdullah telling Kadafi, "Your lies precede you, while your grave is ahead of you," according to court records.

Alamoudi was summoned to Tripoli, where, over the next several months, the court records say, he held a series of meetings with six senior Libyan officials who put together the alleged plot against Abdullah. Alamoudi subsequently recruited Saudi exiles in London and arranged the transfer to them of hundreds of thousands of dollars from Libya.

The six Libyans are named only in a classified section of the court records, but a U.S. law enforcement official with knowledge of the case said Kusa, the Libyan foreign intelligence chief, was identified by Alamoudi as a principal planner of the plot who personally delivered at least $250,000 that was funneled to the Saudi exiles. (Alamoudi also named Kadafi, who the law enforcement source said was identified in the public records only as "Libyan Government Official #5," a sponsor of the plot).

U.S. law enforcement officials investigating money transfers from Libya to Alamoudi detained him at Dulles airport near Washington in September 2003.

The Saudis subsequently arrested 13 suspects, including four Libyan intelligence agents, whom they charged with conspiring to assassinate Abdullah. The Saudi government initially said the suspects would be tried publicly, but early last month it pardoned the four Libyans.

However, a Saudi official familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the government did not regard the pardons as an exoneration. "We have all the evidence to support their involvement in the case," he said of the Libyan suspects.

The official said that Kadafi's regime had been making a series of overtures to the kingdom, such as sending a delegation to King Fahd's funeral, and that the pardons were a recognition of such steps.

Aujali, Libya's representative in Washington, denied that Tripoli had played any role in a plot against Abdullah.

State Department officials say they take Alamoudi's allegations seriously and that they are continuing to evaluate Libya's role in the affair.

Despite the Alamoudi case, U.S. engagement with Libya appears to be slowly deepening on all fronts.

In April 2004, seven months after Alamoudi's arrest, Bush declared that "Libya has turned its back on terror."

Two months later, Assistant Secretary of State Burns and J. Cofer Black, then-U.S. coordinator for counter-terrorism, traveled to Libya and met with Kadafi.

During the visit, the U.S. formally reestablished direct diplomatic ties with Libya.

In September, the administration lifted sanctions barring most U.S. trade with Libya.

Four months later, U.S. oil firms won lucrative rights in Libya, beating out European competitors. Pentagon officials say that if relations continue to improve, the U.S. would like to include Libya in a proposed $500-million program along with nine other countries that would be aimed at countering Al Qaeda in the region.

"Libya may not be a model of democracy, but we've got it out of the [weapons of mass destruction] business, and it is no longer playing a role [in sponsoring] terrorism," said Mark R. Parris, a former U.S. diplomat who has worked to improve ties with Libya through the Corporate Council on Africa. "They are trying to become a world citizen, and it's worth the experiment to see if we can help achieve that. The results so far tend to validate it."

But critics say Washington is helping Kadafi stay in power.

"The fundamental nature of the Libyan government has not changed," said Thomas Donnelly, a national security specialist at the American Enterprise Institute. "We shouldn't be fighting a war on terrorism to preserve regimes like Kadafi's."


Re: Weaknesses in 9/11 Commission Report
Posted by: shark99987 (IP Logged)
Date: October 27, 2005 08:01AM

Very good posts; I have an Authorized 9/11 Commission Report but also might purchase a NY Times small blue paperback edition with the bonus reporting.

Have you seen this link? I highly recommend it.
[justicefor911.org]

The 9/11 Commission did a good job of answering many questions, and seemed very honest, but there is also a large number of questions left out as you have competently demonstrated here. People questioning 9/11, though, should first look up the questions that the Commission has satisfactorily answered, because many intellectually lazy 9/11 "skeptics" repeat stuff countless times, as TheTruth does on this forum and many others he frequents.



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