Did Al Qaeda Exploit Government Jihad Support?

If the FBI could carry out a pre–Sept. 11 sting operation against Hamas that included the use of no-warrant wiretaps, dummy companies, informants, overseas recruitment, etc., why weren’t those same aggressive techniques used against al Qaeda?

One possibility is that US support for international jihadis’ fight against Slavs gave anti-American jihadis unusual protection.

For example, Sept. 11 terror duo Khalid Almidhar and Nawaf Alhazmi were photographed in January of 2000 at an al Qaeda meeting in Malaysia, where it’s believed the bombing of the USS Cole was planned. Carrying Saudi passports, they then entered the US, and rented an apartment in San Diego, where their suspicious behavior (no furniture, frequent payphone visits, etc.) caught the attention of their neighbors. This promted A&A to find a new place to live: strangely enough, they moved in with a “tested asset” of the FBI who was tasked with investigating Hamas. (According to a report in Die Zeit, “Deadly Mistakes,” FBI agents actually interviewed the informant while the al Qaeda hijackers-to-be were in other rooms of the same apartment.) Despite the asset’s terror-investigating experience, he apparently failed to notice his roommates’ suspicious behavior.

When not taking flying lessons or contacting suspected terrorist organizations overseas the pair openly associated with FBI terror suspects such as Omar al-Bayoumi. Bayoumi liked the pair so much that shortly after they arrived in Los Angeles he drove them to San Diego, installed them in his apartment building, and paid their first month’s rent and security deposit. According to the Wall Street Journal ("Riyadh Paid Man Linked to Sept. 11 Hijackers"):

"The FBI first opened a counterterrorism investigation on Mr. Bayoumi in September 1998 and discovered he was in contact with several other people under scrutiny, the congressional report says. That inquiry was closed in 1999 for unknown reasons. Following a search of Mr. Bayoumi’s residence at one point, the FBI concluded that ‘he is providing guidance to young Muslims and some of his writings can be interpreted as jihadist.’"

Another friend of the pair was Osama Basnan, an open supporter of al Qaeda. About two months after Bayoumi began aiding the hijackers, his wife cashed the first of numerous cashier’s checks totaling tens of thousands of dollars. These checks were given to her by Basnan’s wife, who had received them, in turn, from the Saudi ambassador’s wife, Princess Haifa. While living in the United States Bayoumi was paid a salary by the Saudi civilian aviation department, which is run by Princess Haifa’s father. His pay reportedly spiked around the time he began aiding the hijackers.

Almidhar enjoyed international travel, and was overseas during the Cole bombing, which he’s suspected of participating in. In 2001 the CIA added Almidhar to their watch list. Still, he was able to meet with terror leader Mohamed Atta and then reenter the United States using the government’s “express visa” program for people with Saudi passports. It’s been reported that 3 of the Sept. 11 hijackers may have entered the US under this program, which started in June, 2001, and that no one who applied for a visa under this program was denied one – and this at a time when everyone from the FAA to Aghan leader Ahmed Shah Massoud was warning of a coming terrorist attack.

Michael Springman was the head of the American visa bureau in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia during the Afghan jihad of the ’80s. Springmann:

“In Saudi Arabia I was repeatedly ordered by high level State Dept officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants. These were, essentially, people who had no ties either to Saudi Arabia or to their own country. I complained bitterly at the time there. I returned to the US, I complained to the State Dept here, to the General Accounting Office, to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and to the Inspector General’s office. I was met with silence.

“What I was protesting was, in reality, an effort to bring recruits, rounded up by Osama Bin Laden, to the US for terrorist training by the CIA. They would then be returned to Afghanistan to fight against the then-Soviets.

“The attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 did not shake the State Department’s faith in the Saudis, nor did the attack on American barracks at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia three years later, in which 19 Americans died. FBI agents began to feel their investigation was being obstructed.”

Shortly after Almidhar returned to the US, in the summer of 2001, the CIA asked the FBI to apprehend him and Alhazmi. The FBI’s failure to do so is particularly surprising since Alhamzi was listed in the San Diego phone book, so just dialing 411 might have worked.

A New York FBI field agent testifying before Congress:

“Briefly, ‘the wall,’ and implied, interpreted, created, or assumed restrictions regarding it, prevented myself and other FBI agents working a criminal case out of New York field office from obtaining information from the intelligence community regarding Khalid Almidhar and Nawaf Alhazmi in a meeting on June 11, 2001. This resulted in a series of e-mails between myself and the FBI H.Q. Analyst working the matter. In my e-mails, I asked where this new wall was defined. I wrote on August 29, 2001: ‘Whatever has happened to this, someday someone will die, and, wall or not, the public will not understand why we were not more effective in throwing every resource we had at certain problems.'”

See Mark Ames’ “America’s Dangerous Chechnya Game Aided 9/11 Terrorists” for another take on this theme.

Feds Pull Selective Service Announcement from the Web

Within the past week, there has been a bunch of articles about the Pentagon’s announcement that they were trying to fill local draft boards.

Within the past 24 hours, the announcement has been pulled from the “Defend America” site run by the DOD. You can still view the Google cache of the page.

The removal follows strong denials from the White House regarding the selective service revival plans.

Counter

The “Casualty Counter” (see upper right hand side of the blog page) is now available for anyone with a website and a bit of html and javascript knowledge. Visit this page for the easy directions.

Our Tax Dollars at Work

What’s this about opponents of the PATRIOT Act being “Anti-American“?

Liberty-leaching PATRIOT actors claim that the Sept. 11 attacks succeeded because US spies and secret police were hamstrung by excessive caution and concern for civil liberties. How then to explain, for just one example, the antics of the FBI’s Phoenix, Arizona office? The Justice Dept is investigating charges that Arizona FBI agents incautiously used informants and terror suspects to benefit private businesses the agents were running on the side. It gets even more incautious (and weirder):

“[Former FBI asset Harry] Ellen, a Muslim convert, testified he was taking a trip to the Gaza Strip to bring doctors to the region in summer 1998 when [Arizona FBI agent Kenneth] Williams [of flight schools warning fame] asked him to provide money to a Hamas figure. Williams wanted ‘the transfer of American funds to some of the terrorist groups for violent purposes,’ Ellen testified to the immigration court in a closed June 2001 session. …”

“Ellen testified that Williams told him he hoped the transfer would lead to more money exchanges through terror groups but Ellen refused to earmark money for terrorism. He testified he later learned another FBI operative had offered Hamas and Palestinian figures larger amounts for terrorist attacks.”

(“FBI sent money to Hamas,” Associated Press)

And (surprise, surprise), even back in the pre-PATRIOT days it was FBI policy record suspects without their permission and without a warrant:

“Arizona businessman Harry Ellen testified he permitted the FBI to bug his home, car and office, allowed his Muslim foundation’s activities in the Gaza Strip to be monitored by agents, arranged a peace meeting between major Palestinian activists and gained personal access to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat during more than four years of cooperation with the FBI. … Ellen, stepson of an Air Force intelligence officer, had worked for U.S. intelligence since the 1970s as an ‘asset,’ a private citizen paid to provide information or conduct specific tasks. … The court testimony shows Ellen allowed his home, office and car in Arizona to be bugged so the FBI could listen, without a warrant, to visiting Palestinians or Americans if they discussed illegal activity. The FBI said it commonly uses such recordings. ‘Consensual monitoring does not require a warrant. In cases where the FBI conducts consensual monitoring, the one party is aware he is being recorded,’ it said. …”

(And what are we to make of this surprising quote, from the New York Times’ article, “F.B.I. Agents Are Examined for Tactics With Hamas“?: “We probably have a million people in Israel who provide us with intelligence on the Israelis but we can probably count on two hands the number of people we have in Palestine who can provide us with intelligence about the Palestinians.”)

More about Izetbegovic

The same day as The Real Izetbegovic, Izetbegovic’s former colleague in the Bosnian Presidium, Nenad Kecmanovic. published his obituary of the not-so-dearly departed Bosnian Muslim leader in the Serbian weekly NIN. The full article, availabe in Serbian on NIN’s subscriber site, reveals much about Izetbegovic and his organization, both good and bad. Politically, hovewer, Kecmanovic cannot forgive him:
“His skill in parlor politics that kept him on top for over a decade was inversely proportional to his catastrophic political judgments.”
“One can only say that he destroyed every possibility that the former Yugoslav heartland, through a consensus of three equal peoples and democratic agreement of its citizens, could eventually become a sovereign state.” Continue reading “More about Izetbegovic”