Did We Know What Was Coming?, by William Norman Grigg

What you are allowed to think and what you do think are two different things, aren't they? That's another way of saying that this forum may be NSFW, if your boss is a Republican. A liberal won't fire you for it, but they'll laugh at you in the break room and you may not get promoted. Unless you're an engineer, of course, in which your obsession with facing reality is not actually a career-disabling disability.

Did We Know What Was Coming?, by William Norman Grigg

Postby admin » Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:16 am

Did We Know What Was Coming?
by William Norman Grigg
Monday, 11 March 2002

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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John Philip Walker Lindh, better known as the "American Taliban," is accused of conspiring with Osama bin Laden's terrorist network to kill American citizens. According to the federal criminal complaint, Lindh's role in the terrorist conspiracy "began in May or June of 2001." It was then that Lindh "agreed to attend an al-Qaeda training camp for additional and extensive military training, knowing that America and its citizens were the enemies of bin Laden and al-Qaeda and that a principal purpose of al-Qaeda was to fight and kill Americans." While at the training camp, Lindh allegedly learned that "bin Laden had sent forth some fifty people to carry out twenty suicide terrorist operations against the United States and Israel."

Significantly, the indictment does not accuse Lindh of actively participating in the terrorist plot. During a visit with senior al-Qaeda official Abu Mohammad Al-Masri, the self-exiled American was invited to take part in "operations against the United States and Israel." Lindh allegedly declined to carry out terrorist missions, choosing instead to fight on the front lines of the Taliban's civil war with its Northern Alliance rivals.

The case against Lindh rests heavily on proving that he had foreknowledge of al-Qaeda's plot to commit mass murder. To make that case it is not necessary to prove that Lindh actually killed Americans, or that he had specific knowledge regarding the target of the attack, or the means by which it would be carried out. The burden on the prosecution is to validate its conspiracy theory against Lindh by proving that the defendant knew the attack was coming, and freely chose to associate with the terrorist cabal who plotted the atrocity.

Federal authorities will be much more eager to prosecute Lindh than to question how he was able to penetrate to the very core of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. This eccentric, alienated California teenager fascinated with radical Islam managed to do what highly skilled intelligence professionals supposedly could not: Insinuate himself so deeply into al-Qaeda — even meeting "The Evil One" himself on one occasion — that he obtained critical intelligence about the forthcoming attack on America.

Lindh stands accused of hideous crimes. But from the federal government's perspective, Lindh is dangerous for another reason: His success as an infiltrator underscores the consummate failure of our hugely expensive "intelligence community" to protect our nation from foreign attack.

Leading British academics also found the US official version unpalatable. Fred Halliday, London School of Economics Professor of International Relations and a well-known expert on the Middle East, told the BBC on September 11 that he would look for a domestic origin within the US of the September 11 events, along the lines of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. He had underlined that it would be a mistake to depend on Bin Laden/Islamist track, since, in the Middle East, bin Laden has often been derided as an American agent. (London Observer, November 25, 2001)

-- 9/11 Synthetic Terror Made in USA, by Webster Griffin Tarpley


But the trial could pose an even graver threat to the intelligence community if it prompts the public to think seriously about the charges against the "American Taliban." What if it can be demonstrated that federal authorities responsible for defending our nation knew as much about the impending terrorist attack as Lindh did? What would be the political, moral, and legal liabilities of officials who were in possession of such knowledge, and failed to act upon it?

FBI Whistleblowers

As we will show, the feds knew no later than June that an attack from bin Laden was coming. By August it had identified several key co-conspirators, and had one in custody. And two days after the attack Chicago attorney David Schippers — a lifelong Democrat who was chief investigative counsel in the Clinton impeachment — disclosed that he had attempted to warn Attorney General John Ashcroft about the coming attack.

As previously reported in The New American ("OKC Bombing: Precursor to 9-11?" in our January 28, 2002 issue), Schippers told a Pittsburgh radio audience on September 13 that he had learned from FBI agents in Minnesota and Chicago that a massive terrorist attack had been planned for lower Manhattan. He had developed this information six weeks before the Black Tuesday atrocity. However, Justice Department officials repeatedly spurned Schippers' attempts to provide the information to Ashcroft; one of them reportedly sneered, "We don't start our investigations at the top." This is a curious objection, given Schippers' credentials and professional standing — and given that Ashcroft himself had warned in June that "Americans are a high-priority target for terrorists."

Three veteran federal law enforcement agents confirmed to The New American that the information provided to Schippers was widely known within the Bureau before September 11. Because these individuals face possible personal or professional retaliation, they agreed to speak with us on condition of anonymity. Two of them, however, have expressed a willingness to testify before Congress regarding the views they have shared with us.

"I don't buy the idea that we didn't know what was coming," a former FBI official with extensive counter-terrorism experience commented to The New American. "Within 24 hours [of the attack] the Bureau had about 20 people identified, and photos were sent out to the news media. Obviously this information was available in the files and somebody was sitting on it." This former FBI agent noted that before Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called "Twentieth Hijacker," was detained in Minneapolis, he had undergone flight instruction in Oklahoma, "where we know that Arab terrorist networks have been established for many years."

An active federal counter-terrorism investigator told The New American that it was well known "all over the Bureau, how these [warnings] were ignored by Washington.... All indications are that this information came from some of [the Bureau's] most experienced guys, people who have devoted their lives to this kind of work. But their warnings were placed in a pile in someone's office in Washington.... In some cases, these field agents predicted, almost precisely, what happened on September 11. So we were all holding our breath … hoping that the situation would be remedied."

According to the former FBI agent quoted above, the Bureau could have prevented the Black Tuesday massacre if it had adequately investigated the Middle East connection to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. This assessment is supported by another former FBI agent who spoke with this magazine.

"We knew that there were Arab terrorist groups working in Oklahoma during the mid-1990s, but nothing was done about it," he recalls. "We were constantly getting information about terrorist groups working in the area, and it would be put in what was called a ‘zero file.' Once you sent it in, you were never told to act on it. And you were never told to follow up on it." Nor were the agents allowed to share that intelligence with state and local police: "We had a dissemination form that we could use in sharing intelligence with local law enforcement. We'd have to get clearance to give the information out. And this led to a favorite saying of administrative people in the Bureau: ‘This is on a need to know basis, and the locals don't need to know.'"

"This is pretty appalling," comments the first former agent. "The FBI has had access to this information since at least 1997. We're obviously not doing our job. I never expected to see something like this happen in our country, but in a way I wasn't shocked when it did. There's got to be more to this than we can see — high-level people whose careers are at stake, and don't want the truth coming out.... What agenda is someone following? Obviously, people had to know — there had to be people who knew this information was being circulated. People like [the Black Tuesday terrorists] don't just move in and out of the country undetected. If somebody in D.C. is taking this information and burying it — and it's very easy to control things from D.C. — then this problem goes much, much deeper.... It's terrible to think this, but this must have been allowed to happen as part of some other agenda."

Negligence — or Worse?

When one talks of hidden agendas behind the official story of the Black Tuesday attack, he can expect to be denounced as a "conspiracy theorist." In fact, President Bush himself condemned such supposedly irresponsible talk during his November 10 address to the UN General Assembly. "We must speak the truth about terror," insisted the president. "Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th — malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists themselves, away from the guilty."

The president's denunciation of "conspiracy theorists" was echoed in a January 14 "news analysis" by James Rosen, a Washington correspondent for the McClatchy News Service. "Even in the wake of unspeakable evil, some people can't leave bad enough alone," groused Rosen. "While the vast majority of Americans accept their government's claim that Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network launched the attacks, a number of boisterous malcontents are peddling alternative explanations."

It hardly detracts from the guilt of bin Laden and his henchmen to point out that there are plausible "alternative explanations" to the government's account of Black Tuesday — namely, that our conscientious federal law enforcement and security agencies were caught completely off-guard by an attack they could not prevent. There is evidence that the feds knew of bin Laden's impending terrorist strike no later than June. And we know for certain that by August, federal authorities had identified several key co-conspirators, and had one in custody.

On June 23, air industry officials received a remarkably detailed warning about a threat from Osama bin Laden's terrorist network to use airliners to attack Americans. Citing a report from the Arabic-language MBC satellite television channel, the AirlineBiz.com news service reported: "In recent years, U.S. citizens have found themselves the target of several attacks by the terror network of Osama bin Laden. One such attack involved a plot to destroy 12 U.S. airliners in Asia. A jury found Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the alleged mastermind of the scheme, and two other defendants, guilty on all counts. Yousef is also the alleged mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center."

The scheme to use jetliners as terrorist weapons, called "Project Bojinka," had been uncovered by police in the Philippines in 1995, and the details had been provided to American law enforcement officials. (See "Could We Have Prevented the Attacks?" in our November 5, 2001 issue.) The significance of bin Laden's threats was not lost upon Bob Monetti, president of the Victims of Pan Am Flight 103, which was destroyed by a terrorist bomb in 1988. "I hope the airlines are watching this situation closely," declared Monetti. "The airlines are at risk. They need to take all appropriate measures and counter-measures to ensure the safety of their passengers."

According to the June 23 AirlineBiz.com report, the Arabic satellite television network MBC claimed that "the next two weeks will witness a big surprise." An MBC reporter who had met with bin Laden in Afghanistan on June 21 predicted that "a severe blow is expected against U.S. and Israeli interests worldwide. There is a major state of mobilization among the Osama bin Laden forces. It seems that there is a race of who will strike first. Will it be the United States or Osama bin Laden?" Despite such detailed advance warnings, bin Laden won that "race."

It was soon clear that [Abu Iyad, PLO Intelligence Chief] had something else on his mind. He wanted to talk about terrorism -- and in particular about Abu Nidal.

The Western world, he said with a frown, was not yet persuaded that the PLO was the indispensable partner for Middle East peace. It had underestimated the importance of the historic resolutions passed by the Palestine National Council in November 1988 that, for the first time, never so much as mentioned "armed struggle" and spelled out with absolute clarity the PLO's readiness to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Israel.

But how to get the West to see this? To his mind, the great obstacle was terrorism, an issue with which Israelis confronted every mention of peaceful compromise. If there was one man responsible for blackening the reputation of all Palestinian factions, it was, Abu Iyad believed, the arch-terrorist Abu Nidal.

The Israelis, Abu Iyad continued, were masters at penetration and deception. He had been sparring with the Mossad for a quarter of a century, and since the early 1980s, he had begun to suspect that the Israelis had infiltrated Abu Nidal's organization and were making use of him. "Every Palestinian who works in intelligence," he told me, "is convinced that Israel has a big hand in Abu Nidal's affairs." His suspicions had now hardened into a conviction: Abu Nidal was not just an extreme rejectionist who sold his services to Arab regimes. Israel had gained control of him. That was the key to his persistent sabotage of Palestinian interests.

In Abu Iyad's mind there was no great mystery about it: Israel wanted to destroy the PLO and prevent negotiations that might lead to a peaceful solution involving an autonomous Palestinian state on the West Bank. Any genuine negotiations would necessarily involve the surrender of territory, which is why Israel had gone to such lengths to persuade the world that the Palestinians were terrorists with whom no deal could be contemplated. Abu Nidal, he believed, was Israel's prime instrument for this purpose, central to its strategy. Until Abu Nidal was exposed and defeated, he said, the PLO's credibility would continue to be questioned and the peace process could get nowhere.

Leaning forward and talking very fast as was his habit, he told me that there was no other plausible explanation for the evidence that had accumulated over the years. Abu Nidal had killed the PLO's most accomplished diplomats: Hammami, in London; Qalaq, in Paris; Yassin, in Kuwait; he had slaughtered hundreds of Palestinian fighters; he had debased the Palestinian national struggle with his senseless and savage terrorism and succeeded in alienating the Palestinians' best friends. He had made the word Palestinian synonymous with terrorist. He was either deranged or he was a traitor, and Abu Iyad did not think he was deranged. Abu Nidal, he told me, was the greatest enemy of the Palestinian people.

"He is a man wholly without principle!" he exploded angrily. "He would ally himself with the devil in order to stay alive and drink a bottle of whiskey every night!

"Try to see Abu Nidal," he urged me. "Go to Libya. Ask him to explain himself, and then make up your own mind."

He then made an extraordinary admission: "I feel very guilty that I was responsible for not facing up sooner to the threat from Abu Nidal. I should have killed him fifteen years ago. I confess this now. I wanted to believe that he was a patriot who had strayed from the path and that I could win him back. For far too long I was reluctant to accept that he was a traitor."

Abu Iyad's diatribe rather took my breath away. Abu Nidal an Israeli agent?

***

At about this time I was visited in London by a former general in Aman, Israel's military intelligence service, who was doing research on a quite different topic. After our talk I asked him pointblank whether Israel penetrated and manipulated Palestinian groups. He looked at me carefully. "Penetration, yes," he said, "but manipulation, no." He paused, then added with a little smile, "No one would admit to that."

***

A former CIA officer, who had served as station head in several Arab countries and whose attitude toward the Arab-Israeli conflict was detached and professional, was more explicit: "It's as easy," he said, "to recruit the man at the top as it is someone lower down the ladder. It's quite likely that Mossad picked up Abu Nidal in the late 1960s, when it was putting a lot of effort into penetrating the newly formed Palestinian guerrilla groups. My guess is that they would have got him in the Sudan when he was there with Fatah in 1969. Once they had set him up, funded, and directed him, he would have had nowhere else to turn. If he had tried to quit, he would have been a dead man."

***

In 1987, during a meeting between Abu Iyad and Abu Nidal in Algiers, Abu Iyad would bring up Fatah's main grievance: the long list of PLO men murdered by Abu Nidal -- or, as he believed, by some secret hand inside his organization. Abu Iyad later told me what he and Abu Nidal had said:

"'Why did you kill Isam Sartawi?' I asked him. 'He was your lifelong friend!' I told him I believed this was an operation in which the Israelis had pulled the strings. The whole affair stank of penetration and manipulation -- the way the weapons had been smuggled in, the escape of the killer, the arrest of a young accomplice traveling on a false passport whom the Moroccans could not charge with the murder. 'I know Israel is playing games with you,' I told him."

Abu Iyad told Abu Nidal that he began to suspect Israeli penetration when a Moroccan intelligence officer had given him a list of Abu Nidal's members in Spain -- nineteen names in all -- and said his source was the Mossad. Abu Iyad then checked out the list himself and found it accurate: Seventeen of the men on it, most of them students, were still living in Spain; two had graduated and returned home.

Abu Iyad told me: "I was amazed by Abu Nidal's answer. 'Yes,' he had responded calmly. 'You are right. Israel has penetrated us in the past. I discovered this from my Tunisian and Moroccan members. Israel used to plant them on me. But let me tell you that I send my own North African members -- the ones I really trust -- to France to turn and recruit Israel's North African agents! The flow of intelligence is sometimes to my advantage. These people have supplied me with truly astonishing information.'

"'Take for example the Sartawi case. They gave me all the detailed information I needed for the operation!'"

As he recollected their conversation, Abu Iyad could still hardly believe what he had heard: "Israeli agents were present in his organization. They had fed him information. He admitted it! His matter-of-fact tone astounded me. He added that he was trying to liquidate the Israeli agents one by one. That is what he said!" Though the admissions implied no more than penetration, Abu Iyad was convinced they also indicated collaboration between the Mossad and Abu Nidal.

Abu Iyad told me that he had thought about Israel's manipulation of Abu Nidal with North African agents. He knew for a fact that Khudr had been killed by a Tunisian member of Abu Nidal's organization. So had Hammami and Qalaq.

"We stopped terrorism in 1974," he insisted, "but the Israelis did not, although they convinced the world of the contrary. They continued to attack us. Sometimes they did so quite blatantly, as when they killed Abu Jihad in Tunis in 1988. More often they mounted operations that could be read in different ways. I must admit it confused us. On several occasions we weren't sure whether Abu Nidal or Mossad was responsible."

The Mossad agents that Abu Iyad had in mind were probably trained in Morocco, where the Moroccan government and the CIA run an unusual intelligence school that specializes in Palestinian affairs. I learned about this school from several intelligence sources, both Arab and Western. They told me that the CIA, which works closely with Israel on Palestinian matters, had brought the Mossad into the arrangement as well. The students are mostly young North Africans who are recruited in Europe and brought back to the Moroccan school to be trained as spies. They are put through courses on the various Palestinian factions, studying their leading personalities, their structure, ideology, and operations -- so that by the end of the course, they are able to use the arcane jargon of these organizations. All the principal groups -- Fatah, the PFLP, the Democratic Front, the PFLP-General Command, the Arab Liberation Front, and Abu Nidal's organization -- are studied.

Once their course is completed, the youths are taken back to Europe and instructed to hang about in cafes, meet other Arabs, and speak to them in the language they have been taught. The hope is that they will eventually get taken on by the groups they have learned to mimic, so that the Moroccans, the CIA, or the Mossad can use them. Some of the graduates of the school become informers, some plan operations, and some are even schooled to become ideologues for the groups on which they are planted. Some are killers.

-- "Abu Nidal: A Gun for Hire," by Patrick Seale


Ignoring the "20th Hijacker"

By September 11, federal authorities not only had 10 weeks' advance notice of an impending attack from bin Laden, they also had one of the alleged plotters in custody. This was acknowledged by CIA Director George Tenet as the 9-11 attack was underway. Amid reports of the suicide hijackings, Tenet was overheard saying: "I wonder if it has anything to do with this guy taking pilot training." Tenet "was referring to Zacarias Moussaoui, who had been detained in August after attracting suspicion when he sought training at a Minnesota flight school," observed the January 27 Washington Post. After the suspect was taken into custody, "the FBI had asked the CIA and the National Security Agency to run phone traces on Moussaoui, already the subject of a five-inch-thick file in the bureau."

According to the December 29 Minneapolis Star-Tribune, "Moussaoui raised suspicions at the Pan Am International Flight Academy in Egan [Minnesota]" when he showed up in August for instruction in piloting jumbo jets. He "first raised eyebrows when, during a simple introductory exchange, he said he was from France, but then didn't seem to understand when the instructor spoke French to him," recalled the paper. "Moussaoui then became belligerent and evasive about his background.... In addition, he seemed inept in basic flying procedures, while seeking expensive training on an advanced commercial jet simulator."

Flight school employees "began whispering that he could be a hijacker," reported the February 8 New York Times. John Rosengren, director of operations at the school, recalled that Moussaoui's instructor was "concerned and wondered why someone who was not a pilot and had so little experience was trying to pack so much training into such a short time." "The more he was able to talk to him, the more he decided he was not pilot material," observes Rosengren. In addition, "There was discussion about how much fuel was on board a 747-400 and how much damage that could cause if it hit anything."

By this time, Moussaoui's instructor had already scurried to a telephone to call the FBI's Minneapolis office. "Do you realize how serious this is?" he asked an FBI agent during the August 15 phone conversation. "This man wants training on a 747. A 747 fully loaded with fuel could be used as a weapon!" The FBI arrested Moussaoui the next day. However, notes the Star-Tribune, "the Minneapolis agents were unable to persuade FBI lawyers in Washington, D.C., to seek a warrant to search his possessions under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires evidence that the suspect is an agent of a foreign power or a terrorist group." The frustrated field agents were trying to gather sufficient evidence to get a warrant when Moussaoui's alleged co-conspirators piloted jetliners into the Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

Charged with conspiracy to commit mass murder, Moussaoui is not the only member of the Black Tuesday plot whom federal authorities knew about. On the morning of September 11, noted the December 30 New York Times, "two people already identified by the government as suspected terrorists boarded separate American Airlines flights from Boston using their own names." Federal officials were also aware of a third hijacker, Hani Hanjour, who had come to the attention of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) while studying at the Pan Am International Flight Academy in Phoenix.

Officials at the school had raised questions about Hanjour's inability to speak English, the international language of aviation. When they expressed concerns to the FAA, the agency stepped in to provide assistance — to Hanjour. According to the Star-Tribune, "An FAA representative sat in on a class to observe Hanjour … and discussed with school officials finding an Arabic-speaking person to help him with his English." Hanjour returned the favor by plowing American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.


A Limited Inquiry?

As Congress probes the security issues raised by the Black Tuesday attack, the investigation must be framed by a question similar to that dealt with in the "American Taliban" trial: What did our federal security and intelligence agencies know of the impending attack, and when did they know it? Recall that Lindh supposedly learned of the terrorist plot in May or June of last year. Evidence available in the public record makes it clear that the Justice Department and other branches of the federal government were aware of at least as much as Lindh is accused of knowing.

Unfortunately, Congress seems content thus far to defer to the White House's desire to limit the scope and intensity of any inquiries into the tragedy. In meetings and phone conversations with congressional leaders, President Bush and Vice President Cheney "expressed the concern that a review of what happened on September 11 would take resources and personnel away from the effort in the war on terrorism," Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) told CNN. Daschle promised that he would "limit the scope and overall review of what happened."

Congressman Porter Goss (R-Fla.) and Senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who head the intelligence committees in their respective houses of Congress, extended similar assurances as the joint congressional investigation began in February. "This is not a who-shall-we-hang type of investigation," stated Rep. Goss. "It is [a] ‘where are the gaps in America's defense and what do we do about it' type of investigation" — a "forward-looking" inquiry intended to bring about needed reforms. But without accountability, "gaps" will handicap even the most comprehensive security system. As Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz observed, "How can we prevent future attacks if we don't understand how we missed the last one?"

[Sharon Stine] Well, I think, rather than going back and trying to file criminal charges or anything like that, shouldn't we just leave that, and just go on and try to --

[Dr. Robert Strecker] Well, sure, there are lots of people who say, "Well, it's not important where the virus came from, you know. Let's just fix it!" There's the story of the African, you know, who woke up one night with a lion in his bedroom, he chased it out, he didn't look for the open window where the lion came in, he crawled back in bed, went to sleep, and a tiger came in and ate him. So you know, I don't believe that you can say that it's not important where these things came from. It's extremely important.

-- The Strecker Memorandum, by Robert B. Strecker, M.D., Ph.D. and Theodore A. Strecker


Those responsible for the lethal "intelligence failure" of September 11 must be made to answer for their inaction. The congressional investigative panel has subpoena power. It should use it to summon responsible figures from the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, and other federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. These officials should be subject to congressional scrutiny at least as severe as that being devoted to the actions of Enron officials — whose alleged crimes, serious as they may be, did not contribute to the death of thousands of American citizens.

In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, CIA director Tenet "objected to the very word ‘failure' in connection with the intelligence gathering ahead of the devastating surprise attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon," reported the New York Times. "The director said the CIA knew ‘in broad terms' last summer that terrorists might be planning major operations in the United States. But, he said, ‘we never had the texture' — meaning enough specific information — to stop what happened."

Much the same can be said of John Walker Lindh: He knew "in broad terms" that the attacks were coming, even though the specific "texture" was not explained to him. For refusing to act to prevent the massacre, Lindh has been charged with conspiracy to murder Americans. In contrast, the FBI and CIA, which had the same intelligence as Lindh, have been rewarded with generous budget increases.

Though administrators of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies would prefer to cloak the issue in self-serving euphemisms, Black Tuesday was — at best — a singular intelligence failure, for which those officials must be held responsible. And if, as one of the above-quoted former FBI counter-terrorism agents suggests, efforts to prevent that attack were compromised because of covert "agendas" in Washington, Congress must be prepared to take even more serious action.

In any case, the American public must demand that Congress ask unpleasant questions about federal foreknowledge of the 9-11 atrocity — and that the inquiry unflinchingly follow the facts wherever they lead.
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Re: Did We Know What Was Coming?, by William Norman Grigg

Postby admin » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:00 am

OKC Bombing: Precursor to 9/11?
by William F. Jasper
Monday, 28 January 2002

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image
Photo of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City: AP Images

The Black Tuesday terror attacks on America have prompted some journalists to take a look at the abundant evidence of Middle Eastern terrorist involvement in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the possible connection of that event to the more recent 9/11 attacks. A recent example is Insight magazine. A December 3 article by Kelly Patricia O’Meara reports that Timothy McVeigh’s convicted co-conspirator Terry Nichols "reportedly attended a meeting in the early 1990s on the predominantly Muslim island of Mindanao, a hotbed of fundamentalist activities, at which Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad and Wali Khan Amin Shah were present. The themes of the meeting were ‘bombing activities, providing firearms and ammunition, training in making and handling bombs.’ [Iraq Connections to U.S. Extremists, Insight Magazine, December 3, 2001] Yousef was the mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing in 1993; Murad and Shah were convicted in a 1996 conspiracy to blow up 12 U.S. jetliners."

[Michael Moore] What do you grow here?

[James Nichols] Right now, there's tofu beans. Soybeans.
Tofu soybeans.

[Michael Moore] You're a tofu farmer.

[James Nichols] Yeah. Yeah, food farmer. I'm a food farmer. I grow food ...
for people to eat. No herbicides, no pesticides on that stuff.

[Michael Moore] Right. All natural.

[James Nichols] Right.

[Michael Moore] Yeah. Better.

[James Nichols] Certified organic.

[Michael Moore] Uh-huh. Healthier.

[James Nichols] Yeah.

[Michael Moore] Basically, yeah.
This is James Nichols, the brother of Terry Nichols.
James graduated from high school the same year I did ...
in the district next to mine.
On this farm in Decker, Michigan ...
McVeigh and the Nichols brothers made practice bombs, before Oklahoma City.
Terry and James were both arrested in connection to the bombing.

[Newscaster] U.S. attorneys formally linked the Nichols brothers of Michigan ...
with Oklahoma bomb suspect Timothy McVeigh.
Officials charged James, who was at the hearing, and Terry, who was not ...
with conspiring to make and possess small bombs.

[Michael Moore] Terry Nichols was convicted and received a life sentence.
Timothy McVeigh was executed.

Image

But the feds didn't have the goods on James, so the charges were dropped.

[James Nichols] I'm just glad to be out and free, so I can get on with my life.

***

[Michael Moore] Did Timothy McVeigh ever stay here?

[James Nichols] Yes. Yes.
He stayed here several times. For the longest period, about three months or so. I don't know With the --
But he was a nice guy.

[Michael Moore] Decent guy.

[James Nichols] Oh, yeah.

[Michael Moore] So they didn't find anything on this farm?

[James Nichols] As to what, bomb-making material?

[Michael Moore] Any kind of explosives.

[James Nichols] Uh, yeah, I had blasting caps, dynamite blasting caps ...
dynamite fuse, black powder, you know, for muzzleloaders ...
And sure, diesel fuel, fertilizer ... But that is normal farm stuff.
That is in no way connected in any way whatsoever ...
to the Oklahoma City bombing, or bomb making.

***

Them people, law enforcement, if you want to call them that ...
were here, and they were shaking in their shoes.
They were physically shaking.
Scared to death.

[Michael Moore] Of?

[James Nichols] Because they thought this was going to be another Waco.
Because certain people...
namely my ex-wife and other people ...
said I'm a radical. I'm a wild man.
I got a gun under every arm, down every leg ...
in every shoe, every corner of the house.
You say anything to me, I'll shoot you.
[Laughs]
If the people find out how they've been ripped off ...
and enslaved in this country by the government ...
by the powers-to-be...
they will revolt with anger ...
with merciless anger. There will be blood running in the streets.
When a government turns tyrannical, it is your duty to overthrow it.

[Michael Moore] Well, why not use Gandhi's way?
He didn't have any guns, and he beat the British empire.

[James Nichols] I'm not familiar with that.

-- Bowling for Columbine, directed by Michael Moore


O’Meara interviewed Iraq expert Dr. Laurie Mylroie, author of the newly released book, The War Against America: Saddam Hussein and The World Trade Center Attacks. A consultant to the McVeigh defense team, Mylroie told Insight that "the connection of Terry Nichols, the Philippines and Ramzi Yousef is a very important point that neither the FBI nor the press pursued." Mylroie added, "I doubt that Nichols has ever been asked about his connections to Yousef because the government didn’t want to know. It wanted to say, ‘Here are the perpetrators; we arrested them and we brought them to justice. Case closed.’"

Dr. Mylroie’s book marshals convincing evidence that Ramzi Yousef was acting as an agent for Saddam Hussein. The foreword to her book was penned by former CIA Director R. James Woolsey two weeks after the September 11 attacks. In that piece and other articles since Black Tuesday, Woolsey has expressed his support for her thesis and stated his belief that Hussein was behind both the 1993 and the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center Towers. He scorches the Clinton administration (under which he served) for an unwillingness to look at the evidence of state sponsorship of these acts of terrorism.

OKLAHOMA CITY

The attack on the Federal Building in Oklahoma City killed 168 people, and marked a definite escalation in the pattern of synthetic terrorism. Here many of the components of the 9/11 attacks were experimented with and tested, partly to gauge the degree to which the public would believe that the techniques being used were what the FBI claimed that they were. Local media coverage concurred that there had been more than one explosion at the Federal Building, and at first the national media attempted to suggest that a Middle East terror organization had been involved. Soon Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were arrested, and McVeigh in particular was subjected to a thorough demonization by the controlled corporate media. The casualties and building damage were attributed according to the official account to a single truck bomb containing some 4,800 pounds of ammonium nitrate transported in a Ryder van, and parked in front of the building. All reference to multiple explosions soon disappeared. Retired Brigadier General Benton Partin of the U.S. Air Force, an expert in explosives, including nuclear detonations, came forward with a convincing analysis showing that the official explanation was physically impossible, given what is known about the propagation of a shock wave through the atmosphere. Air, Partin stressed, is a very inefficient coupling mechanism when it comes to directing such a shock wave against heavily reinforced concrete beams and columns. Blast damage potential, according to his analysis, decreases more rapidly than an inverse function of the cube of the distance, so there was no way that a fertilizer bomb could have accounted for the extensive damage observed. Partin concluded:

"The Murrah Federal Building was not destroyed by one sole truck bomb. The major factor in its destruction appears to have been detonation of explosives carefully placed at four critical junctures on supporting columns within the building. The only possible reinforced concrete structural failure solely attributable to the truck bomb was the stripping out of the ceilings of the first and second floors in the 'pit' area behind columns B4 and By. Even this may have been caused by a demolition charge at column B3. It is truly unfortunate that a separate and independent bomb damage assessment was not made during the cleanup -- before the building was demolished on May 23 and hundreds of truck loads of debris were hauled away, smashed down, and covered with dirt behind a security fence .... All ambiguity with respect to the use of supplementing demolition charges and the type of truck used could be quickly resolved if the FBI were required to release the surveillance camera coverage of this terribly tragic event." ( http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCH ... IN/ok2.htm )

Soon after the explosion, Controlled Demolition Inc. was called in to destroy those parts of the building which had remained standing, and to speedily dispose of all the rubble of the building. This, of course, prefigures the blatant tampering with a crime scene which became the hallmark of Mayor Giuliani's approach to the World Trade Center.

We need have no illusions about Gen. Partin, who belonged to a dubious organization called the Rushmore Foundation, which occupied itself with working with and studying the right-wing militias that proliferated during the 1990s. Partin made special reference to the problems posed by tampering with the crime scene in a July 30, 1995 letter to GOP Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Here Partin wrote that "no government law enforcement agency should be permitted to demolish, smash, and bury evidence of a counterterrorism sting operation, sabotage, or terrorist attack without a thorough examination by an independent, technically competent agency. If an aircraft crashed because of a bomb, or a counterterrorism sting or an FAA controller error, the FAA would not be permitted to gather and bury the evidence. The National Transportation Safety Board would have been called in to conduct an investigation and where possibly every piece of debris would have been collected and arrayed to determine cause of failure." But nobody in power was willing to protect the crime scene or force the FBI to disgorge the evidence it had sequestered. The suggestible public had been given a spectacular example of how fragile steel-reinforced concrete buildings are supposed to be in the delusional world of synthetic terrorism, and the precedent of bringing in Controlled Demolition to destroy the evidence had also been established for all to see. These advances on the part of the terrorist controllers would become components in the future synthetic terrorism of 9/11.

Before leaving Oklahoma City, we should recall that the prevalent form of counter-gangs which were fielded during the 1990s by the intelligence agencies of the U.S. and Britain was precisely these right wing militias. They were a widespread phenomenon during that decade but now, from the point of view of the controlled corporate media, they have simply disappeared. But such a large recruiting ground for trained manpower does not disappear from one decade to the next. Some of the case officers who directed the duped rank and file of the right-wing militias have doubtless found their way into the clandestine ops/special forces element which made its contribution to 9/11....

These considerations lead us back to the self-styled patriot militias of the 1990s, who were so often led by retired officers with military intelligence connections. In those days, the foreign intelligence agency that was most active in fomenting militia activity was unquestionably Britain's MI-6. Today the media emphasis is on al Qaeda, and the militias are seldom heard of: But in the real world of secret intelligence operations, things move more slowly. The patriot militia networks are still there with their anti-government, right-wing anarchist, and white supremacist-xenophobic programs.

After Oklahoma City, the potential of the right-wing anti-government evangelical fanatics for terrorism and violence was re-affirmed by an armed standoff between police and "Republic of Texas" activists demanding the secession of Texas in April 1997. This insurrection was led by Richard Otto, alias "White Eagle," who put out a call inviting members of militias around the country to come to the site, armed for a shootout. The agent provocateur Otto turned out to have been "trained and set into motion by an Air Force officer who toured the world practicing New Age pagan rituals, in consultation with senior British intelligence drug-rock-sex gurus such as Gregory Bateson." Otto finally surrendered on May 3, 1997. (Tony Chaitkin, "The Militias and Pentecostalism")

-- 9/11 Synthetic Terror Made in USA, by Webster Griffin Tarpley


Familiar Ground

All of this is familiar ground to regular readers of this magazine. For nearly seven years The New American has been publishing stories concerning evidence pointing directly toward Iraqi involvement with McVeigh and Nichols in the bombing. In "A Tale of Intrigue," in our December 25, 1995 issue, for instance, we reported on the evidence pointing toward a possible connection between Terry Nichols and Ramzi Yousef in the Philippines. It is a theme we have returned to many times, as additional supporting evidence has developed.

In our October 16, 1995 issue ("Startling OKC Developments"), we reported on the series of stories by Jayna Davis, an investigative reporter for the Oklahoma City NBC affiliate, KFOR-TV. Davis had interviewed eyewitnesses who had seen individuals identified as being of Middle Eastern extraction speeding away from the Murrah Federal Building in a pickup truck immediately before the blast. Her investigative reports pointed to at least one Iraqi "refugee," a former soldier in Saddam Hussein’s army, who was living in Oklahoma City. He had come to the United States under a controversial Clinton program that had brought several thousand Iraqis here for resettlement — without screening and security checks to weed out Saddam’s agents posing as refugees. Davis also located credible witnesses who placed this Iraqi in the company of Timothy McVeigh in the days prior to the bombing.

KFOR aired several stories with video footage of the Iraqi bombing "suspect," but digitally blurred his face and did not identify him by name. They identified him only as a "possible John Doe No. 2," presented the considerable evidence pointing to him as a prime suspect, and asked why federal authorities were completely uninterested in questioning him or looking at the evidence. The Iraqi suspect, Hussain Al-Hussaini, identified himself publicly when he launched a defamation lawsuit against Davis and KFOR.

Rather than looking objectively at Jayna Davis’ excellent research, virtually all of the Oklahoma City and national media adopted the Bill Clinton-Janet Reno thesis that the OKC bombing was a domestic "right-wing" attack, and rejected out of hand any evidence of foreign ties to the bombing. A careful review of Davis’ extensive evidence and our own parallel investigation quickly convinced this writer that Davis was on solid ground.

O’Meara’s Insight item singles out as a prime co-conspirator suspect an individual whom this magazine has reported on extensively. O’Meara points directly at a notorious leader of the Ku Klux Klan and White Aryan Resistance, Dennis Mahon, who, she says, was "long suspected of being a player in the conspiracy to bomb the Murrah building." The story notes — as we have reported several times in the past — that "the Iraqi government has given Dennis Mahon thousands of dollars over the past six years, and Mahon has been banned from entering Canada and the United Kingdom and is classified by Interpol as an international terrorist." "The FBI did not bother to interview Mahon in connection to the Oklahoma City bombing," notes O’Meara. That is true; while the Clinton/Reno Justice Department and FBI bragged about the thousands of agents involved in the OKC investigation and the tens of thousands of interviews they conducted, the government never explained why obvious suspects like Mahon and Al-Hussaini were never questioned.

New Evidence

Last October, Paul Bedard, a writer for U.S. News & World Report, dropped a potential bombshell when he reported that top Pentagon officials believe that Timothy McVeigh was an Iraqi agent and claimed that McVeigh was in possession of Iraqi telephone numbers. In a short item entitled "McVeigh’s ghost" that appeared in Bedard’s Washington Whispers column on October 29, U.S. News reported:

Some dismiss it as being akin to Elvis sightings, but a few top Defense officials think Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh was an Iraqi agent. The theory stems from a never-before-reported allegation that McVeigh had allegedly collected Iraqi telephone numbers. Why haven’t we heard this before about the case of the executed McVeigh? Conspiracy theorists in the Pentagon think it’s part of a coverup.

Bedard subsequently appeared on Fox TV’s Fox and Friends show, where he stated that McVeigh "had information about Iraq which has led some officials to think that he was an Iraqi agent and maybe was doing Saddam Hussein’s business in Oklahoma City." Bedard’s reports were the first ever to allege that Timothy McVeigh possessed Iraqi telephone numbers. If true, this would mean that highly significant information had been covered up; nothing of this sort came out during the McVeigh or Nichols trials.

On September 13, two days after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., listeners to WRRK in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, were stunned to hear Chicago attorney David Schippers state that he had attempted to warn Attorney General John Ashcroft and other federal officials about the catastrophic attack weeks before it occurred. Schippers, the author of Sellout: The Inside Story of President Clinton’s Impeachment, gained international fame as the chief investigative counsel for the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives’ successful impeachment of President Bill Clinton. According to Schippers, he had received information from intelligence sources, including FBI agents, that a massive terrorist attack was being planned for lower Manhattan (where the World Trade Center was located). Schippers said that he began trying to get this information to Ashcroft six weeks before the Black Tuesday attacks.

Currently representing Jayna Davis, Schippers had attempted even earlier to get her information concerning the OKC-Iraq connection to the attorney general. In both cases, he said, he had been stymied by lower-level Department of Justice officials who would not give him access to Ashcroft or any of his top lieutenants. Schippers repeated these charges in several other radio and print interviews.

On March 20, 2001, Fox TV’s Bill O’Reilly interviewed Jayna Davis, providing the first major national coverage of her OKC-Mideast research. Subsequently, O’Reilly has focused his program, The O’Reilly Factor, on a related aspect of the OKC-Mideast connection, achieving some very positive results. His September 26 broadcast entitled "What is Going On at the University of South Florida?" asked some piercing questions of USF Professor Sami Al-Arian and his connections to the Islamic Jihad terrorist group. We had asked similar questions in a detailed article ("America the Vulnerable," September 14, 1998) about Al-Arian, Ramadan Shallah, Khalil Shikaki, and others at USF connected to Islamic Jihad and Hamas. That article pointed out that Al-Arian and company were operating through USF-affiliated "think tanks" such as the World Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE) and the Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP) to give terrorist leaders access to the United States and to radicalize American Muslims for recruitment into the extremist networks. We noted therein that an ICP/WISE speaker, Kamal Helbawi, a Hamas leader based in Pakistan, was one of several militants who had addressed Muslims in a very inflammatory speech at a conference in Oklahoma City.

"Oklahoma City has played host to other leaders associated with Hamas, ICP, WISE, and other suspected terrorist fronts," we reported. "And evidence developed by this magazine and other investigators indicates that locally based and foreign individuals associated with these long-established terrorist networks were involved in the April 19, 1995 bombing. Unless officials are pressured to conduct an honest and thorough investigation, more atrocities and tragedies are sure to follow."

Thanks to Bill O’Reilly’s coverage on Fox, USF announced last December 19 that Dr. Al-Arian was being dismissed from employment at USF. That will be a rather empty victory, however, if federal immigration, intelligence, and law enforcement officials do not follow up with an intensive investigation into the vast terrorist support network within this country, of which Al-Arian’s USF band appears to be a significant part.

Many people held high hopes that the important OKC-Mideast evidence that the Clinton-Reno regime had suppressed would be acted on under the new Bush-Ashcroft management. But the Department of Justice under Ashcroft is thus far following the Reno script on OKC. On October 29, Oklahoma Judge Ray Dean Linder ruled that, because of objections from the Bush-Ashcroft Justice Department, retired FBI Agent Dan Vogel would not be allowed to testify about evidence he had received concerning Mideast connections to the OKC bombing. Vogel, an Oklahoma City FBI Special Agent, had volunteered to testify in the upcoming state trial of Terry Nichols, who has already been convicted on federal charges as an accomplice with Timothy McVeigh in the bombing. Among the things that Vogel could testify about is that he received 22 affidavits and more than 30 witness statements describing sightings of Middle Easterners with McVeigh. The information was transmitted to him at the FBI’s Oklahoma City office on January 28, 1999 by reporter Jayna Davis, accompanied by her husband, Drew Davis, and her attorney, Dan Nelson. Vogel has said that he is willing to testify before a congressional committee if he is subpoenaed to do so.

Last November 17, Indianapolis Star writer James Patterson wrote a story on the Davis-Vogel-OKC-Ashcroft developments that was picked up nationally by the Associated Press. In the article, entitled "Missing evidence from Oklahoma City," Patterson wrote: "The FBI doesn’t want to talk about it, but the evidence keeps mounting. Critical evidence that several Middle Eastern men may have been connected to the Oklahoma City bombing appears to have been kept from the public by the FBI."

"Officially, the FBI has dismissed the possibility of a John Doe No. 2, an olive-skinned man whose sketch they released immediately after the bombing, or other suspects," said Patterson. "But current and former FBI agents in Oklahoma City say they received documents pointing to another person or even a cell of Middle Eastern operatives. At a minimum, Congress should question one former FBI agent who says he obtained 22 affidavits and more than 30 witness statements describing sightings of Middle Easterners with McVeigh."

The Star article states that FBI "agents believe if that evidence had not been suppressed by the FBI, it could have helped uncover plans leading to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon." Patterson quotes an unnamed former FBI agent as stating: "We did have some Oklahoma connections to the events in Washington, D.C., and New York City. We did find out that one of these individuals was trying to take flight training at a Norman [Okla.] flight instruction school."

Why do the Bush administration and Congress continually avoid looking at this evidence, especially the more recent evidence Schippers claims to have about forewarning of the 9/11 attacks? It is absolutely imperative that Congress and the White House be held accountable for this gross dereliction of duty and obstruction of justice. How many more attacks must we suffer and how many more lives must be lost before this very reasonable, common-sense request to investigate prime suspects and examine available, credible evidence is finally acted upon by officials in Washington?
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