Dollars for Terror

Houston, Texas

100 Saudi Riyals

In 1999, the French Parliament commissioned an extensive and thorough investigation of global money-laundering. After publishing reports on Liechtenstein, Monaco and Switzerland, it also produced a report titled, The City of London, Gibraltar and the Crown Dependencies: Offshore Centers and Havens for Dirty Money, part of which was an addendum titled, The Economic Environment of Osama bin Laden. The report concluded that up to forty British banks, companies and individuals were associated with bin Laden’s network, including organizations in London, Oxford, Cheltenham, Cambridge and Leeds.[1] In introducing the report, Arnaud Montebourg, a French Member of Parliament concluded, “Tony Blair, and his government, preaches around the world against terrorism. He would be well advised to preach to his own bankers and oblige them to go after dirty money... Even the Swiss co-operate more than the English.”[2]

Bush and Crown Prince Adbullah of Sauid Arabia

Bush and Crown Prince
Adbullah of Sauid Arabia

Implicated in the report was Khalid bin Mahfouz, the largest shareholder of BCCI, and important figure within the Saudi government, with extensive business ties to the Bush family and the CIA. Nevertheless, representatives of bin Mahfouz later managed to argue that the report was in fact prepared by Jean-Charles Brisard, author of Forbidden Truth, and not French intelligence. Bin Mahouz has begun libel proceedings against Brisard, claiming that he has made unfounded and defamatory allegations.[3]

Similarly, bin Mahfouz has also successfully acquired retractions from Fortune Magazine, the Washington Post and USA Today, for allegations he had ties with terrorist financing. James Woolsey, former Director of CIA, testified to a congressional sub-committee, that Khalid Bin Mahfouz was bin Laden’s brother-in-law, but when it was found that he had mispronounced the name, he was forced to retract his statement, claiming that he was no longer sure if the information he was provided was accurate.

Nevertheless, the authors of Forbidden Truth provide the following information which is accurate:

Khalid bin Mahfouz

Khalid bin Mahfouz

Khalid bin Mahfouz was a key figure in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, or BCCI, affair. Between 1986 and 1990, he was a top executive there, holding the position of operational director. His family held a 20 percent share in the bank at the time. He was charged in the United States in 1992 with tax fraud in the bank’s collapse. In 1995, held jointly liable in the BCCI’s collapse, he agreed to a $245 million settlement to pay the bank’s creditors, allowing them to indemnify a portion of the bank’s clients. The specific charges against the bank were embezzlement and violation of American, Luxembourg and British banking laws.[4]

Salem bin Laden

Salem bin Laden

In 2002, an investigation did find that charitable contributions had been made by bin Mahfouz for the purpose of funding bin Laden.[5] Nevertheless, bin Mahfouz had maintained close business relationships with the Bush family. First of all, during the 1980’s, bin Mahfouz’s banking syndicate performed major CIA-inspired banking operations for such former CIA assets as Osama bin Laden, as well as for Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega and other drug dealing generals, such as in Pakistan.[6]

However, when Salem bin Laden, head of the wealthy Saudi Arabian family, and one of seventeen brothers to Osama bin Laden, died in 1988, Khalid bin Mahfouz inherited his interests in Houston. Salem was described by a French secret intelligence report as one of two closest friends of Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd, who often performs important missions for Saudi Arabia.[7] Salem’s sole U.S. business representative had been James Bath, who then ran a business for bin Mahfouz, and joined a partnership with he and Gaith Pharaon, BCCI’s frontman in Houston.

Ghaith Pharaon

Ghaith Pharaon

James Bath had extensive ties both to the bin Laden family and major players in the BCCI. Time magazine described Bath, in 1991, as “a deal broker whose alleged associations run from the CIA to a major shareholder and director of the Bank of Credit & Commerce.”[8] Bath was recruited in 1976 by then CIA Director, George Herbert Bush, to create offshore companies to move CIA funds and aircraft between Texas and Saudi Arabia.[9]

One of James Bath’s former business partners, Charles W. “Bill” White, a former Annapolis graduate and United States Navy pilot, claimed that Bath was involved in a secret conspiracy to funnel Saudi money into the United States. He also claimed that, since 1976, Bath had worked as a CIA liaison to Saudi Arabia. Until the early 90s, Bath was also involved with Bin Mahfouz in their company, Southwest Airport Services, refuelers of the presidential plane, Air Force One, when the president was in Houston.[10]

James Bath

James Bath

Bath also operated Skyway Aircraft Leasing Ltd., an aviation business based in the Cayman Islands, owned by bin Mahfouz. First, within a month of its incorporation, the temporary board at Cotopax named Bath as company president, changed the company name to Skyways and then resigned en mass, leaving Bath as a sole director. One of the original subscribers to Cotopax, a company called Cayhaven Corporate Services, Ltd., was also a subscriber to “I.C., Inc.”. In reality, IC Inc. was the same entity as ICIC, which is the International Credit and Investment Corporation of Grand Caymans, termed BCCI’s “bank-within-a-bank” in the Kerry Committee report. Thus, James Bath’s Skyways Aircraft Leasing is an enterprise related to Mahfouz’s BCCI via “IC Inc.” The company was found by investigators to be at the very center of a chart found in Oliver North’s White House safe, showing the banking network of the Iran-Contra operation.[11]

Willilam Colby

Willilam Colby

Bath was a close family friend of George W. Bush. In the early 1970s, the two flew fighter jets together in the Texas Air National Guard. In 1979, Bush’s first business, Arbusto Energy, obtained financing from Bath. As one of many investors, including Bildeberger George Ball, Bath gave Bush fifty thousand dollars for a five percent stake in Arbusto. In the Outlaw Bank, Beaty and Gwynne suggest that Bath’s investment in Arbusto may have belonged to bin Mahfouz, since young George Bush “had no substantial money of his own at the time.”

After several transformations, Arbusto emerged in 1986 as Harken Energy Corporation. The father of Harken’s chairman, Alan Quasha, was Manila-based attorney William Quasha, who advised executives of the defunct and scandal-ridden Nugan Hand Bank in Australia, which had employed a number of former high-ranking CIA and Pentagon officials. According to a 1983 Australian government report, and the Wall Street Journal, Nugan Hand Bank was involved in money laundering for international heroin syndicates and secretly aided U.S. covert activities, while former CIA director, William Colby, was its attorney. Some of the persons interacting with Nugan Hand Bank executives in the 1970s were later to become central figures in the Iran-Contra affair, such as Richard Secord, Casper Weinberger, who was later pardoned by former President Bush.[12]

Caspar Weinberger

Caspar Weinberger

Richard Secord

Richard Secord

In 1987, when Harken ran into trouble, a 17.6 percent share was purchased by Saudi Sheik Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, a business partner with Pharaon, while his banker was bin Mahfouz.[13] Though Bush told the Wall Street Journal he had “no idea” BCCI was involved in Harken’s financial dealings, the network of connections between Bush and BCCI is so extensive that the Journal concluded by stating: “The number of BCCI-connected people who had dealings with Harken ­ all since George W. Bush came on board ­ raises the question of whether they mask an effort to cozy up to a presidential son.”[14] Or even the president: Bath finally came under investigation by the FBI in 1992 for his Saudi business relationships, accused of funnelling Saudi money through Houston, in order to influence the foreign policies of the Reagan and first Bush administrations.

In 1987, the original plan for Harken Oil and Gas was to obtain 25 million dollars in investment capital from the Banque de Commerce et de Placements (BCP), a joint venture between the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) and BCCI, as the controlling interest. The managing director of BCP was Dr. Hartmann. The financing was brokered by Dr. Hartmann and Bruce Rappaport. The InterMaritime Bank of Geneva and New York, which was affiliated with a global network of many Mahfouz-connected banks, around the Saudi National Commercial Bank, was also involved in multiple covert CIA operations. Rappaport, a golfing buddy of then CIA director William Casey’s, was deeply implicated in the BCCI affair, involving secret accounts for illegal arms sales to Iran, partnered with Oliver North.[15]

Dr. Hartmann was also the chairman of the Swiss affiliate of yet another criminal bank, the Italian Banco Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL). According to the Congressional Record in 1992, BNL was alleged, by U.S. House Banking Committee Chairman Henry Gonzalez, to have secured billions of dollars in illegally-used, weapons-directed loans from the first Bush administration to Saddam Hussein just prior to Desert Storm.[16]

Harken’s financing by BCP was structured by Jackson Stephens of Little Rock, which, according to the Asian Wall Street Journal, apparently did not comply with U.S. banking regulations. Finally, in the course of restructuring the deal, UBS decided to sell off its shares. Stephens found a new buyer for the UBS’s shares, Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh.[17]

According to the 1992 Senate BCCI investigation, however, the Bush Justice Department went to great lengths to block prosecution of BCCI. The Senate probe determined that federal officials repeatedly obstructed congressional and local investigations, and for three years impeded attempts by Robert Morgenthau, Manhattan district attorney, from obtaining critical information. The Senate investigation concluded that, in 1990 and 1991, the Bush Department, with Assistant Attorney General Robert Muller taking the lead, consistently put forward the mistaken impression that they were aggressively moving against the bank. However, the probe said the Justice Department was actually interfering with “the investigation of others through a variety of mechanisms, ranging from not making witnesses available, to not returning telephone calls, to claiming that every aspect of the case was under investigation in a period when little, if anything, was being done.”[18]

Prince Turki al-Faisal

Prince Turki al-Faisal

More incriminating is the fact that, in 1996, French intelligence secretly monitored a meeting of Saudi billionaires at the Hotel Royale Monceaus in Paris, with the financial representative of al Qaeda, a key Saudi prince, and joined by Muslim and non-Muslim arms dealers, to determine by how much to pay off bin Laden. According to the author of Forbidden Truth, Jean-Charles Brisard and reporter Greg Palast, Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh and Khalid bin Mahfouz were among approximately twenty people at the meeting, in addition to Prince Turki al Faisal, and Iran-Contra operative Adnan Khashoggi. Representatives of Mahfouz, however, deny his involvement, and that he has ever attended a meeting with representatives of al Qaeda. But again, Mahfouz has begun libel proceedings against Mr. Brisard, claiming his allegations are unfounded.[19]

The deal was that bin Laden not attack Saudi Arabia. This is an arrangement that purportedly dates back to 1991. In Why America Slept, Gerald Posner claims that a still classified US intelligence report describes that this secret arrangement had been established between bin Laden and Saudi intelligence minister, Prince Turki al-Faisal, the Saudi Intelligence Minister.[20] The participants also agreed that bin Laden should be rewarded for promoting Wahhabism in Chechnya, Kashmir, Bosnia, and other places.[21]

The supposed “pay-off” is obviously an excuse to reward bin Laden for a “job well-done”. In this way, bin Laden can save face among his followers for failing to address the problems in Saudi Arabia, despite the egregious extremes of the royal family, and instead focus his invectives away from them, against the American “crusaders”. Bin Laden has therefore had to alter his rhetoric so as not to appear entirely hypocritical. As noted by Stephen Schwartz, in The Two Faces of Islam, of the content of his “Declaration of War Against America”, bin Laden’s complaints about the Saudis were “those of a critic, not a revolutionary enemy.” He continues:

Throughout bin Laden’s writings, one had the sense of someone going out of his way not to say certain things. Those things involved the personalities of the Saudi rulers. Since bin Laden continued to draw on financial resources in the kingdom while living in Afghanistan and was in no physical danger from Saudi hands, he could only be observing a policy of discretion, not expressing fear. Bin Laden was not a major strategist; he was an opportunistic improviser in the style of Hitler or Stalin. Calling for action by the Saudi populace to expel U.S. troops, he advised murdering Americans. But when he summoned Saudi citizens to correct the policies of their government, he never called for killing or other forms of terror against the Saudi rulers. Rather, he praised the drafting of petitions to the king and he recommended that Saudi women boycott American consumer goods. He was aggrieved by the failure of the Saudi Army to serve ably in the Gulf War, but also by the destruction inflicted on Iraq, which he exaggerated. Unlike the Saudi and other Arab governments, he called for lifting the U.N. sanctions on Saddam Husayn.[22]

If bin Laden were sincere, he would not accept pay-offs from a cast of characters that not only hold close ties with the most culpable of American “crusaders”, but who are the principal instigators of the Lucifarian conspiracy to overthrow Islam. Rather, Adnan Khashoggi, who is among the richest men in the world, and the arms merchant at the center of the entire Iran-Contra operation, has been a life-long friend of the bin Laden family. Adnan Khashoggi’s father was the physician to Mohammed bin Laden, and got his start in business by arranging a large truck import deal for Salem bin Laden. In 1985, bin Mahfouz’s Saudi National Commercial Bank had loaned Khashoggi 35 million dollars to purchase weapons to sell illegally to Iran, at the behest of Oliver North.[23]

The Neo-Nazis

Adnan Khashoggi on the front cover of Time magazine

Khashoggi had forged an association with Sheik Kamal Adham, the front-man for BCCI, and the CIA, with the incorporation of Barrick Gold, a Canadian company he founded with Peter Munk. Barrick Gold was itself a spin-off of Barrick Resources International (BRI), the nascent firm founded two years before, by Kermit Roosevelt, to serve as a dummy business front for the CIA. The company’s seed investors were Saudis with CIA ties, including Shiek Kamal Adham, Adnan Khashoggi, and Prince Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, a major investor in Barrick, code-named “Tumbleweed” by his CIA contacts. Khashoggi distanced himself from Barrick shortly after the Iran-Contra scandal broke, but held onto his stock, tied up as collateral for North’s arms transfers to Iran.[24]

Youssef Nada

Youssef Nada

Prince Turki al-Faisal is also head of Faisal Islamic Bank of Saudi Arabia, which has been named by Luxembourg banking authorities as being directly involved in running accounts for bin Laden. Faisal Bank was founded by Youssef Nada, naturalized Italian, and a member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Gama al Islamiya. Nada was another valued World War II Nazi. As a young man, he had joined the armed branch of the “secret apparatus” of the Muslim Brotherhood, and then was recruited by German military intelligence. When Grand Mufti el-Husseini had to flee Germany in 1945, as the Nazi defeat loomed, Youssef Nada is rumored to have been personally involved in arranging through the SS his escape via Switzerland back to Egypt and then Palestine.[25]

Ahmed Huber

Ahmed Huber

Nada served as president of Al Taqwa, an international banking group. Al Taqwa, which literally means “Fear of God,” had been channeling funds to Muslim extremist organizations around the world, including Hamas in Palestine. Serving on the board of Nada Management, a component of Al Taqwa, was Ahmed Huber, a neo-Nazi, and a former journalist who converted to Islam, and changed his first name from Albert. A well-known figure in European neofascist circles, Huber “sees himself as a mediator between Islam and right-wing groups,” according to Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution.[26] Huber is also a member of a group calling itself Avalon, which claims to be based on the “great Celtic tradition”, and at every solstice he meets under the moon, in a forest grove, with a few hundred European Druids, with whom he is preparing the “end of our decline”. With the Thule Society, he works for the restoration of “greater Germany”.[27]

Nada was appointed president by Francois Genoud, who is believed to have founded and directed al Taqwa in its support of terrorism, including Bin Laden.[28] Described by the London Observer as “one of the world’s leading Nazis”, Genoud played a key role in the continuation of the Nazi Islamist relationship.[29] He was a former associate of Otto Skorzeny in Algeria, and supposedly helped finance the ODESSA network through his management of the hidden Swiss treasure of the Third Reich, which had been stolen from Jews. Genoud is also believed to have masterminded the 1972 hijacking of a Lufthansa flight from Bombay by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP).[30]

Yeslam bin Laden

Yeslam bin Laden

In addition, Mahfouz’ Saudi Investment Corporation (SICO) is partnered with the Saudi BinLaden Group. SICO was covertly involved in supporting the Mujahideen in Afghanistan during the late 1980’s, in connection with the BCCI-controlled National Bank of Oman. Those responsible for arranging SICO’s financing of Osama bin Laden were the top two InterMaritime Bank executives, Alfred Hartmann of Harken and Bruce Rappaport, in addition to William Casey.[31] The company is chaired by Yeslam bin Laden. Board members are Beatrice Dufour, Baudoin Dunant and Tilouine el Hanafi. Lafour is Yeslam bin Laden’s sister-in-law. She is of Iranian origin and is married to a Swiss financier. Baudoin Dunant, one of French-speaking Switzerland’s leading lawyers, is on the boards of over twenty companies in Geneva, Fribourg, Morges, Nyons, etc. He received international publicity in 1983, when he represented Nazi banker Francois Genoud.[32]

The Carlyle Group

Sami Baarma, a top executive of the Saudi National Commercial Bank (NCB), sits on the board of Mahfouz’s Middle East Capital Group (MECG), that had on its board, Sheikh Bakhsh. In addition, Baarma sits on the board of the Carlyle Group, which had former President George H. W. Bush as a senior advisor. Carlyle is the eleventh largest military contractor in the U.S., and a leading contributor to George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign. Former President George H.W. Bush has visited Saudi Arabia at least twice to successfully court bin Laden family financing for the Carlyle Group.

The Carlyle Group’s relationships with prominent Saudis is particularly murky considering that, despite assertions that Osama is estranged from the family, the documentary records contradict the claim. According to the Wall Street Journal:

Among its far-flung business interests, the well-heeled Saudi Arabian clan - which says it is estranged from Osama - is an investor in a fund established by Carlyle Group, a well-connected Washington merchant bank specializing in buyouts of defense and aerospace companies. Through this investment and its ties to Saudi royalty, the bin Laden family has become acquainted with some of the biggest names in the Republican Party. In recent years, former President Bush, ex-Secretary of State James Baker and ex-Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci have made the pilgrimage to the bin Laden family’s headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Mr. Bush makes speeches on behalf of Carlyle Group and is senior adviser to its Asian Partners fund, while Mr. Baker is its senior counselor. Mr. Carlucci is the group’s chairman. Osama is one of more than 50 children of Mohammed bin Laden, who built the family’s $5 billion business, Saudi Binladin Group, largely with construction contracts from the Saudi government...[33]

The long-time Chairman of the Carlyle Group, Frank Carlucci, was not only a former Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration, but a Deputy Director of the CIA during the Carter Administration. As the Second Secretary in the US Embassy in the Congo during the time of the reign and consequent assassination of Patrice Lumumba, Carlucci was intimately involved in the US efforts to overthrow Lumumba’s government. In 1974, Frank Carlucci headed the American CIA operation to overthrow the Lisbon socialist government. He had been Chief of Sears Roebucks international operations, an actual espionage operation, and later a top official of the American intelligence.

Liberia and Sierra Leone

Sir Harry Oppenheimer

Sir Harry Oppenheimer

A critical element in the laundering of drug money is the use of gold and diamonds. Hong Kong, the international hub of drug-money laundering, was under the financial control of Israel’s largest finance house, Bank Leumi, which in turn is under control of Barclay’s Bank, on whose board sat Henry Oppenheimer, and the Oppenheimer family. Harry Oppenheimer, the manager of the largest South African gold producer, Anglo-American, is also the presiding manager of the De Beers corporation, originally created by Cecil Rhodes, which runs the worldwide diamond cartel. The diamond cartel sells raw diamonds to 300 secret, select customers, following which the diamonds are sent to either Antwerp or Ashqelon, in Israel, for cutting. The Israeli processing is financed by Bank Leumi, and the Antwerp processing by the Banque Bruxelles-Lambert. The latter bank is controlled by the Lambert family, the Belgian cousins of the Rothschilds.[34]

As revealed by Douglas Farah, in Blood From Stones: The Secret Financial Network of Terror, since at least 1998, Al Qaeda operatives were converting their funds by buying and reselling millions of dollars in “blood diamonds” from the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) terror organization in Sierra Leone, headed by Foday Sankoh. The agent in the transactions was the brutal Charles Taylor, the dictator in neighboring Liberia.

Foday Sankoh

Foday Sankoh

Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor

At the request of the Liberian government, Charles Taylor had been arrested and imprisoned in the U.S. in 1984. And yet, fifteen months later he mysteriously escaped from the Plymouth House of Corrections, and made his way back to Liberia to lead the revolt that toppled Doe. Taylor’s escape, which he has hinted was carried out with the collaboration of the CIA, greatly enhanced his reputation in Liberia as a “big man,” or a person protected by a great foreign power.[35] Douglas Farah asked his source, “CR”, a member of Taylor’s entourage, “Do fighters in the bush really offer human sacrifices and eat the hearts of their victims to gain their strength?” CR didn’t blink an eye. Yes he said, but only a few “really big men”, like Taylor, Foday Sankoh, and their senior commanders carried out the practice because it was such powerful magic. The main organ that gave one spiritual power was the heart. So it was often roasted and eaten.[36]

During the 80s, Taylor and Sankoh passed through the terrorist training camps of the World Revolutionary Headquarters in Lybia, operated by leader Colonel Muammar al Qadhafi. Despite all his revolutionary and anti-Western rhetoric, Qadhafi is a Freemason conspirator.[37] In 1980, when Ronald Reagan became president, the United States government accused the Libyan government of sponsoring international terrorism, and in 1986, ordered major bombing raids against so-called “terrorist sites”, killing approximately sixty people, including Qadhafi’s adopted daughter. However, according to Dr. Stoney Merriman, former Public Affairs Chief of the US Marine Corps at the Pentagon, US Special Forces ground troops had intercepted and protected Colonel Qadhafi in order to prevent his injury during the bombing of his home. The US soldiers were also tasked with protecting any other dignitaries that were visiting Quaddafi.[38]

Ibrahim Bah

Ibrahim Bah

Allegedly, Lybia retaliated in 1988 by bombing Pan Am flight F 103, and putting that corporation into bankruptcy. Though, Pan Am’s own investigation found that U.S. government employees of the CIA had blown up the aircraft, to prevent a U.S. Army “hostage rescue team” on board from blowing the whistle on a Syrian heroin-dealing operation being used by the White House for its illegal Iran-Contra weapons sales.[39]

It was in Lybia that Taylor met Ibrahim Bah, whom the FBI identify as the RUF’s main diamond dealer with Al Qaeda. Also known by a host of aliases, Senegalese born Bah speaks fluent French, Arabic, and English, as well as several local dialects. By the late 80s, he had already fought in a Senegalese revolt, studied Muslim theology in Egypt, trained in special warfare in Libya for four years, and served with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. After returning to Lybia, he joined the Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and fought against Israel. Returning to Lybia, he served as Quaddafi bodyguard and trainer.

Muammar al Qadhafi

Muammar al Qadhafi

In 1998 Al Qaeda’s Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah went to Liberia to set up the arrangement with Bah and the RUF, for Al Qaeda to buy the illegal Sierra Leone diamonds on a regular basis. The Bah network goes directly to Antwerp Belgium, the world’s largest diamond center. Bah arranged for al Qaeda operatives to buy all diamonds possible from the RUF, the Charles Taylor-supported rebel army that controlled much of neighboring civil-war-torn Sierra Leone. “The rebels used the cash from al Qaeda to buy the weapons. The stones gave al Qaeda a fail-safe way to hide its assets outside banks and other financial institutions,” writes Farah. “Belgian investigators later traced $20 million through a single account they believe was used by al Qaeda to purchase diamonds.”[40]

The CIA has been reluctant to corroborate any evidence of a link because it reflects badly on them. The US had used Liberia as a main CIA base throughout the Cold War. Taylor himself was a CIA informant for years, and the U.S. backed his anti-Doe activities in the eighties and then his bid for power in the nineties.[41] This fact, and Liberia acting as a haven for Al Qaeda operatives, like Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, now being held in connection with the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa, would explain why the United States waited so long to support Taylor’s ouster, and continues to refrain from using its influence to bring him before a UN war crimes tribunal. Taylor, who was deposed last year, is living in exile in Nigeria under a deal brokered by the United States.

As recently as June 2003, the FBI reported to the US General Accounting Office that there was no al Qaeda presence in West Africa, despite what intelligence and military officials said was a plan to capture Ghailani, in the weeks after the September 11 attacks, using a U.S. special forces team stationed in nearby Guinea. However, that mission was called off, although it is unclear exactly why.[42] In the mean time, leaders of al Qaeda continued to receive Taylor’s protection. “For some reason our intelligence people have been very anxious to disprove this as happening, something that can’t be disproven,” said Joseph Melrose, who was US ambassador to Sierra Leone until September 2001.[43]

Farah called Taylor’s Liberia “a Disneyland for criminals,” where Israeli organized crime figures supplied weapons to Hezbollah arms dealers, ex-Soviet planes could deliver merchandise anywhere in the world, and everyone would be protected by Liberia’s status as a sovereign nation. “The entire diamond operation”, notes Paul Rasche, “depends on the complicity of Israeli diamond interests and of the Israeli intelligence and mafia organizations, which dominate world diamond trade.”[44]

Victor Bout (left)

Victor Bout (left)

The key figure in the entire operation interfacing Al Qaeda, Sierra Leone’s RUF and Taylor’s Libya, is retired Israeli army Lt. Colonel, Yair Klein. According to a report in the Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Aharonoth, in 1996, Klein began a contract to provide weapons and training in Taylor’s Liberia, and to the RUF in Sierra Leone which controls the wealthy diamond district. Klein, though ostensibly a retired and so-called rogue intelligence free agent, enjoys the highest-level of protection from Israeli authorities. In the early 90s, he trained the forces of the Colombian drug cartels in assassination, bombings and other covert operations.[45]

Involved in the Liberian diamond trade was Victor Bout, a notorious Russian arms dealer originally from Tajikistan. Bout supplied maintenance for Ariana Airways, Afghanistan’s national airline, which was essentially taken over by al Qaeda, and began transportation for their illegal trade network. Passenger flights became few and erratic, and instead the airline began flying drugs, weapons, gold and personnel mostly between Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Pakistan. Finally, Ariana’s international flights were banned in 1999 by order of the UN. The charter service, which operated with UN authorization from November 2000 through January 2001, was provided by the Flying Dolphin Airline, owned by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Saqr al Nayhan, a member of the ruling family in Abu Dhabi, who used to be the UAE ambassador to the United States. Flying Dolphin was registered in Liberia, but had its operations in Dubai. A UN report called Zayed a “close business associate of Bout.”[46]

In 2002, the Belgian government, through Interpol, issued a warrant for Bout, on charges of illegal weapons trafficking. Though Interpol was told by the Russian government, “we can say for sure Bout is not in Russia,” Bout was in the middle of taping a two-hour interview for a Moscow radio station. Obstacles in arresting him persisted, until the US suddenly backed off the case. Intelligence officials said Bout flew US clandestine operatives into Afghanistan, as well as badly needed ammunition and other supplies to the Northern Alliance. In exchange, they said, his past activities would be ignored.[47]

Footnotes:

[1] Peter Goodgame. "Globalists and Islamists".
[2]UK is money launderers’ paradise”,  BBC News, Wednesday, 10 October, 2001
[3] Kendall Freeman, May 13, 2004. Mahfouz Letter [pdf]
[4] Brisard and Dasquie, Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden. , p. 117.
[5] Unger, Craig. House of Bush, House of Saud, p. 112.
[6] Martin J Rivers. "A Wolf in Sheikhs Clothing: Bush Business Deals with 9 Partners of bin Laden’s Banker". www.globalresearch.ca March 15, 2004.
[7] "About the Bin Laden Family”, PBS Frontline, 2001.
[8] James Hatfield. “Why would Osama bin Laden want to kill Dubya, his former business partner?” Online Journal, July 3, 2001.
[9]“The Bush-Bin Laden Connection,” The Texas Observer, November 9, 2001.
[10] Martin J Rivers. "A Wolf in Sheikhs Clothing: Bush Business Deals with 9 Partners of bin Laden’s Banker"
[11]ibid.
[12]ibid.
[13] Naafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed. The War on Freedom.
[14] quoted from Craig Unger. House of Bush, House of Saud, p. 128.
[15] Rivers, "A Wolf in Sheikhs Clothing: Bush Business Deals with 9 Partners of bin Laden’s Banker"
[16]ibid.
[17]ibid.
[18] Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud, p. 126.
[19] Interview with Jean-Charles Brisard. CBC, October 29, 2003[pdf]
[20] p. 40-42
[21] CBC, October 29, 2003, interview with Jean-Charles Brisard. [pdf]
[22] p. 235.
[23] Constantine, Alex. "Adnan Khashoggi Linked to 911 Terrorists". Part XIX.
[24]ibid.
[25] Christopher Brown. "Global Nazism and the Muslim Brotherhood: Indicators of Connections".
[26] Lee, Martin A. “The Swastika & the CrescentIntelligence Report. Spring 2002, Issue 105.
[27] Labeviere, Richard. Dollars for Terror. p. 143.
[28] Jay Bushinsky. “Swiss Probe anti-US neo-Nazi Suspected Financial Ties to Al Qaeda”. San Fransico Chronicle, December 3, 2002.
[29] Lee, Martin A. “The Swastika & the Crescent”.
[30]ibid.
[31] Rivers. “A Wolf in Sheikhs Clothing".
[32]About the Bin Laden Family”. PBS Frontline.
[33] Daniel Golden, et. al., “Bin Laden Family Could Profit from a Jump in U.S. Defense Spending Due to Ties to U.S. Banks”, Wall Street Journal, 27 September 2001.
[34] EIR. Dope Inc. [pdf].
[35] Farah, Blood From Stones, p. 15.
[36]ibid, p. 48.
[37] "Trial hears Gaddafi 'mason' claim Wednesday", 27 September, 2000, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK.
[38] John Lee, “Government Corruption: A Whistleblower’s Perspective”. The Prohibition Times.
[39] John Lee, “Police Mentality 1: A Military Perspective”. The Prohibition Times.
[40] “Blood From Stones”. Book Blurb. Ocnus.Net. Jul 3, 2004.
[41] Bender, Bryan. “Liberia’s Taylor gave aid to Qaeda, UN probe finds”, Boston Globe, August 4, 2004.
[42]ibid.
[43]ibid.
[44] Paul Rasche. "The Politics of Three – The Politics of Three – Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel".
[45]ibid.
[46] Farah, Blood From Stones, p. 42.
[47]ibid.