daniel | 09.04.2002 02:12
Western intelligence knew of Laden plan since 1995: Report
Western secret services knew as far back as 1995 that suspected terror mastermind Osama bin Laden planned to attack civilian sites using commercial passenger planes, German newspaper Die Welt said Friday.
Quoting sources close to western intelligence services, Die Welt said that authorities did not take seriously the threat of the plan, known as Project Bojinka.
The plan was discovered in January 1995 by Philippine police who were investigating a possible attack against Pope John Paul II on a visit to Manila.
They found details of the plan in a computer seized in an apartment used by three men who were part of Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.
It provided for 11 planes to be exploded simultaneously by bombs placed on board, but also in an alternative form for several planes flying to the United States to be hijacked and flown into civilian targets.
Among targets mentioned was the World Trade Center in New York, which was destroyed in the September 11 terror attacks in the United States that killed thousands.
Newspaper: Echelon Gave Authorities Warning Of Attacks
By Ned Stafford, Newsbytes.
13 Sep 2001, 1:16 PM CST
Newspaper: Echelon Gave Authorities Warning Of Attacks
09/13/01 FRANKFURT, GERMANY, 2001
SEP 13 (NB) -- By Ned Stafford, Newsbytes. U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies received warning signals at least three months ago that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture, according to a story in Germany's daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).
The FAZ, quoting unnamed German intelligence sources, said that the Echelon spy network was being used to collect information about the terrorist threats, and that U.K. intelligence services apparently also had advance warning. The FAZ, one of Germany's most respected dailies, said that even as far back as six months ago western and near-east press services were receiving information that such attacks were being planned.
Within the American intelligence community, the warnings were taken seriously and surveillance intensified, the FAZ said. However, there was disagreement on how such terrorist attacks could be prevented, the newspaper said.
The fastest FEMA response ever (real audio)
Tom Kennedy/Kenny, a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) "National Urban Search and Rescue Team" during an interview on national TV with CBS News anchor Dan Rather.
According to Kenny, FEMA sent the Urban Search and Rescue Team to New York City the night before the attacks occurred! Mr. Kennedy tells Dan Rather, "We're currently one of the first teams that was deployed to support the City of New York in this disaster. We arrived on late Monday night [ September 10] and went right into action on Tuesday morning" [ September 11]
Suppressed Details of Criminal Insider Trading Lead Directly into the CIA's Highest Ranks
FTW, October 9, 2001 - Although uniformly ignored by the mainstream U.S. media, there is abundant and clear evidence that a number of transactions in financial markets indicated specific (criminal) foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the case of at least one of these trades -- which has left a $2.5 million prized unclaimed -- the firm used to place the "put options" on United Airlines stock was, until 1998, managed by the man who is now in the number three Executive Director position at the Central Intelligence Agency. Until 1997 A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard had been Chairman of the investment bank A.B. Brown. A. B. Brown was acquired by Banker's Trust in 1997. Krongard then became, as part of the merger, Vice Chairman of Banker's Trust -AB Brown, one of 20 major U.S. banks named by Senator Carl levin this year as being connected to money laundering. Krongard's last position at Banker's Trust (BT) was to oversee "private client relations." In this capacity he had direct hands-on relations with some of the wealthiest people in the world in a kind of specialized banking operation that has been identified by the U.S. Senate and other investigators as being closely connected to the laundering of drug money.
Krongard (re?) joined the CIA in 1998 as counsel to CIA Director George Tenet. He was promoted to CIA Executive Director by President Bush in March of this year. BT was acquired by Deutsche Bank in 1999. The combined firm is the single largest bank in Europe. And, as we shall see, Deutsche Bank played several key roles in events connected to the September 11 attacks.
THE SCOPE OF KNOWN INSIDER TRADING Before looking further into these relationships it is necessary to look at the insider trading information that is being ignored by Reuters, The New York Times and other mass media. It is well documented that the CIA has long monitored such trades - in real time - as potential warnings of terrorist attacks and other economic moves contrary to U.S. interests. previous stories in FTW hae specifically highlighted the use of Promis software to monitor such trades.
Mohamed Atta connected to Saudi Royal family?
Mohamed Atta had connections with the Saudi Royal Family, according to his flight instructor at Huffman Aviation in Venice Florida, who told another student pilot Atta's status as a member of the Saudi elite warranted him having a full-time bodyguard at all times during his U.S. flight training.
The bombshell revelation, buried in news reports immediately after 9/11, re-surfaced recently in an Australian television documentary ( http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/atta/default.htm) interview with Anne Greaves, a London osteopath whose passion for aviation led her to take flight training at Huffman Aviation at the same time as Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi.
Let's take a look at Atta and his source of funding and also where he was trained. Mohamed Atta, for example, was reported to have attended the International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.
Newsweek reported that "U.S. military sources have given the FBI information that suggests five of the alleged hijackers of the planes used in Tuesday's terror attacks received training at secure U.S. military installations in the 1990s."
Knight Ridder’s news account was more specific. It said Mohamed Atta had attended International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. In addition, Abdulaziz Alomari had attended Aerospace Medical School at Brooks Air Force base in Texas, they reported, and Saeed Alghamdi had been to the Defense Language Institute in Monterrey, California.
Keep in mind that other hijackers also were trained on US military installations, and no one can do this without a complete background check, which these guys could not have passed. Someone high up on the totem pole in the US government had to have authorized the overriding of normal procedures to keep them in pilot training.
Alleged Hijackers May Have Trained at U.S. Bases:
"THREE OF THE alleged hijackers listed their address on drivers licenses and car registrations as the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.—known as the "Cradle of U.S. Navy Aviation," according to a high-ranking U.S. Navy source.
Another of the alleged hijackers may have been trained in strategy and tactics at the Air War College in Montgomery, Ala., said another high-ranking Pentagon official. The fifth man may have received language instruction at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tex. Both were former Saudi Air Force pilots who had come to the United States, according to the Pentagon source....
The three foreign nationals training in Pensacola appear to be Saeed Alghamdi and Ahmad Alnami, who were among the four men who allegedly commandeered United Airlines Flight 93. That flight crashed into rural Pennsylvania. The third man who may have trained in Pensacola, Ahmed Alghamdi, allegedly helped highjack United Airlines Flight 75, which hit the south tower of the World Trade Center....
It is not unusual for foreign nationals to train at U.S. military facilities. A former Navy pilot told NEWSWEEK that during his years on the base, 'we always, always, always trained other countries’ pilots. When I was there two decades ago, it was Iranians. The shah was in power. Whoever the country du jour is, that’s whose pilots we train.'
‘Candidates begin with 'an officer’s equivalent of boot camp,' he said. 'Then they would put them through flight training.' The U.S. has a long-standing agreement with Saudi Arabia—a key ally in the 1990-91 gulf war—to train pilots for its National Guard. Candidates are trained in air combat on several Army and Navy bases. Training is paid for by Saudi Arabia."
Who was bankrolling Atta and why won't the Bush administration own up to it? Not only does this involve CIA alliances with the ISI of Pakistan, but Atta's money was laundered through Citibank!
More on the Pakistan-Atta money trail here: The Citigroup Watch
"But the U.S. State Department had publicly issued a 'Fact Sheet on Bin Laden' as early as August 14, 1996, which stated that 'Bin Ladin and wealthy NIF members capitalized Al-Shamal Islamic Bank in Khartoum. Bin Ladin invested $50 million in the bank.'
Citigroup, by its own admission, continued to do business with Shamal Bank until 'several months' ago, in 2001. Given Citigroup's business with Raul Salinas, the family of Nigerian ex-dictator Sani Abacha, the daughters of Indonesia's Suharto, and former Venezuelan president Jamie Lusinchi, this may not be surprising. An aside: at that Senate hearing, the head of Citibank's private bank, Shaukat Aziz, defended Citi. Mr. Aziz is now... the finance minister for Pakistan's military ruler. Also, The Times of London of Sept. 25, 2001 reported that '[t]he Bank of England list includes Ariana Afghan Airlines, the country's national carrier, and its bank accounts. One of the company's accounts is held at the New Delhi branch of Citibank, the US financial giant.'"
Also note that:
"Citigroup's role in the pre-September 11 transfer of hijackers funds continues to come into focus, even as Citigroup dodged a bullet in the money laundering legislation signed by U.S. president Bush on October 26. The Washington Post of October 25 reports that a $70,000 wire transfer from the United Arab Emirates to hijacker Atta passed through Citibank in New York. Contacted to respond to the Los Angeles Times' report that Atta had an account at Citibank in the UAE, Citigroup's all-purpose spokeswoman Leah Johnson said: 'We are committed to cooperating in any way possible with the government's far- reaching investigation and the ongoing battle against terrorism. However, we do not comment publicly on what if any information is being shared with law enforcement.'"
This is also from: INNER CITY PRESS...
"On the regulatory story of the quarter, money laundering, the Financial Times of November 29 reported that '[w]hen Mohamed Atta... opened a bank account in southern Florida in June 2000, a wire transfer of $69,985 from the Gulf three months later prompted SunTrust Bank to make a suspicious transaction report to the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.' In the SunTrust-Huntington proceeding pending before the Fed, SunTrust has resisted confirming or denying that it filed an SAR report. The FT continued: 'U.S. investigators believe about half the $500,000 that the hijackers spent on the September 11 plot was sent by Mustafa Ahmad, who is today regarded by investigators as bin Laden's finance chief, via Dubai money exchanges through Citibank in New York and on to Florida.' Citigroup has also not stated whether it filed an SAR report when this money passed through it. The Fed's ex-head of anti-money laundering, Richard Small, is now co-head of the same terrain at Citigroup. Citi was hiring not only expertise, but access..."
January 30, 2002 - Did Bush Ally Play Role In 9-11?
About a year before the Sept. 11 attacks, Sheikh wired $100,000 from Pakistan to Atta from an account in the United Arab Emirates capital of Dubai. Sheikh was spotted in Islamabad at the time the money was transferred.
The $100,000 covered the hijackers' flight-school tuition and airfare, as well as living expenses. Sheikh picked up an unspent residual of more than $25,000 from Atta and three other hijackers in Dubai right before the attacks, then fled back to Karachi, Pakistan.
The 28-year-old Sheikh is a leader in Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (J-e-M), an Islamic militant group.
According to accounts in both The Times of India and India Today, former ISI chief Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmad instructed Sheikh to send the $100,000 to Atta.
"A direct link between the ISI and the WTC attack could have enormous repercussions," the Times article said. "The U.S. cannot but suspect whether there were other senior Pakistani Army commanders who were in the know of things."
THE JAISH-E-MOHAMMAD (JEM)
During the 1980s, many ostensibly humanitarian relief organisations came into being in Pakistan through which Western and Saudi intelligence agencies could funnel money to the Army of Islam of Pakistan and others fighting the Soviet troops. One such organisation got floated in Karachi by the ISI and registered as a charitable trust under the Pakistan Income Tax Act was called the Al Rashid Trust, which ran, inter alia, the weekly and online journals of the Taliban called "Zarb-e-Momin". Its founder was Mufti Rashid Ahmed.
One Mohammed Saleh, son of Rashid Ahmed, native of Karachi, captured in July, 1998, by the Northern Alliance of Afghanistan stated as follows during his interrogation: "His (Saleh's) parents came to Pakistan in 1973 as refugees. He was born in 1975 in the city of Karachi in Pakistan and studied up to the eighth grade. He then began attending the Abuzar Islami Kawrangi madrassah. During his studies, he joined the Mahaz-e Islami of Burma party through Noor Alem, who was the leader of Mahaz-e Islami and Abdul Hamid, his deputy. This party has links with Harkat ul Mujahideen and Harkat ul Ansar and Edara ul Rashid. Mufti Rashid Ahmed is the chief of these three parties and Mufti Abdul Rahim is his deputy. These parties have direct links with ISI and the Taliban inside Afghanistan and are supporters of the Taliban. They always send their members inside Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban. The Zarb-e Momin newsletter explains about their links with ISI and the Taliban. Its daily publication supports the Taliban."
Following his release from jail by the Govt. of India in December, 1999, Azhar went to the Binori mosque in Karachi and announced the formation of the JEM to fight against India and the US. This caused a split in the HUM and a majority of its members joined the JEM, which was inducted by Gen.Mohammad Aziz, presently Chairman of Pakistan's Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, as a member of the Army of Islam. Despite the JEM and the HUM being both members of the Army of Islam, there were frequent clashes between the two over property, fund collection etc.
The JEM cadres, after training, were inducted into J & K by Aziz and it became the principal terrorist organisation after the LET.
..."Based in Peshawar and Muzaffarabad, but members conduct terrorist activities primarily in Kashmir. The JEM maintains training camps in Afghanistan.
...Most of the JEM's cadre and material resources have been drawn from the militant groups Harakat ul-Jihad al-Islami (HUJI) and the Harakat ul-Mujahedin (HUM). The JEM has close ties to Afghan Arabs and the Taliban. Usama Bin Ladin is suspected of giving funding to the JEM."
and again from 2 above:
"According to accounts in both The Times of India and India Today, former ISI chief Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmad instructed Sheikh to send the $100,000 to Atta."
THE LASHKAR-E-TOIBA (LET)
It has been reported from New Delhi that the Indian intelligence and investigative agencies have evidence on the basis of communication intercepts that the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) was responsible for the terrorist strike on the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001. The LET is the armed wing of the Markaz Dawa Al Irshad (MDI) of Pakistan.
...Bin Laden had reportedly contributed a large sum for the construction of a special guest house inside the Muridke complex. This guest house was initially built by him as a house for his stay during his visits to Pakistan, but, after 1992, he converted it into a guest house for his associates from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere visiting Pakistan.
It was reported that this guest house was also used as a hide-out for Ramzi Yousef and Mir Aimal Kansi, involved in the murder of two CIA officers outside their office in Langley, Washington DC, in January,1993, before they were arrested by the Pakistani authorities and handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the US in the 1990s.
...Lt.Gen.Mahmood Ahmed, the then DG of the ISI, was reported to have attended the annual conference of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) held at Muridke from April 13 to 15,2001, which passed a resolution calling on its cadres in India to emulate the example of Mahmood Ghaznavi, capture Hindu temples, destroy the idols and then hoist the flag of Islam on them.
In 2000, Musharraf, under pressure from the Clinton Administration, denied the LET permission to hold its annual conference at Muridke in November. This year, anticipating that there would be no similar pressure from the Bush Administration, he initially allowed them to hold the deferred confertence of 2000 in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK), but subsequently, when the LET insisted on holding it at Muridke, he let it do so and asked the ISI to ensure that no journalists, Pakistani or foreign, was able to have access.
Despite this, some Pakistani journalists managed to have access. The "News" of April 22,2001, reported as follows: "The Lashkar operates six private military training camps in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir where several thousands of cadre are given both military and religious education…. With more than 2200 unit offices across the country and over two dozen launching camps along the Line of Control (LOC), the Lashkar boasts of the biggest jihadi network in Pakistan… The followers of the Lashkar come from all walks of life from the defence and nuclear establishment to the industrial labour."
The March issue of "Herald", the monthly journal of the "Dawn" group of Karachi, quoted Dr.Khalid Mehmood Soomro, Secretary-General of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema Islam (JUI), Sindh, based in Larkana, as saying as follows: "Why is the Pakistan Army not fighting for Kashmir? Why are they getting our youth killed there? They are using our young men for their own goals…Let's be clear on one thing. These jihadi groups can't function and survive without official patronage. Is there a single militant training centre in Pakistan which can operate without the consent of the Pakistan Army? All militant groups are created and run by Pakistan's secret agencies. They have mobile phones, land cruisers and weapons. Where are they getting the funds from? Surely, it can't be all funded through public donations. Because if that were so, we would be getting similar donations, if not more."
...Najam Sethi, the distinguished Editor, wrote in the "Friday Times" ( May 18 to 24,2001) as follows: " The Musharraf model seeks to covertly ally with the jihadi groups while overtly keeping the mainstream religious parties out of the power loop. This is to enhance and sustain its covert external agenda, while internally maintaining an overtly moderate anti-fundamentalist stance for the comfort of the international community whose economic support is critical to Pakistan's financial viability."
..."Based in Muridke (near Lahore) and Muzaffarabad. The LT trains its militants in mobile training camps across Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Afghanistan.
"Collects donations from the Pakistani community in the Persian Gulf and United Kingdom, Islamic NGOs, and Pakistani and Kashmiri businessmen. The amount of LT funding is unknown. The LT maintains ties to religious/military groups around the world, ranging from the Philippines to the Middle East and Chechnya through the MDI fraternal network."