terror

Hamid Mir, The Last Man To Interview Osama Bin Laden

13.5. 2011
Muhammad Tahir: What does the killing of Osama bin Laden mean for the war on terror ?

Hamid Mir: I think that this news about the killing of Osama bin Laden is the biggest story of the year 2011. It was a great surprise for most of the Pakistanis that Osama bin Laden, the world’s most-wanted person, was hiding in a city which is just 60 kilometers away from the Pakistani city of Islamabad.

Muhammad Tahir: So what does this mean for the future of Al-Qaeda? Who is the most likely candidate to replace bin Laden?

Mir: I think most of the people are of the view that Dr. Ayman al-Zawahri is the No. 2 in Al-Qaeda. I don’t think so. Mr. al-Zawahri is no more the No. 2 in Al-Qaeda. According to my information, the operations of Al-Qaeda were taken over by Saif-ul-Adil and Abu Hafsa al- Mauritani. These are the two important people in Al-Qaeda after the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

Yes, bin Laden is dead, but Al-Qaeda and its allies are not dead, and their biggest strength is the hatred against America in many parts of the world, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.
And I think that Osama bin Laden is dead, but Al-Qaeda and its allies are still not dead. Immediately after…the killing of Osama bin Laden there was a big bomb blast in the Pakistani city of Charsada, which is in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Many people were killed.

Now I think that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban will try to take revenge [on] Pakistan because they believe that the Pakistani security forces provided some cooperation to the Americans.

Muhammad Tahir: From the outside, though, it really does look as though the Pakistanis didn’t have advance knowledge of the operation and don’t seem to have been involved in it. And then there is the simple fact that bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan. How is this going to affect Pakistani-U.S. relations?

Mir: According to my information, the Pakistani intelligence [service] provided and shared information about the possible presence of Osama bin Laden in that area first of all in May 2010 and again they provided that information to the Americans in August 2010. And I think that on the basis of that information the Americans were able to track down the hideout of Osama bin Laden.

Yes, they [the United States] never provided prior information about this particular operation. They never informed the Pakistani security forces about this operation, which was conducted this morning. But I have very confirmed and credible information that the Pakistani agencies shared the information with the Americans about bin Laden in August 2010 and that information actually helped [the] Americans to further find out the hideout of bin Laden.

Muhammad Tahir: How will his killing affect Taliban activities in the region, particularly in Afghanistan and the tribal regions of Pakistan?

Mir: Certainly this is a big blow to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban because Osama bin Laden was not very active in the last couple of years. But certainly he was a symbol of resistance against America. So his physical elimination is certainly a big setback.

Yes, bin Laden is dead, but Al-Qaeda and its allies are not dead, and their biggest strength is the hatred against America in many parts of the world, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Now is the time that the Americans should give some serious consideration that the physical elimination is OK. They have eliminated bin Laden physically but now they must try to eliminate his political philosophy through some political actions.

Muhammad Tahir: How is this going to affect the image of Pakistan? Pakistan’s leaders always denied any knowledge of bin Laden’s whereabouts, yet now we discover that he was living in an area close to sensitive military installations deep inside the country. Won’t this confirm many suspicions that the Pakistani government has been playing a double game?

Mir: I think that it was the Pakistani intelligence which actually provided information to the Americans and these types of things cannot be discussed in [the] media. When the U.S. media was saying that he is hiding in Pakistan and at that time [the] Pakistani side was saying, „OK, if you have information, then provide that information to us and we will take action.“ But there was some misunderstanding.

But right from the arrest of Abu Zubaydah and the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and from the arrest of Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, and now the elimination of bin Laden — every target was achieved by the active help of Pakistanis and now the Americans should not doubt about the intentions of their Pakistani counterparts. If they are to improve further relations between Pakistan and America, they have to trust each other.

Read all articles from Hamid Mir

terror

Exekution Osama bin Ladens: Ein schwerer Verstoß gegen den Rechtsstaat

Dr. Alexander von Paleske — 3.5. 2011 — War die Kommandoaktion eine „kill mission“ fragt die FAZ heute, eine höchst rhetorische Frage, die längst beantwortet ist.

Eine Verhaftung Osama bin Ladens war offensichtlich nicht geplant, auch wenn die Obama Administration jetzt versucht sich rauszureden. Dies bestätigt auch der gewöhnlich gut unterrichtete US-Sender CNN unter Bezugnahme auf ungenannte Quellen.

Dafür spricht auch die gezielte Tötung durch Kopfschuss, dafür spricht auch, daß die See-Bestattung der Leiche offenbar im Voraus geplant war.

Notwendige Klarstellung
Um es vorab klarzustellen: Osama bin Laden ist sicherlich ein Schwerverbrecher gewesen, und ich hegte und hege keinerlei Sympathie für ihn.
Aber auch Schwerverbrecher, wie auch die vor dem Nürnberger Tribunal seinerzeit angeklagten Naziverbrecher, und Adolf Eichmann später, haben einen Anspruch auf ein ordentliches Gerichtsverfahren, gerade auch das gehört zu den Werten, auf die US-Präsident Obama in seiner Ansprache gestern Bezug nahm.

Und so hat mit seinem Tode Osama bin Laden den USA noch einen Schlag versetzt, einen Schlag gegen ihre Prinzipienfestigkeit, am Rechtsstaatsprinzip ohne wenn und aber festzuhalten.

Despoten kümmern sich nicht um solche Prinzipien, Israel kümmert sich nicht darum, wenn es sich um Palästinenser handelt, wie die israelische Journalistin Anat Kam aufdeckte, die deswegen in einem Geheimprozess in Israel vor Gericht steht.

Solche Prinzipienfestigkeit unterscheidet eben gerade Demokratien von Diktaturen oder aggressiven Staaten.

Hinzu kommt, worauf der Altbundeskanzler Helmut Schmidt gestern hingewiesen hat, die Verletzung der Souveränität Pakistans, also ein Verstoß gegen das Völkerrecht.

Keine Rechtfertigung
Daher erhebt sich die Frage, welche Gründe Obama und die US Administration zu diesem Vorgehen bewogen haben.

Dazu hat sich bereits der Al Qaida Experte Peter Bergen in seinem Buch „The longest warim Januar 2011 wie folgt geäußert (aao S. 348):

A U.S. official involved in the hunt for bin Laden said, that if the al-Qaeda’s leader were captured, it would likely produce a subsequent significant problem – Americans being taken hostage with the aim to free him. And in the unlikely event that bin Laden ever was put on trial, he would inevitably try to turn the proceedings into a platform for his views.

So dachten offenbar auch Obama und seine Administration, und warfen, um diesen Schwierigkeiten aus dem Wege zu gehen, eines der elementarsten Rechtsstaats-Prinzipien über Bord.

God bless America

Verfrühter Jubel nach der Tötung Osama bin Ladens
Investigative israelische Journalistin Anat Kam schuldig gesprochen

Israel: Journalismus, illegale Staatsgeheimnisse und Todesschwadronen

terror

Wikileaks, Twitter, die Riesenklatsche und der Tod von Osama Bin Laden

Stephan Fuchs – Im verschlafenen pakistanischen Nest Abbottabad wurde Osama Bin Laden getötet. Osamas Kurier wurde ihm zum Verhängnis. Die Geheimdienste folgten ihm. Die Operation wurde live in Twitter übertragen. Wikileaks liefert den Namen des Kuriers frei Haus und rechtfertigt so beinahe die Folterpraktiken der CIA.

Abu Faraj al-Libi wurde am 2. Mai 2005 (!) von Pakistans Geheimdienst ISI in Mardan verhaftet. An der Verhaftung waren die Special Activities Division der CIA und Special Forces der Pakistaner beteiligt. Am 6. Juni 2005 wurde er den Amerikanern überstellt und nach Guantanamo gebracht.


„Haut ab, Helikopter, bevor ich meine Riesenklatsche raushole“

2004 wollen die Pakistaner herhausgefunden haben, dass al-Libbi zur Nummer drei der Terrororganisation aufgestiegen war. Nebst zwei Mordversuchen an Pakistans General und damaligen Präsidenten Pervez Musharref, wurde er auch als Hauptplaner des sogenannten Transatlantic Aircraft Plot mit John Reid von 2006 verdächtigt. In Guantanamo hat Libbi wohl gesungen und verrät, dass auch er in Abbottabad gewesen sei.

In July 2003, detainee received a letter from UBL’s (Osama Bin Laden) designated courier, Maulawi Abd al-Khaliq Jan, requesting detainee take on the responsibility of collecting donations, organizing travel, and distributing funds to families in Pakistan. UBL stated detainee would be the official messenger between UBL and others in Pakistan. In mid-2003, detainee moved his family to Abbottabad, PK and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar.

Am 2.Mai 2011 twittert Sohaib Athar @ReallyVirtual den Begin einer Operation, die seit langem im Geheimen vorbereitet worden war:

– Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).
– Go away helicopter – before I take out my giant swatter :-/
– A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S
– Since taliban (probably) don’t have helicpoters, and since they’re saying it was not „ours“, so must be a complicated situation
– Bin Laden is dead. I didn’t kill him. Please let me sleep now.

terror

Verfrühter Jubel nach der Tötung Osama bin Ladens

Dr. Alexander von Paleske — 2.5. 2011 — Die Tötung Osama bin Ladens in Pakistan durch ein Kommando der US-Streitkräfte aus Afghanistan hat in weiten Teilen der westlichen Welt Jubel ausgelöst, frei nach dem Motto: „Endlich haben sie ihn erwischt“.


Osama bin Laden – Screenshot Dr. v. Paleske

Was dabei übersehen wird, daß ein Monster wie bin Laden nur entstehen konnte, weil er es schaffte, den Zorn und die Empörung von Moslems in der Welt zu bündeln, die sich aus Armut, Unterdrückung und Demütigung nährten, und ihnen einen Hauptschuldigen servieren: Die USA und Israel.

Nährboden für Al Qaeda
Es gibt kaum einen Staat, dessen Bevölkerungsmehrheit Muslims sind, der als demokratisch bezeichnet werden kann.
In all diesen Ländern herrscht ein erhebliches Maß an Unterdrückung, haben Despoten das Sagen, mal mehr, wie auf der arabischen Halbinsel, mal weniger, wie in Indonesien.

In den meisten Ländern, von Saudi-Arabien und den Golfstaaten einmal abgesehen, herrscht dort auch Armut, oftmals verbunden mit schamloser Bereicherung der Regierungsclique.

Und es gibt den Palästinakonflikt, wo Moslems Tag für Tag, Monat für Monat, und Jahr für Jahr gedemütigt werden, ihnen Land weggenommen wird, und alles verbunden mit gewaltsamen Übergriffen auf Nachbarländer, wie zuletzt in den Libanonkriegen 1982 und 2006.

Hinzu kommen der Kaschmirkonflikt zwischen Pakistan und Indien und der Konflikt in Tschetschenien.

Nicht zu vergessen: Der Einmarsch in den Irak im Jahre 2003 unter Vorwänden und mit Lügen gespickt, sowie der Afghanistankrieg.
Afghanistan, dessen Bevölkerung nicht nur unter dem Krieg enorm leidet, sondern an deren sozialer Lage sich so gut wie nichts in den letzten 10 Jahren geändert hat, und wo die ISAF mittlerweile als Besatzungstruppe angesehen wird, wir haben mehrfach darauf hingewiesen.

Im Palästinakonflikt, im Irak und in Afghanistan sind die USA zwanglos als Gegner auszumachen, da sie die aggressive Politik Israels zumindest toleriert, wenn nicht gar, wie Bush, aktiv unterstützt haben und mit eigenen Truppen in den Irak und Afghanistan einmarschiert waren .

Konflikte bestehen fort
Diese Konflikte bestehen allesamt weiter, und damit wäre die Basis für das Fortleben von Al Qaeda – nunmehr ohne Osama bin Laden – gesichert. Der Jubel über seinen Tod wird daher wohl nichtallzu lange anhalten.

Diese Auffassung vertritt auch einer der wohl besten Al Qaeda-Kenner, Peter L. Bergen, der seine Erfahrungen in einem Buch zusammengefasst hat, das Anfang des Jahres erschienen ist:

The longest War – The enduring conflict between America and al Qaeda“

Er schreibt (aao S. 348):

It may take years, but it’s likely, bin Laden, who turns 54 almost a decade after 9/11 will eventually be apprehended or killed..

Welche Auswirkungen würde das haben, fragt der Autor, und fährt dann fort:

In the short term bin Laden’s death would likely trigger violent attacks around the globe, while in medium term term his death would be a serious blow to al Qaeda the formal organization, since bin Laden’s charisma played a critical role in the success of his group
In the longer term bin Laden’s “martyrdom” would likely give a boost to the power of his ideas.

Und er warnt:

Make no mistake, this will not end the war of the terrorists. Bin Laden’s ideas have circulated widely and will continue to attract adherents for years to come. Arresting (or killing) is a generally relatively simple matter. Arresting ideas is entirely another thing.

Anders ausgedrückt: Soweit die Konflikte weiter existieren, wird der Terrorismus weiter Anhänger finden.

Nicht vorhergesehen
Was aber Peter Bergen nicht vorhergesehen hat – und nicht nur er – ist der Aufstand in der arabischen Welt gegen die Unterdrückung.

Damit hat sich eine moderne und attraktive Alternative zu bin Ladens mittelalterlicher Kalifenstaatsidee im Kampf gegen Unterdrückung Bahn gebrochen, die Al Qaida zunächst einmal sprachlos gemacht hatte.

Diese Idee hat, anders als bin Ladens gewalttätige und extrem brutale Ideologie sie je hatte, eine Massenbasis und teilweise beachtlichen Erfolg.

Diese Massenbewegung will nichts vom Kalifenstaat und moslemischen Großreich wissen, sondern ihr eigenes nationales Haus in demokratische Ordnung bringen, sieht die Verantwortlichkeit für die Zustände bei der regierenden Clique, und nicht als „ Weltverschwörung der Kreuzritter“ .

Durch diese Massen-Partizipation entfällt die Basis für den Fundamentalismus.

Anders: Nur dort, wo diese Bewegung nicht erfolgreich ist, und die Unterdrückung fortbesteht, kann Al Qaeda mit den kruden Vorstellungen auf eine (begrenzte) aber hochgefährliche Anhängerschaft hoffen.

Und so waren Osama bin Laden und Al Qaeda bereits in Nordafrika ideologisch auf den Abfallhaufen der Geschichte geworfen worden, bevor er heute getötet wurde.


Cartoonist Zapiro in der südafrikanischen Wochenzeitung Mail and Guardian vom 6.5. 2011 zum Thema

K(l)eine Dosis Geschichte oder: Joseph (Joschka) Fischers Märchenstunde

Zu Afghanistan
Meuterei auf der Gorch Fock – bald auch in Afghanistan?
Abzug aus Afghanistan und Rückkehr aus Afghanistan

Tod in Afghanistan – Undank in der Heimat
Aus der Hölle in Krankheit und Obdachlosigkeit – US-Soldaten nach der Rückkehr von der Front

Afghanistan: Rückt das Ende des Schreckens näher?
Vietnam damals, Afghanistan heute: Kriegsverbrechen und Irreführung
Afghanistan – wann kommt der Waffenstillstand?
Blackwater–Söldner in Afghanistan oder: Mit der Bundeswehr Seit an Seit
Der Krieg in Afghanistan und eine führende liberale deutsche Wochenzeitung
Afghanistan: Milliarden für den Krieg, Peanuts zur Bekämpfung von Hunger und Unterernährung
Verteidigung westlicher Kulturwerte am Hindukusch oder: So fröhlich ist das Söldnerleben in Afghanistan
Keine Strafverfolgung deutscher Soldaten in Afghanistan?
Unsere kanadischen Folterfreunde in Afghanistan
Justiz in der Krise oder Krisenjustiz?
Mission impossible – Josef Joffes Iran-Kriegs-Artikel in der ZEIT</a

Interviews mit Botschafter a.D. Dr. Werner Kilian
Nach der Afghanistankonferenz – Dr. Werner Kilian im Interview
Schrecken ohne Ende? – Ein Interview mit Botschafter a.D. Dr. Werner Kilian

terror

Pan Am 103 Why Did They Die?

Roy Rowan – „FOR THREE YEARS, I’ve had a feeling that if Chuck hadn’t been on that plane, it wouldn’t have been bombed,“ says Beulah McKee, 75. Her bitterness has still not subsided. But seated in the parlor of her house in Trafford, Pennsylvania, the house where her son was born 43 years ago, she struggles to speak serenely. „I know that’s not what our President wants me to say,“ she admits.

George Bush’s letter of condolence, written almost four months after the shattered remains of Pan Am Flight 103 fell on Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988, expressed the usual „my heart goes out to you“ sorrow. „No action by this government can restore the loss you have suffered,“ he concluded. But deep inside, Mrs. McKee suspects it was a government action gone horribly awry that indirectly led to her only son’s death. „I’ve never been satisfied at ( all by what the people in Washington told me,“ she says.

Today, as the U.S. spearheads the U.N.-sanctioned embargo against Libya for not handing over two suspects in the bombing, Mrs. McKee wonders if Chuck’s background contains the secret of why this plane was targeted. If her suspicions are correct, Washington may not be telling the entire story. Major Charles Dennis McKee, called „Tiny“ by his Army intelligence friends, was a burly giant and a superstar in just about every kind of commando training offered to American military personnel. He completed the rugged Airborne and Ranger schools, graduated first in his class from the Special Forces qualification course, and served with the Green Berets. In Beirut he was identified merely as a military attache assigned to the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). But his hulking physique didn’t fit such a low- profile diplomatic post. Friends there remember him as a „walking arsenal“ of guns and knives. His real assignment reportedly was to work with the CIA in reconnoitering the American hostages in Lebanon and then, if feasible, to lead a daring raid that would rescue them.

McKee’s thick, 37-page Army dossier contains so many blacked-out words that it’s hard to glean the danger he faced. Surviving the censor’s ink was his title, „Team Chief.“ Under „Evaluation,“ it was written that he „performs constantly in the highest-stress environment with clear operational judgment and demeanor . . . Especially strong in accomplishing the mission with minimal guidance and supervision . . . Continues to perform one of the most hazardous and demanding jobs in the Army.“

For Beulah McKee the mystery deepened six months after Chuck’s death, when she received a letter from another U.S. agent in Beirut. It was signed „John Carpenter,“ a name the Pentagon says it can’t further identify. Although the letter claimed that Chuck’s presence on the Pan Am plane was unrelated to the bombing, Carpenter’s message only stirred her suspicions. „I cannot comment on Chuck’s work,“ he wrote, „because his work lives on. God willing, in time his labors will bear fruit and you will learn the true story of his heroism and courage.“

Chuck had given no clues about his work. Back home in November for Thanksgiving three weeks before he perished, he wouldn’t even see his friends. „I don’t want to mingle, so I don’t have to answer any questions,“ he told his mother. „Anyway, he didn’t have time,“ she recalls. „He stayed up till 3 every morning studying reports. And when he flew back to Beirut, all he said was, ‚Don’t worry, Mom. Soon I’ll be out from under all this pressure.‘ “

Almost immediately after the Pan Am bombing, which killed the 259 people aboard the plane and 11 more on the ground, the prime suspect was Ahmed Jibril, the roly-poly boss of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (P.F.L.P.-G.C.). Two months earlier, West German police had arrested 16 members of his terrorist organization. Seized during the raids was a plastic bomb concealed in a Toshiba cassette player, similar to the one that blew up Flight 103. There was other evidence pointing to Jibril. His patron was Syria. His banker for the attack on the Pan Am plane appeared to be Iran. U.S. intelligence agents even traced a wire transfer of several million dollars to a bank account in Vienna belonging to the P.F.L.P.-G.C. Iran’s motive seemed obvious enough. The previous July, the U.S.S. Vincennes had mistakenly shot down an Iranian Airbus over the Persian Gulf, killing all 298 aboard.

Suddenly, last November, the U.S. Justice Department blamed the bombing on two Libyans, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah. The scenario prompted President Bush to remark, „The Syrians took a bum rap on this.“ It also triggered an outcry from the victims‘ families, who claimed that pointing the finger at Libya was a political ploy designed to reward Syria for siding with the U.S. in the gulf war and to help win the release of the hostages. Even Vincent Cannistraro, former head of the CIA’s investigation of the bombing, told the New York Times it was „outrageous“ to pin the whole thing on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

A four-month investigation by Time has disclosed evidence that raises new questions about the case. Among the discoveries:

— According to an FBI field report from Germany, the suitcase originating in Malta that supposedly contained the bomb may not have been transferred to Pan Am Flight 103 in Frankfurt, as charged in the indictment of the two Libyans. Instead, the bomb-laden bag may have been substituted in Frankfurt for an innocent piece of luggage.

— The rogue bag may have been placed on board the plane by Jibril’s group with the help of Monzer al-Kassar, a Syrian drug dealer who was cooperating with the U.S.’s Drug Enforcement Administration in a drug sting operation. Al- Kassar thus may have been playing both sides of the fence.

< — Jibril and his group may have targeted that flight because on board was an intelligence team led by Charles McKee, whose job was to find and rescue the hostages.

Investigators initially focused their efforts on examining the procedures in the baggage-loading area at Frankfurt’s international airport. But risking the transfer of an unaccompanied, bomb-laden suitcase to a connecting flight did not jibe with the precautions terrorists usually take. Security officers using video cameras routinely keep watch over the area. An intricate network of computerized conveyors, the most sophisticated baggage-transfer system in the world, shunts some 60,000 suitcases a day between loading bays. Every piece of luggage is logged minute by minute from one position to the next, so its journey through the airport is carefully monitored. The bags are then X-rayed by the airline before being put aboard a plane.

But the U.S. government’s charges against al-Megrahi and Fhimah don’t explain how the bronze-colored Samsonite suitcase, dispatched via Air Malta, eluded Frankfurt’s elaborate airport security system. Instead, the indictment zeroes in on two tiny pieces of forensic evidence — a fingernail-size fragment of green plastic from a Swiss digital timer, and a charred piece of shirt.

Even though investigators previously thought the bomb was probably detonated by a barometric trigger (considered much more reliable, especially in winter, when flights are frequently delayed and connections missed), a Swiss timer was traced to Libya. The shirt, which presumably had been wrapped around the bomb inside the suitcase, was traced to a boutique in Malta called Mary’s House. The owner identified al-Megrahi as the shirt’s purchaser, although he originally confused al-Megrahi with a Palestinian terrorist arrested in Sweden.

It was the computer printout produced by FAG, the German company that operates the sophisticated luggage-transfer system, that finally nailed down the indictment of the two Libyans. The printout, discovered months after the bombing, purportedly proved that their suitcase sent from Malta was logged in at Coding Station 206 shortly after 1 p.m. and then routed to Gate 44 in Terminal B, where it was put aboard the Pan Am jet. But a „priority“ teletype sent from the U.S. embassy in Bonn to the FBI director in Washington on Oct. 23, 1989, reveals that despite the detailed computer records, considerable uncertainty surrounded the movement of this suitcase.

TIME has obtained a copy of the five-page FBI message, which states, „This computer entry does not indicate the origin of the bag which was sent for loading on board Pan Am 103. Nor does it indicate that the bag was actually loaded on Pan Am 103. It indicates only that a bag of unknown origin was sent from Coding Station 206 at 1:07 p.m. to a position from which it was supposed to be loaded on Pan Am 103.“

The FBI message further explains that a handwritten record kept by a baggage handler at Coding Station 206 was even less specific about what happened to the suitcase. „It is noted,“ the teletype continues, „that the handwritten duty sheet indicates only that the luggage was unloaded from Air Malta 180. There is no indication how much baggage was unloaded or where the luggage was sent.“ The FBI agent’s report concludes, „There remains the possibility that no luggage was transferred from Air Malta 180 to Pan Am 103.“

Also described in the teletype is an incident that „may provide insight into the possibilities of a rogue bag being inserted into the baggage system.“ On a guided tour of the baggage area in September 1989, it was disclosed, detective inspector Watson McAteer of the Scottish police and FBI special agent Lawrence G. Whitaker „observed an individual approach Coding Station 206 with a single piece of luggage, place the luggage in a luggage container, encode a destination into the computer and leave without making any notation on a duty sheet.“ This convinced the two investigators that a rogue suitcase could have been „sent to Pan Am 103 either before or after the unloading of Air Malta 180.“

Lee Kreindler, the lead attorney for the victims‘ families, who are suing Pan Am for $7 billion, says he can prove that the suitcase from Malta was put aboard Flight 103. He charges that a gross security failure by Pan Am, which went bankrupt in January 1991 and later folded, contributed to the disaster.

But it was the rogue-bag theory that was pursued by Pan Am’s law firm, Windels, Marx, Davies & Ives, representing the airline’s insurers. To piece together their version of how the bomb was planted, Pan Am’s lawyers hired Interfor, Inc., a New York City firm specializing in international intelligence and security. If it hadn’t been for the government’s implausible plottings revealed during the Iran-contra hearings, Interfor’s findings might be dismissed as a private eye’s imagination run amuck — especially considering the controversial background of the company’s president, Juval Aviv.

Now 45 and an American citizen, Aviv claims to have headed the Mossad hit squad that hunted down and killed the Arab terrorists who murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Israeli and U.S. intelligence sources deny that Aviv was ever associated with Mossad. However, working for Pan Am, he spent more than six months tracking the terrorists who the airline now alleges are responsible for the bombing. While his report has been written off as fiction by many intelligence officials, a number of its findings appear well documented.

The central figure emerging from the Interfor investigation is a 44-year-old Syrian arms and drug trafficker, Monzer al-Kassar. His brother-in-law is Syria’s intelligence chief, Ali Issa Duba, and his wife Raghda is related to Syrian President Hafez Assad.

Al-Kassar has many passports and identities. Most important, he was part of the covert network run by U.S. Lieut. Colonel Oliver North. During the Iran- contra hearings, it was revealed that al-Kassar was given $1.5 million to purchase weapons. Questioned about al-Kassar, former U.S. National Security Adviser John Poindexter said, „When you’re buying arms, you often have to deal with people you might not want to go to dinner with.“

It was through al-Kassar’s efforts, or so he claimed, that two French hostages were released from Lebanon in 1986 in exchange for an arms shipment to Iran. The deal caught the eye of a freewheeling CIA unit code-named COREA, based in Wiesbaden, Germany. This special unit was reported to be trafficking in drugs and arms in order to gain access to terrorist groups.

For its cover overseas, COREA used various front companies: Stevens Mantra Corp., AMA Industries, Wildwood Video and Condor Television Ltd. Condor paid its bills with checks drawn on the First American Bank (account No. 2843900) in Washington, D.C., which was subsequently discovered to be a subsidiary of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

According to Aviv, agents in COREA’s Wiesbaden headquarters allowed al- Kassar to continue running his smuggling routes to American cities in exchange for help in obtaining the release of the American hostages being held in Lebanon. At about the same time, al-Kassar’s drug-smuggling enterprise was being used by the U.S.’s DEA in a sting operation. The DEA was monitoring heroin shipments from Lebanon to Detroit, Los Angeles and Houston, which have large Arab populations, in an attempt to nail the U.S. dealers.

By the fall of 1988, al-Kassar’s operation had been spotted by P.F.L.P.-G.C. leader Ahmed Jibril, who had just taken on the assignment from Tehran to avenge the U.S. downing of its Airbus. A CIA undercover agent in Tripoli reported that Jibril also obtained Gaddafi’s support. According to Mossad, Jibril dined with al-Kassar at a Paris restaurant and secured a reluctant promise of assistance in planting a bomb aboard an as yet unselected American transatlantic jet.

Al-Kassar’s hesitancy was understandable. He wouldn’t want anything to disrupt his profitable CIA-assisted drug and arms business. Presumably he was also worried because West German police had just raided the Popular Front hideouts around Dusseldorf and Frankfurt. Among those arrested: the Jordanian technical wizard and bombmaker Marwan Khreesat.

The bomb that ended up on the Pan Am jet could have been assembled by Khreesat. However, last month the Palestine Liberation Organization reported that it was built by Khaisar Haddad (a.k.a. Abu Elias), who is also a member of Jibril’s Popular Front. Haddad purchased the detonator, the P.L.O. said, on the Beirut black market for more than $60,000.

The detonator, in fact, is considered one of the main keys to the bombing puzzle. Thomas Hayes, a leading forensics expert, did the main detective work on a minute piece of timer recovered from the wreckage by Scottish authorities. In a recent book about the Lockerbie investigation, On the Trail of Terror, British journalist David Leppard reports that „Hayes is not prepared to commit himself publicly on whether the bomb that blew up Pan Am 103 was originally made by Khreesat and subsequently modified by timers of the sort found in possession of the Libyans.“ In fact, adds Leppard, „his authoritative view is that not enough of the bomb’s timing device has been recovered to make a definite judgment about whether it was a dual device containing a barometric switch and a timer, or a single trigger device, which was activated by just a timer.“

James M. Shaughnessy, Pan Am’s lead defense lawyer, has tried to drive a wedge into this opening left by Hayes, thereby casting further doubt on Libya’s responsibility for the bombing. Britain’s High Court ruled that Pan Am’s lawyers could depose Hayes. However, in a last-minute legal maneuver by the Scottish authorities, the deposition was blocked for reasons of national security. Pan Am’s lawyers are now appealing that decision.

But regardless of the bomb’s design, al-Kassar still didn’t know how and when Jibril planned to use it. A Mossad agent, according to Aviv, first tipped off U.S. and West German intelligence agents that a terrorist attack would be made on an American passenger plane departing from Frankfurt on or about Dec. 18. Al-Kassar quickly figured out that Pan Am Flight 103 was the most likely target and, playing both sides of the fence, notified the COREA unit. His warning corroborated an earlier bomb threat, involving an unspecified Pan Am flight from Frankfurt, telephoned to the U.S. embassy in Helsinki.

Precisely how a rogue bag containing the bomb eluded the Frankfurt airport security system, Aviv doesn’t know. Presumably this required the help of baggage handlers there. So in January 1990 he and a former U.S. Army polygraphist flew to Frankfurt, accompanied by Shaughnessy. At the Sheraton Conference Center, adjoining the airport, the polygraphist administered lie- detector tests to Pan Am baggage handlers Kilin Caslan Tuzcu and Roland O’Neill. Pan Am had determined that they were the only ones who were in a position to switch suitcases and place the bomb-laden bag aboard Flight 103.

Tuzcu took the test three times, and O’Neill took it twice. As the polygraphist later testified before a federal grand jury in Washington, Tuzcu „was not truthful when he said he did not switch the suitcases.“ The polygraphist also told the grand jury, „It is my opinion that Roland O’Neill wasn’t truthful when he stated he did not see the suitcase being switched, and when he stated that he did not know what was in the switched suitcase.“ The two men continued to claim ignorance of a baggage switch.

After flunking their lie-detector tests, both were sent on a bogus errand by Pan Am to London, where it was assumed they would be arrested. But British authorities refused to even interrogate the pair. According to Leppard, Tuzcu and O’Neill were simply „scapegoats“ and were never „considered serious suspects.“ They returned to Frankfurt that same night.

If the bomb-laden luggage replaced an innocent bag, what happened to the displaced suitcase? On Dec. 21, 1988, the day of the bombing, one of Pan Am’s Berlin-based pilots was about to head home to Seattle, Washington, for Christmas when he received orders to fly to Karachi first. He had with him two identical Samsonite suitcases full of presents. At the Berlin airport, he $ asked Pan Am to send them directly to Seattle. „Rush“ tags, marked for Flights 637 to Frankfurt, 107 to London and 123 to Seattle, were affixed to the bags.

It so happened that the flight from Berlin to Frankfurt was delayed. While all the passengers ultimately made the connection to London, 11 suitcases, including the pilot’s two bags, remained behind in Frankfurt. They were entered into the airport computer system and rerouted via the Pan Am flight. But only one of the pilot’s suitcases was recovered at Lockerbie. The other had been mysteriously left behind in Frankfurt, and arrived safely in Seattle a day later. That story, which TIME has corroborated, doesn’t prove Pan Am’s claim that terrorists used al-Kassar’s drug pipeline to pull a suitcase switch in Frankfurt. But it does support the theory that a rogue bag was inserted into the automated baggage-control system, as the secret FBI report indicates was possible.

TO GATHER FURTHER EVIDENCE that the bomb was not contained in an unaccompanied bag from Malta, Pan Am lawyer Shaughnessy recently interviewed under oath 20 officials who were in Malta on Dec. 21, 1988, including the airport security commander, the bomb-disposal engineer who inspected all the baggage, the general manager of ground operations of Air Malta, the head loader of Flight 180 and the three check-in agents. Their records showed that no unaccompanied suitcases were put aboard the flight, and some of the staff Shaughnessy interviewed are prepared to testify under oath that there was no bag that day destined for Pan Am Flight 103.

Although Shaughnessy subpoenaed the FBI, CIA, DEA and four other government agencies for all documents pertaining to both the bombing of Flight 103 and the narcotics sting operation, he has been repeatedly rebuffed by the Justice Department for reasons of national security. Even so, with the help of investigators hired after Aviv, he has managed to obtain some of the documents needed to defend Pan Am’s insurers in the trial scheduled to begin April 27 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The stakes are enormous, and the incentive is high for Shaughnessy to demonstrate the government’s responsibility for the bombing. In addition to defending against the compensation claims of $7 billion, he is bringing a claim against the government for failing to give warning that Pan Am had been targeted by the terrorists.

The man who has been Shaughnessy’s key witness in these proceedings is hiding in fear of his life in a small town in Europe. His real name is Lester Knox Coleman III, although as a former spy for the dia and DEA he was known as Thomas Leavy and by the code name Benjamin B. A year ago, the stockily built, bearded Coleman filed an affidavit describing the narcotics sting operation that Shaughnessy claims was infiltrated by Jibril.

It wasn’t until July 1990, when Coleman spotted a newspaper picture of one of the Pan Am victims and recognized the young Lebanese as one of his drug- running informants, that he realized he might be of assistance to Pan Am. He was also looking for work. Two months earlier he had been deactivated by the DIA after being arrested by the FBI for using his DIA cover name, Thomas Leavy, on a passport application. Coleman claims that the DIA instructed him to do this. „But such trumped-up charges are frequently used to keep spooks quiet,“ says A. Ernest Fitzgerald, a Pentagon whistle-blower and a director of the Fund for Constitutional Government in Washington, which has been looking into Coleman’s case.

Coleman spent three days in jail. His official pretrial services report, filed with the U.S. District Court of Illinois for the Northern District, began, „Although Mr. Coleman’s employment history sounds quite improbable, information he gave has proven to be true.“

Raised in Iran, Libya and Saudi Arabia, Coleman, now 48, was recruited by the dia and assigned to the still classified humint (Human Intelligence) MC-10 operation in the Middle East. In early 1987 he was transferred from Lebanon to Cyprus, where he began his work for the DEA. However, he says he was instructed not to inform the DEA there of his role as a DIA undercover agent. By this time even the DIA suspected that the freewheeling narcotics sting operation was getting out of hand.

In Nicosia, Coleman saw the supposedly controlled shipments of heroin, called kourah in Lebanon — inspiration for the CIA operation’s code name COREA — grow into a torrent. The drugs were delivered by couriers who arrived on the overnight ferry from the Lebanese port of Jounieh. After receiving their travel orders from the DEA, the couriers were escorted to the Larnaca airport by the Cypriot national police and sent on their way to Frankfurt and other European transit points. The DEA testified at hearings in Washington that no „controlled deliveries“ of drugs through Frankfurt were made in 1988.

Coleman’s DEA front in Nicosia, called the Eurame Trading Co. Ltd., was located on the top floor of a high-rise apartment near the U.S. embassy. He says the intelligence agency paid him with unsigned Visa traveler’s checks issued by B.C.C.I. in Luxembourg. Additionally, the DEA country attache in Cyprus, Michael Hurley, kept a drawer full of cash in his office at the embassy, which he parceled out to Coleman and to a parade of confidential informants, known by such nicknames as „Rambo Dreamer,“ „Taxi George“ and „Fadi the Captain.“ Hurley admitted in a Justice Department affidavit that he paid Coleman $74,000 for information.

The informants, Coleman reported, were under the control of Ibrahim el-Jorr. „He was a Wild West character who wore cowboy boots and tooled around in a Chevy with expired Texas plates,“ he says. „I was told ((by el-Jorr)) that in the Frankfurt airport the suitcases containing the narcotics were put on flights to the U.S. by agents or other sources working in the baggage area. From my personal observation, Germany’s BKA ((Bundeskriminalamt, the German federal police)) was also involved, as was Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise service in the United Kingdom.“

After deciding to become a witness for Pan Am, Coleman phoned a friend, Hartmut Mayer, a German intelligence agent in Cyprus, and asked if he knew how the bomb got aboard Flight 103. Mayer suggested calling a „Mr. Harwick“ and a „Mr. Pinsdorf,“ who Mayer said were running the investigation at the Frankfurt airport. „I spoke with Pinsdorf,“ says Coleman. „From his conversation I learned that BKA had serious concerns that the drug sting operation originating in Cyprus had caused the bomb to be placed on the Pan Am plane.“ Mayer and Pinsdorf gave depositions last year at the request of Pan Am. But the German Federal Ministry of the Interior ruled they couldn’t discuss law-enforcement matters relating to other nations. Mayer did say he knew Coleman.

„It took three informants just to keep tabs on al-Kassar,“ claims Coleman. He said the informants reported that al-Kassar and the Syrian President’s brother Rifaat Assad were taking over drug production in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, under protection of the Syrian army. Coleman also says he learned that the principal European transfer point for their heroin shipments was the Frankfurt airport.

In December 1988 al-Kassar picked up some news that threatened to shut down his smuggling operation. Charles McKee’s counterterrorist team in Beirut that was investigating the possible rescue of the nine American hostages had got wind of his CIA connection. The team was outraged that the COREA unit in Wiesbaden was doing business with a Syrian who had close terrorist connections and might endanger their planned rescue attempt.

Besides McKee, a key member of the team was Matthew Gannon, 34, the CIA’s deputy station chief in Beirut and a rising star in the agency. After venting their anger to the CIA in Langley about al-Kassar, McKee and Gannon were further upset by headquarters‘ failure to respond. Its silence was surprising because Gannon’s father-in-law Thomas Twetten, who now commands the CIA’s worldwide spy network, was then chief of Middle East operations based in Langley. He was also Ollie North’s CIA contact.

MCKEE AND GANNON, joined by three other members of the team, decided to fly back to Virginia unannounced and expose the COREA unit’s secret deal with al- Kassar. They packed $500,000 in cash provided for their rescue mission, as well as maps and photographs of the secret locations where the hostages were being held. Then the five-man team booked seats on Pan Am 103 out of London, arranging to fly there on a connecting flight from Cyprus.

McKee’s mother says she is sure her son’s sudden decision to fly home was not known to his superiors in Virginia. „This was the first time Chuck ever telephoned me from Beirut,“ she says. „I was flabbergasted. ‚Meet me at the Pittsburgh airport tomorrow night,‘ he said. ‚It’s a surprise.‘ Always before he would wait until he was back in Virginia to call and say he was coming home.“

Apparently the team’s movements were being tracked by the Iranians. A story that appeared in the Arabic newspaper Al-Dustur on May 22, 1989, disclosed that the terrorists set out to kill McKee and his team because of their planned hostage-rescue attempt. The author, Ali Nuri Zadeh, reported that „an American agent known as David Love-Boy ((he meant Lovejoy)), who had struck bargains on weapons to the benefit of Iran,“ passed information to the Iranian embassy in Beirut about the team’s travel plans. Reported to be a onetime State Department security officer, Lovejoy is alleged to have become a double agent with CIA connections in Libya. His CIA code name was said to be „Nutcracker.“

Lawyer Shaughnessy uncovered similar evidence. His affidavit, filed with the federal district court in Brooklyn, New York, asserts that in November and ; December 1988 the U.S. government intercepted a series of telephone calls from Lovejoy to the Iranian charge d’affaires in Beirut advising him of the team’s movements. Lovejoy’s last call came on Dec. 20, allegedly informing the Iranians that the team would be on Pan Am Flight 103 the following day.

In his book, Lockerbie: The Tragedy of Flight 103, Scottish radio reporter David Johnston disclosed that British army searches of the wreckage recovered more than $500,000 cash, believed to belong to the hostage-rescue team, and what appeared to be a detailed plan of a building in Beirut, with two crosses marking the location of the hostages. The map also pinpointed the positions of sentries guarding the building and contained a description of how the building might be taken.

Johnston also described how CIA agents helicoptered into Lockerbie shortly after the crash seeking the remnants of McKee’s suitcase. „Having found part of their quarry,“ he wrote, „the CIA had no intention of following the exacting rules of evidence employed by the Scottish police. They took the suitcase and its contents into the chopper and flew with it to an unknown destination.“ Several days later the empty suitcase was returned to the same spot, where Johnston reported that it was „found“ by two British Transport Police officers, „who in their ignorance were quite happy to sign statements about the case’s discovery.“

Richard Gazarik, a reporter for the Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Tribune- Review, spent many months probing the major’s secret mission. He found, hidden inside the lining of McKee’s wallet, which was retrieved from the Pan Am wreckage and returned to his mother, what he assumes was McKee’s code name, Chuck Capone, and the gangster code names (Nelson, Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde) of the other team members.

The theory that Jibril targeted Flight 103 in order to kill the hostage- rescue team is supported by two independent intelligence experts. M. Gene Wheaton, a retired U.S. military-intelligence officer with 17 years‘ duty in the Middle East, sees chilling similarities between the Lockerbie crash and the suspicious DC-8 crash in Gander, Newfoundland, which killed 248 American soldiers in 1985. Wheaton is serving as investigator for the families of the victims of that crash. „A couple of my old black ops buddies in the Pentagon believe the Pan Am bombers were gunning for McKee’s hostage-rescue team,“ he says. „But they were told to shift the focus of their investigation because it revealed an embarrassing breakdown in security.“ The FBI says it investigated the theory that McKee’s team was targeted and found no evidence to support it.

Victor Marchetti, former executive assistant to the CIA’s deputy director and co-author of The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, believes that the presence of the team on Flight 103 is a clue that should not be ignored. His contacts at Langley agree. „It’s like the loose thread of a sweater,“ he says. „Pull on it, and the whole thing may unravel.“ In any case, Marchetti believes the bombing of Flight 103 could have been avoided. „The Mossad knew about it and didn’t give proper warning,“ he says. „The CIA knew about it and screwed up.“

The CIA may still be trying to find out more information about why McKee and Gannon suddenly decided to fly home. Last year three CIA agents, reportedly following up on their hostage-rescue mission, were shot dead in a Berlin hotel while waiting to meet a Palestinian informant.

Beulah McKee has given up trying to find out if Pan Am’s bombers were after her son, although she says, „The government’s secrecy can’t close off my mind.“ Twice she called and questioned Gannon’s widow Susan, who like her husband and her father Tom Twetten worked for the CIA. „The last time, I was accused of opening my mouth too much,“ says Mrs. McKee.

Yet memories die hard, and mothers never quite get accustomed to losing a child. Beulah McKee keeps her son’s bedroom all tidied up, as if she still expected him to come home. His pictures, diplomas, miltary awards, even his chrome-plated bowie knife, decorate the walls. In a cardboard carton under the made-up bed are the heavily censored service records of her son, which may contain the secret of why Pan Am 103 was blown out of the sky over Scotland.

senden Fair Use Notice: JNvH contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The material is being made available for purposes of education and research of the subscribers themselves. This constitutes a „fair use“ of such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

terror

Torture ‚business as usual‘ in Egypt

Charles Onians – Egypt’s feared state security services are using torture as much as they ever did, rights activists say, with no sign that their horrifying tactics are about to change despite the regime’s promise of reform.

Rights groups say anger against routine police abuse and torture has been a driving force behind the massive popular protests in which at least 300 people have died and an unknown number were detained.

The regime has agreed to deal with complaints about the treatment of political prisoners and to lift an emergency law used to detain people without trial „depending on the security situation“ in the face of the protests.

But official brutality and torture are continuing apace amid the 13-day revolt against President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, said Amnesty International’s Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

„When you see the beatings of protesters by security forces in the last 10 days there’s really no break in the way they continue to behave,“ she told AFP.

„If this is about maintaining public order rather than trying to scare people, then they should acknowledge when they hold someone and publish the list of people detained,“ she said, citing the disappearance of Google executive Wael Ghoneim, snatched by plain clothes security forces on Friday.

Foreign journalists arrested by security forces during the protests have given harrowing accounts of hearing Egyptians being tortured nearby during their detention.

Rights activist Aida Seif el-Dawla said the use of torture is „business as usual“. „State security are arresting people at protests, taking them from their homes and using torture against them, such as electric shocks,“ she told AFP.

She cites security forces‘ „destruction“ of the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre and simultaneous arrest of dozens of rights activists there, including foreigners, as emblematic of the regime’s attitude to human rights.

Mubarak addressed the nation on Tuesday, saying: „My first responsibility is now to bring security and stability to the nation to ensure a peaceful transition of power“. Since the speech, Seif el-Dawla said: „We have at least 30 documented cases of killings.“

„Mubarak must go,“ she told AFP. „Nothing will change until he is gone: he is the commander-in-chief of torture and of the police.“

Mubarak’s axing of his much-hated interior minister, Habib al-Adly – who was in charge of the police – did little to calm the furious sea of protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Seif el-Dawla said Adly was still in charge, despite his replacement by Mahmud Wagdi, himself a former head of the prison service, where rights groups say torture is rife.

Activists say while previously torture was reserved for political prisoners and terrorism suspects, it is now widely practised even on petty criminal suspects.

The most recent case to have dominated headlines and sparked demonstrations was of Khaled Said, a 28-year-old man beaten to death by two undercover police officers on an Alexandria street in June.

Other notorious cases include Emad el-Kabir, who was sodomised with a stick in a police station in 2007, with images of the torture recorded on a mobile phone and broadcast on the internet.

According to the government, seven police officers have been sentenced for torture or inhumane treatment since 2006. No one from the State Security Investigations, which monitors political dissent, has ever been prosecuted for torture.

But there is little hope for immediate change even if Mubarak were to go and be replaced by his vice-president, Omar Suleiman.

„We’re changing a man, not the system. It’s difficult to have faith in Omar Suleiman considering his track record in human rights,“ said Amnesty’s Sahraoui.

„In his previous capacity as head of military intelligence and intelligence, he was involved in crushing opposition, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood. He was involved with the extraordinary rendition program with the US.“

That controversial program of extraordinary rendition under ex-president George W Bush involved terror suspects snatched by the CIA being taken to Egypt and other countries without legal proceedings and subjected to torture.

Many protesters have demanded Mubarak go on trial for the alleged crimes of his regime.

„We will need first of all to investigate the extent of violations and unpack the chain of command and how it works,“ said Sahraoui. „Once this is clarified, no one should be safe from prosecution if they’ve been involved in torture.“

terror

The burden of being Osama’s daughter

Himid Mir – 20.2. 2010 – Tragedy of a family torn asunder by circumstances has created a stalemate between Iran and Saudi Arabia, tussle between a daughter and her mother and exposed differences between a father and his sons.

This is the story of the family of the world most wanted fugitive: Osama bin Ladin. Eman, the 18-year-old daughter of Osama recently took refuge in the Saudi Embassy in Tehran.

All she wants is to get to Jeddah somehow to be with her elder brother Abdullah bin Ladin, but on the other side her mother, Najwah, has requested the Iranian authorities to send her daughter to Damascus instead where Najwah has been residing for the past nine years since her separation from Osama. The Saudi government has urged the Iranian authorities to allow Eman to travel to Jeddah but the Syrian government is also requesting the Iranians to listen to the mother.

Omar bin Ladin, 28, another brother of Eman has also appealed to the Iranian government to send Eman to Syria. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki informed this scribe in Tehran that the Saudi government wanted Eman to go to Jeddah while her mother wanted her to come to Damascus. “We are in trouble and we have decided to act according to the Vienna Convention,” he said. He indicated that the Iranian government would not become part of this dispute and Tehran would take a decision according to the will of 18-year-old girl in the light of international law very soon.

Eman had illegally entered Iran from Afghanistan with some members of the family in December 2001. She was only nine at the time. She was detained by the Iranian authorities with her brothers Saad now 29, Osman 25, Hamza, 20, Bakr, 15 and sister Fatima, 22, along with her step mother Umme Hamza. The family spent these years in a house in the outskirts of Tehran under the watchful eye of the Iranian security. Saad bin Ladin, however, slipped back to Afghanistan in 2008 and joined al-Qaeda. A few weeks back, young Eman went to a market for shopping. She dodged the Iranian security and contacted her brother Abdullah in Jeddah on phone and asked him to help her escape from Iran. Abdullah advised her to immediately take refuge in the Saudi Embassy, and that was the beginning of this unfolding bin Ladin family drama.

One of her brothers, Omar, now lives in Qatar. He separated from his father a few months before 9/11 after refusing to become an al-Qaeda fighter. He left Afghanistan with his mother Najwa on September 9 2001 and after a few years, married a British girl Jane Felix (now Zaina).

Omar contacted one of his younger brothers Bakr in Tehran two weeks back and convinced him to go to Damascus. Bakr reached Damascus from Tehran a few days back safely and now he is also trying that his sister Eman should join him in Syria.

It is pertinent to mention that Abdullah separated from his father in 1996 when Osama bin Ladin migrated from Sudan to Afghanistan. Abdullah has never denounced his father publicly but Omar has repeatedly done so in the recent past. Abdullah, Omar, Eman and eight other brothers and sisters were born of Najwa, who was the first wife of Osama bin Ladin. She was married to Osama in 1974. Nowadays, at least 28 members of bin Ladin family are living in Iran, including 11 grandchildren of Osama. Four wives of Osama have a total of 26 children and all these wives and children were separated after the fall of the Taliban government in Afghanistan in December 2001.

The Iranian government has condemned al-Qaeda and Iranian foreign minister had expressed complete ignorance about the presence of bin Ladin family members in Iran until Eman took refuge in Saudi Embassy. According to Western diplomats, Iran tried to trade the members of bin Ladin family with US for Mujahedeen Khalq militants after 9/11.These Iranian rebels now live in Iraq but USA refused to make a deal. Iranian authorities have denied these claims.

sendenHamid Mir, the author of this article, is a top Pakistani reporter, head of the Geo TV Bureau in Islamabad. He has won a world-wide acclaim for his interviews with Osama bin Laden and Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, before and following 9/11. His new book about OBL is due to appear in Britain, later this year.

terror

The Right Truth

Debbie Hamilton – “ If journalists are afraid of litigation, they should seek another profession.“

„The Freedom of Speech legislation will be presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee in late February. All Americans should contact their senators and congressman and press for its passage. We are the only nation on earth that grants its citizens freedom of speech. Unfortunately, that freedom is being taken away from us and most Americans remain silent and uninformed.“

Debbie Hamilton: Thank you Dr. Williams for taking the time to answer a few questions about legal-jihad or law-fare (war by legal action) and your personal battle. McMaster University in Canada is suing you. Will you summarize for readers exactly what you said and did that is the basis of this suit and what judgment McMaster is suing for if they win. I believe I read that the amount is somewhere around $2 million.

Dr. Paul Williams: Debbie, I am being sued by McMaster University for reporting the following:

1. McMaster has harbored leading al Qaeda operatives, including Adnan el-Shukrijumah, Jaber A. Elbaneh, Abderraouf Jdey, and Amer el-Maati. This finding was a result of the interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who was taken into custody in Karachi by ISI officials on March 3, 2003. A BOLO (“Be-on-the-Lookout”) for these operatives was issued by former US Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI director Robert Mueller on March 21, 2004. A reward of $5 million has been posted for each of these agents. Adnan el Shukrijumah has been described by the US Justice Department as „the next Mohammad Atta“ who has been commissioned to commandeer the next attack on U.S. soil. McMaster is an ideal location for these operatives to study since it houses a 5 megawatt nuclear reactor, one of the largest reactors for educational purposes in the western hemisphere. The first accounts of these operatives at McMaster were written by Bill Gertz of „The Washington Times“ and Scott Wheeler of “Insight.” They appeared on October 17, 2003 and remain posted on the internet. I met with a McMaster official who verified these reports. But, again, I am far from the first to report this story and far from the last to verify it.

2. When the operatives left McMaster, 180 pounds of nuclear material was reported missing. The story of the missing waste was first reported by former federal prosecutor John Loftus on WABC News and by Attorney Janice L. Kephart of the 9/11 Commission in an address before the House Committee on the Judiciary entitled „The Need to Implement WHIT to Protect Homeland Security.” This address is also accessible on the internet. It was verified by Scott Wheeler of The Washington Times who spent a considerable amount of time on the McMaster campus. The McMaster official restated this account of the missing nuclear material when I interviewed him.

3. The College of Engineering at McMaster contains an over-abundance of professors from terror-sponsoring countries. In the Division of Earthquake Engineering, 9 out of 10 faculty members are from the Universities of Cairo and Alexandria. For verification, go to this site: http://www.eng.mcmaster.ca/civil/vibs/.

Similarly, the only full-professors at the College of Engineering, when I wrote about the university in 2005, all hailed from The University of Cairo or The University of Alexandria. Ditto the Dean, Vice President, and the Department Head of the same department. Jane Corbin of BBC points out in her book on al Qaeda that the engineering department at the University of Cairo remains under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Stating such facts in Canada constitutes racism, and, therefore, I am being dragged into Canadian court.

4. Officials from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), when I met with them in Hamilton, confirmed that McMaster has been under scrutiny for a long time; that many of the students have ties to radical Islam and terrorist organizations; and that Islamic members of the faculty have conducted clandestine meetings at an off-campus address in Hamilton. I did not meet with the OPP alone. Dr. Hugh Cort (a physician), Laurice Tatum (a private investigator) and Judi McLeod (editor of Canada Free Press) were also present. At the conclusion of the meeting, the OPP officials – – Detective Constables Dennis A. Bryson and Tim Trombley – – advised me to warn the American people of the situation at McMaster and the fact that the campus was a “hive of jihadi activity.” For heeding this advice and warning the American people, I am being sued for defamation.

5. Two of the terrorists who were taken into custody in the plot to kill the Canadian Prime Minister and to blow up Parliament were students from McMaster. I appeared on the national airwaves to inform the public that something very significant was unearthed by investigators in Toronto and that a major bust would take place in a matter of days. I was right. Five days later the arrests were made. But this didn’t vindicate me in Canada since the terrorists were arrested after I made the announcement. I’m sure some of your readers and listeners will be shaking their heads at this last statement. But truth is not a defense in Canada.
There you have it as succinctly as I can state it.

Debbie Hamilton: You have been living under this suit for how many years now and what toll has this taken on your personal life and finances?

Dr. Paul Williams: It has been devastating. I was forced to obtain Canadian and American lawyers at considerable costs and to pay investigators to revisit McMaster in order to substantiate my claims. At the same time, I became a pariah in the publishing world. From 2000 to 2007, I wrote nine books that were sold to major publishing firms – – some became international bestsellers and attracted widespread acclaim. I was a popular figure on Fox News and other national news outlets. As soon as I was slapped with the suit, the book offers ceased to come and the welcome mat to the outlets was removed. Still and all, I am fortunate. My family has stood firmly behind me and the Lord is with me.

Debbie Hamilton: Previously you said you welcomed the lawsuit because it would give you access to all of McMaster’s records through the legal process of discovery and you would be able to expose what you believe could well be the nerve center for Osama’s „American Hiroshima“ project to blow up ten American cities with suitcase nukes. How is the discovery process proceeding and are you pleased with the documents you have received so far?

Dr. Paul Williams: I have not been granted access to any documents – – not even student records, not even the dossiers of the Muslim staff members. My Canadian lawyers refuse to request such documentation – – claiming that any findings that I uncover will not be admissible in Canadian court. And so, I am even denied the right to substantiate my allegations. The libel laws in Canada are radically different from the laws in the U.S. Let’s remember that I am an American being tried by a foreign court under foreign law. I have been stripped of my Constitutional rights and the protection of my government.

Debbie Hamilton: Many Americans have a hard time understanding how you, or anyone, can be sued by a foreign nation or entity for something you said or did in your own home here in the United States. Can you explain how that works?

Dr. Paul Williams: It’s a result of globalism and free trade agreements, including NAFTA It’s a situation that will worsen with the decline of nationalism and the surrender of our national interests. Your question is apt and your audience should realize that what I wrote about McMaster was written from my office in Pennsylvania; what I said about McMaster was said from my home to radio hosts who called me.

Debbie Hamilton: I understand that some states in the U.S., California, New York, Florida, and Illinois, have passed laws to prevent anything like this from happening again. Is this correct and do you see other states following their lead?

Dr. Paul Williams: The Freedom of Speech legislation will be presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee in late February. All Americans should contact their senators and congressman and press for its passage. We are the only nation on earth that grants its citizens freedom of speech. Unfortunately, that freedom is being taken away from us and most Americans remain silent and uninformed.

Debbie Hamilton: Do you see an end in sight as to your personal lawsuit? What would be your perfect verdict? If you don’t see a perfect verdict, what would be an acceptable verdict and what is the worst outcome, that outcome that you fear?

Dr. Paul Williams:
When you lose your life savings and your professional career, you realize that you have nothing else to lose and that you have reached a state of real freedom. I am free to face a court and to tell a jury about the situation at McMaster that threatens everyone in the western hemisphere. This is a wonderful opportunity and I intend to make the most of it. The perfect outcome for me would be widespread media coverage and an in-depth investigation of jihadi activity on campuses throughout Canada and the U.S. Under Canadian law, a victory for a hard-nosed journalist like me might be hard to come by. But I am Irish and, given my day in court, I will draw blood.

Debbie Hamilton: Many have been silenced by the threat of physical terrorism and also by law-fare, and go out of their way not to insult radical Islam. We’ve seen that recently with the Christmas Day bomber Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab and the Fort Hood massacre by Nidal Malik Hasan, where intelligence agencies and the military went out of their way not to use the words ‘religion’, ‘Islam’, and ‘Muslim’.
What advice would you offer to authors, journalists and individual citizens who value free speech and want to be accurate in their reporting? What can they do to avoid being treated as you have been?

Dr. Paul Williams: If journalists are afraid of litigation, they should seek another profession. I have been careful to document every assertion that I make. My books are filled with hundreds of footnotes. I have served as the editor/publisher of an award-winning newspaper. My reports have resulted in the arrests and convictions of some very nasty individuals. But such scrupulousness, training, and hard work can not save anyone from a lawsuit. I can only quote H. R. Mencken, “Don’t trust any reporter who hasn’t been sued at least once.”

Debbie Hamilton: Thank you so much for this interview. Please know that you have many supporters who would like to help in some way. Is there something readers can do to help, in addition to contributing to the Dr. Paul L. Williams Defense Fund?
Dr. Paul Williams: Grant me mention in their prayers and stand up for America by supporting the Freedom of Speech Act.

terror

Algeria links anonymous SIM cards to terrorism

Vineetha Menon – The Algerian government has intensified its crackdown against the use of anonymous mobile phone SIM cards after it found terrorists used unidentifiable chips to communicate and coordinate attacks in the country.

Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) on cards store a specific service subscriber key from the operator to identify each user. In the past, Algerian mobile operators sold SIM cards that couldn’t be identified, creating a security risk.

The Magharebia website, which is sponsored by the military United States Africa Command, reported that about 95 attacks have been carried out over the last three years using anonymous SIM cards. And, according to daily Tout sur l’Algerie, they are now classified as ‘sensitive equipment‘

In March 2008, the Algerian government ordered domestic mobile phone companies to stop selling anonymous mobile phones and SIM cards. Algerian operators including Mobilis and Nedjma were told to identify every subscriber by April 20th that year or have the unidentified accounts blocked automatically.

The news came as council chief for the Algerian Regulatory Authority for Post and Telecommunications Mohamed Belfodil revealed at a forum last year that out of 28 million mobile subscribers in the country, 10 to 15% have not been identified. UPDATE see also comment below:

terror

Gilani, Mukhtar to mediate between Zardari, Kayani

Hamid Mir – Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar are trying to remove misunderstandings between the Army leadership and President Asif Ali Zardari, while, on the other hand, they are also ready to face any “extraordinary situation”.

It is learnt that Prime Minister Gilani will arrange a meeting between President Zardari and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in a few days. Both the president and the prime minister will discuss important security issues with General Kayani before the expected visits of US Commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal and US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

Both the top US defence dignitaries will visit Pakistan in the first half of January. Prime Minister Gilani has informed President Zardari that “there are no more misunderstandings between the civil and military leadership on the Kerry-Lugar Bill and all the concerns expressed by the Pakistan Army in October last on the Bill will be addressed by the US”. Ahmad Mukhtar has suggested Zardari to invite all the corp commanders and formation commanders for a dinner at the Presidency as supreme commander of the Pakistan armed forces.

According to close circles of the PM House, the PPP leadership has decided that if there will be any “extraordinary situation”, Gilani will come to the rescue President Zardari and he will demand action against all those who violated the Supreme Court decision of November 3, 2007.

A seven-member bench of the Supreme Court had issued a stay order against the Nov 3 emergency and told all the civilian and military officers not to implement the “unconstitutional orders” of General Pervez Musharraf.

Many analysts believe that if the government quietly and carefully implements the Supreme Court verdict of December 16 then no extraordinary situation will be created. President Zardari should not make any controversial statements in these circumstances. He recently said that: “I will use political weapons if need arises.”

Prime Minister Gilani has decided to become the most lethal political weapon of Zardari if so needed. Few months back, Gilani had differences with Zardari on many issues, including the restoration of the deposed judges. Gilani recently claimed that he had restored the judges on March 16 not General Kayani. He came out with this statement probably because the 18-page Supreme Court verdict on the NRO on December 16 was quite unexpected to the premier.

Now he wants to give an impression that he is not a part of any move to remove Zardari from the Presidency. He is working on both the options. He is trying to become a bridge between the Presidency and the Army and he is also ready to resign if need arises.

PM Gilani told me informally the other day: “I will not become another Farooq Leghari. I will stand by President Zardari under all circumstances.” Leghari is described by the PPP circles as a traitor, who betrayed Benazir Bhutto and dismissed her government.

On another plan, President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani have decided to take some bold political initiatives to dispel the impression that they were running their governments from bunkers.

Gilani held a highly publicised cabinet meeting with the four chief ministers in Gwadar on December 30 for the same purpose. As a second bold initiative, he has decided to hold another cabinet meeting in the NWFP, the biggest target of the Taliban and al-Qaeda for the last six months.

NWFP Chief Minister Amir Haider Hoti is ready to host a meeting of the federal cabinet in the areas which are being considered as war zones. The security agencies have recommended holding the cabinet meeting in Peshawar or Nathia Gali but PM Gilani and many federal ministers desperately want to hold the cabinet meeting in Swat.

A federal minister of the PPP, Najamudin Khan, has offered to hold the meeting in his hometown Dir, which is a part of the Malakand Division, but the ANP wants to hold the meeting in Mingora.

ANP leaders are of the opinion that if the military operation in Swat has been a great success then there should be no problem for the arrangement of a cabinet meeting in that area.

One federal minister has suggested that Prime Minister Gilani should invite Army chief General Kayani as a special guest in the proposed cabinet meeting. Participation of General Kayani may give an impression that there are no differences between the civilian and military leadership.

President Zardari will also go to a function of the Pakistan Navy on January 3 (tomorrow) in Karachi as the supreme commander of the Armed Forces. This visit will definitely confuse some of his critics who think that he does not enjoy cordial relations with the armed forces after his controversial speech on December 27 in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh. Zardari is also planning some more visits to Peshawar, Quetta and Lahore.

sendenHamid Mir, the author of this article, is a top Pakistani reporter, head of the Geo TV Bureau in Islamabad. He has won a world-wide acclaim for his interviews with Osama bin Laden and Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, before and following 9/11. His new book about OBL is due to appear in Britain, later this year.