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What is interesting is the fact, unpublicized until now, that three days after this Prague visit, tens of thousands of dollars were transferred from several accounts to Attas own American and German bank accounts (officials have not made public the precise amount, and it is not available from unofficial sources).
Atta was to visit Prague a third time in April 2001. The Czech secret service received from one of its informers a warning that Al-Ani, the Iraqi consul, was to meet with a distinguished Arab student from Hamburgthis is information that up until now was top secret. BIS monitored the meeting: The men met in a Prague restaurant on the evening of April 8. To this day, it remains unclear whether this Hamburg student was Atta. Yet again, three days after that meeting, $100,000 arrived in Attas Florida account.
Iraq's coalition government claims that it has uncovered documentary proof that Mohammed Atta, the al-Qaeda mastermind of the September 11 attacks against the US, was trained in Baghdad by Abu Nidal, the notorious Palestinian terrorist.
Details of Atta's visit to the Iraqi capital in the summer of 2001, just weeks before he launched the most devastating terrorist attack in US history, are contained in a top secret memo written to Saddam Hussein, the then Iraqi president, by Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
The handwritten memo, a copy of which has been obtained exclusively by the Telegraph, is dated July 1, 2001 and provides a short resume of a three-day "work programme" Atta had undertaken at Abu Nidal's base in Baghdad.
The story of Atta's contact with an Iraqi agent has been disputed by some American and European officials. Time, the Washington Post, and Newsweek, plus other publications, have raised doubts about it. But last week Martin Palous, the Czech ambassador to the United States, gave me the same account of Atta's time in Prague as other Czech officials had given to New York Times columnist William Safire, who first wrote about the Atta visit last November. Palous was home in Prague for consultations and a vacation. Both Czech prime minister Milos Zeman and interior minister Stanislav Gross have also publicly confirmed the meeting between Atta and al-Ani.
But Allawi isn't the only prominent member of the new Iraqi government to have suggested Iraq-al Qaeda connections. His deputy, Barham Salih, has also repeatedly alleged that Saddam's regime supported Ansar al Islam, al Qaeda-linked Islamists in Kurdistan. "Yes, they hate each other, but they're very utilitarian," said Salih. "Saddam Hussein, a secular infidel to many jihadists, had no problem giving money to Hamas. This debate [about whether Saddam worked with al Qaeda] is stupid. The proof is there."
ABC News' outstanding Pentagon reporter, Martha Raddatz, also reported on the Iraq-al Qaeda connection last week. But her May 25, 2004, report on Abu Musab al Zarqawi, an al Qaeda associate who joined forces with Ansar al Islam terrorists, buried an important detail. "In late 2002, officials say, Zarqawi began establishing sleeper cells in Baghdad and acquiring weapons from Iraqi Intelligence officials." (emphasis added).
The relationship began shortly before the first Gulf War. According to reporting in the memo, bin Laden sent "emissaries to Jordan in 1990 to meet with Iraqi government officials." At some unspecified point in 1991, according to a CIA analysis, "Iraq sought Sudan's assistance to establish links to al Qaeda." The outreach went in both directions. According to 1993 CIA reporting cited in the memo, "bin Laden wanted to expand his organization's capabilities through ties with Iraq."
The primary go-between throughout these early stages was Sudanese strongman Hassan al-Turabi, a leader of the al Qaeda-affiliated National Islamic Front. Numerous sources have confirmed this. One defector reported that "al-Turabi was instrumental in arranging the Iraqi-al Qaeda relationship. The defector said Iraq sought al Qaeda influence through its connections with Afghanistan, to facilitate the transshipment of proscribed weapons and equipment to Iraq. In return, Iraq provided al Qaeda with training and instructors."
One such confirmation came in a postwar interview with one of Saddam Hussein's henchmen. As the memo details:
4. According to a May 2003 debriefing of a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, Iraqi intelligence established a highly secretive relationship with Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and later with al Qaeda. The first meeting in 1992 between the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) and al Qaeda was brokered by al-Turabi. Former IIS deputy director Faruq Hijazi and senior al Qaeda leader [Ayman al] Zawahiri were at the meeting--the first of several between 1992 and 1995 in Sudan. Additional meetings between Iraqi intelligence and al Qaeda were held in Pakistan. Members of al Qaeda would sometimes visit Baghdad where they would meet the Iraqi intelligence chief in a safe house. The report claimed that Saddam insisted the relationship with al Qaeda be kept secret. After 9-11, the source said Saddam made a personnel change in the IIS for fear the relationship would come under scrutiny from foreign probes.
A LEADING DEMOCRAT on the Senate Intelligence Committee has reiterated his support for the war in Iraq and encouraged the Bush administration to be more aggressive in its preemptive measures to protect Americans. Evan Bayh, a Democrat from Indiana and a leader of moderates in the Senate, responded to questions last week on the war in Iraq and a memo detailing links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden sent to the committee in late October by Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith and later excerpted in these pages.
"Even if there's only a 10 percent chance that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden would cooperate, the question is whether that's an acceptable level of risk," Bayh told me. "My answer to that would be an unequivocal 'no.' We need to be much more pro-active on eliminating threats before they're imminent."
Asked about the growing evidence of a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda, Bayh said: "The relationship seemed to have its roots in mutual exploitation. Saddam Hussein used terrorism for his own ends, and Osama bin Laden used a nation-state for the things that only a nation-state can provide. Some of the intelligence is strong, and some of it is murky. But that's the nature of intelligence on a relationship like this--lots of it is going to be speculation and conjecture. Following 9/11, we await certainty at our peril."
Originally posted by Jamuhn
Let's not suffer from political amnesia and forget that it was the US that started these problems in the first place. Namely, the Neo-cons...
After several incarnations, Arbusto emerged in 1986 as Harken Energy Corporation. When Harken ran into trouble a year later, Saudi Sheik Abdullah Taha Bakhsh purchased a 17.6 percent stake in the company. Bakhsh was a business partner with Pharaon in Saudi Arabia; his banker there just happened to be bin Mahfouz
Though Bush told the Wall Street Journal he had no idea BCCI was involved in Harkens financial dealings, the network of connections between Bush and BCCI is so extensive that the Journal concluded their investigation of the matter in 1991 by stating: The number of BCCI-connected people who had dealings with Harkenall since George W. Bush came on boardraises the question of whether they mask an effort to cozy up to a presidential son.
Worst of all, bin Mahfouz allegedly has been financing the bin Laden terrorist networkmaking Bush a U.S. citizen who has done business with those who finance and support terrorists. According to USA Today, bin Mahfouz and other Saudis attempted to transfer $3 million to various bin Laden front operations in Saudi Arabia in 1999. ABC News reported the same year that Saudi officials stopped bin Mahfouz from contributing money directly to bin Laden. (Bin Mahfouzs sister is also a wife of Osama bin Laden, a fact that former CIA Director James Woolsey revealed in 1998 Senate testimony
Bill Clinton isn't a Bonesman. John Carey and Bush are yes, but not Clinton. Clinton didn't even go to Yale during his undergraduate years.
Originally posted by victor was right
bonesman bill clinton is doing a high-profile national tour to promote his book.....how convenient for bonesman george bush. could all this be designed as a distraction so right-wingers [who own talk radio] can distract the sheeple from cheney's B.S. and what it says about these self-righteous boobs???
At this point from what I've come up with I have to say that your tact of implying Bush is a liar and therefore one cannot believe it
The fact is that the United States sought to moderate Iraqi activity over time by using a mix of limited incentives and strong disincentives. The fact is that we were correct to try, and the fact that we did try was a major factor that later made it possible to assemble a victorious U.N. coalition.
Trying to say there was no connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq by bringing up BCCI, a now 27 year old scandel that had its genisis in the Carter years is no way to convince anyone of the truth of your claims
Over the years, top levels of the administration, including President Bush, repeatedly intervened with the Eximbank in order to assist Iraq. During the entire United States-Iraq relationship, the State Department and other agencies pressured the Eximbank to disregard its charter in order to provide credit assistance to Iraq
This probe will also expose the Bush administration's policy of arming Iraq, despite the President's blatant declaration that the United States did not enhance Iraq's military capability.
Indeed, an investigation by this paper has not revealed evidence of wrongdoing or influence-peddling by George W. Bush or anyone else connected to Harken. Yet what does emerge is a complex pattern of personal and financial relationships behind Harken's sudden good fortune in the Middle East, raising the question of whether Bahrainis or others in the Middle East may have hoped to ingratiate themselves with the White House. Even more intriguing, there are numerous links among Harken, Bahrain and individuals close to the discredited Bank of Credit & Commerce International, a banking empire that used Mideast oil money to seek ties to political leaders in several countries.
On February 19, 1992, Douglas P. Mulholland, currently the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, testified about his contacts with the CIA concerning BCCI as the special assistant for national security to the Secretary of the Treasury from 1982 through 1987, when he was the CIA's chief liaison in the Treasury
Mulholland, a career officer of the CIA, had been placed in Treasury by CIA chief William Casey, and left his job at Treasury on retirement from the CIA in 1987 to become a researcher for the Bush election campaign, before being appointed to his current position as head of intelligence at the State Department
During the time Irvani acted as BCCI's lead front-man in the original takeover, he received advice on how to be protected from any liability in that role by Helms
During the 1980's, Helms continued to introduce Irvani to prominent Americans, writing Vice President Bush on Irvani's behalf in October 29, 1987, forwarding an October 16, 1991 letter from Irvani to Bush, and forwarding letters of congratulations from Irvani to President-elect Bush and Secretary of State James Baker on November 28, 1988. None of the actual letters from Irvani to George Bush discussed in the Helms-Irvani correspondence have been located. But the cover letter from Irvani to Helms on the October 16, 1987 letter, refers to Irvani's desire to provide Vice President Bush with advice on his presidential campaign
Lake, who received $200,000 in payments from Abu Dhabi last fall in connection with this work, has simultaneously been performing -- as a volunteer, in an unpaid position -- the job of deputy manager to President Bush's re-election campaign, causing the chairman of the Subcommittee to state on March 18, 1992 that:
I do not believe that Mr. Lake should be sitting in on White House campaign strategy meetings while he is also providing strategy to Sheikh Zayed on how to deal with problems arising out of his ownership of BCCI
In the view of the Subcommittee, the real story of Ed Rogers' involvement in the BCCI scandal has yet to be fully revealed. Rogers, a former White House Political Director, left his position at the White House in early August 1991 to start the political consulting firm of Rogers and Barbour in Washington D.C. By the end of August Rogers, who had only briefly practiced law, was offered a $600,000 contract with Kamal Adham.
On October 23, the story of Rogers's representation of Adham was reported in the press. Two days later, President Bush, in a press conference, said that he didn't know what Ed Rogers "is selling," and that "he didn't know anything about the man."(28) From the President's comments it was unclear whether or not he was referring to Rogers or Adham, but, in fact, he appears to know both men reasonably well. In his deposition, Rogers testified that he sat in on meetings with the President "on numerous occasions."(29) In an interview with the Middle East News Network, Kamal Adham, who was head of Saudi intelligence during the same years that President Bush headed the CIA, stated: