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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Al Qaeda: Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

For a while now, I've been recommending the films 9/11: Press for Truth and The Power of Nightmares, because both works raise questions about the very nature of Al Qaeda. Adam Curtis' documentary argues that the necons have systematically over-stated the power and reach of Osama Bin Laden, while Press for Truth forces us to consider the too-close-for-comfort nature of the relationship between Al Qaeda and Pakistan.

The former head of Pakistan's ISI (that nation's CIA) was Mehmood Ahmad Mehmood, who has now pulled a mysterious vanishing act. (I gave his name somewhat differently in a previous post; apologies, but the difficulties of transliteration are well-known.) According to various accounts:

1. He wired money to Mohammed Atta shortly before the World Trade Center attacks.

2. He employed R.G. Abbas, a Pakistani agent who -- while pointing toward the WTC complex -- told an undercover FBI informant that "those towers are coming down."

3. He arranged the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

4. He sent fighters against India to be trained in Al Qaeda camps -- essentially using Osama Bin Laden's jihadist movement as a cut-out.

5. He helped arrange the escape of thousands of Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters into Pakistan.

6. He is said to have have arranged -- or so runs a widely-held belief -- the fake arrest of WTC attack mastermind Khaled Sheihk Mohammed.

All in all, Mehmood Ahmed Mehmood seems an interesting fellow. Indeed, I have hardly covered all of the points of interest; see the timeline here, where he is described as "quite possibly the most taboo suspect of all 9/11 suspects." Note in particular this entry:

(To read the rest, click "Permalink" below)

September 4-11, 2001: ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed visits Washington for the second time (see April 4, 2000). On September 10, a Pakistani newspaper reports on his trip so far. It says his visit has "triggered speculation about the agenda of his mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security Council" as well as meetings with CIA Director Tenet, unspecified officials at the White House and the Pentagon, and his "most important meeting" with Mark Grossman, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
Pay special attention to the meeting with Grossman, who figures into various "deep readings" of the Sibel Edmonds story. See here and here:
In an interview with Chris Deliso of, Edmonds hinted at key roles played by some powerful unelected officials -- important neconservatives like Marc Grossman of the State Department and Richard Perle and Douglas Feith, formerly of the Defense Department. If we hit the rewind button and go back to a CBS 60 Minutes’ interview in October, 2002, we remember the ex-contract linguist stated that Turkish targets of FBI investigation spy inside the U.S. State Department and at the Pentagon in order to “obtain the United States military and intelligence secrets.” It doesn’t take a genius to conclude that Grossman, Feith and Perle might have been the persons to whom she was referring in 2002. Furthermore, the language specialist has repeatedly stated in past interviews that investigations into pre-9/11 terrorist financing activities were blocked “per State Department request”, leaving open the question whether it was Mr. Grossman, then Undersecretary of State for European Affairs, who actively hindered investigations into the Turkey-Bin Laden link.
Some observers have toyed with the belief that Mehmood Ahmad Mehmood could be the "real" leader of Al Qaeda. And just as the spotlight has shifted his way once more, we have this story:
The former Inter Services Intelligence chief who conveyed United States Secretary Richard Armitage's reported threat to "bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age" if it failed to crackdown on Taliban after 9/11 to President Pervez Musharraf has "vanished" to escape attempts by the media to get his version.

ISI chief General Mehmood Ahmad Mehmood, who prematurely retired from the army after he was sidelined by Musharraf following disclosures that he tried to persuade Taliban chief Mullah Omar to not to give in to US pressure after 9/11, has since settled in Lahore and was not available for comment, The News reported.
So. Now the former ISI head has pulled a Keyser Sose: "..and poof, he's gone." Perhaps he's vacationing with Khaled Sheik Mohammed?

Another Al Qaeda figure who "disappeared" in an interesting fashion recently is Omar al-Faruq. We'll have a few words to say about him soon.
sibel also points to General Mahmoud.
And it's precisely in this context that we should recall the words of Senator Bob Graham, Head of the Joint Congressional 911 Inquiry from Feb - Dec 2002, who was interviewed on the PBS Lehrer Hour in Dec 2002:

"I was surprised at the evidence that there were foreign governments involved in facilitating the activities of at least some of the terrorists in the United States.... I think there is very compelling evidence that at least some of the terrorists were assisted not just in financing -- although that was part of it -- by a sovereign foreign government ... It will become public at some point when it's turned over to the archives, but that's 20 or 30 years from now." (link)(link)

That nation is almost certainly Pakistan. There is further supporting evidence for this in alleged reports from the Pakistan's Public Accounts Committee (April 2006)that US lobbyists were paid to keep Pakistan's name out of the 911 Report. (link)(link)
That nation is almost certainly Pakistan.

More likely, it's Israel.

Here's Bob Graham from one of your links:

I am stunned that we have not done a better job of pursuing that to determine if other terrorists received similar support and, even more important, if the infrastructure of a foreign government assisting terrorists still exists for the current generation of terrorists who are here planning the next plots.

To me that is an extremely significant issue and most of that information is classified, I think overly-classified.

Compare with:

There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9-11 attacks, but investigators suspect that they Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are "tie-ins." But when asked for details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying, "evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It's classified information." (source)

The possible connection between Perle, Feith, and Grossman and Gen. Mahmood Ahmed is certainly interesting, but my question is: what did Pakistan get out of 9/11? It's obvious how Bush and the Israelis benefitted, but what was Pakistan's motive for participating in this scheme?
Joe, I'm surprised you haven't mentioned the most bizarre and damaging (to Bush) fact about Mahmoud Ahmad (although maybe you covered it in other blog entries): that is, that Ahmad flew to Washington DC around September 6, 2001 and had high level meetings in the Defense and State departments, the CIA and the National Security Council. On the morning of 9/11 as the planes flew into the buildings, this man who had wired money to Mohammed Atta, was having breakfast with the then heads of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Rep. Porter Goss (former CIA agent and soon to be head of the CIA and representative of the district near where Atta lived), and Sen. Bob Graham. Goss later told newspapers that they were discussing terrorism emanating from Afghanistan as the planes crashed into the buildings. There are also reports that this meeting was a continuation of urgent meetings that Ahmad, Goss and Graham had had in Pakistan just weeks before.

Most of the recent press reports about Richard Armitage threatening to bomb Pakistan strangely omit the fact that when Armitage made that threat, he was making it to Ahmad who was called into Armitage's State Dept. office to receive the US demands for assistance and for help with planning for the invasion of Afghanistan. I suspect this cryptic news story is someone's way of threatening that if something or another happens, the whole Ahmad sojourn in Washington is coming out. It has been strangely omnipresent in the media lately but always with the dots unconnected. For the first time ever, I've heard Ahmad's name surface repeatedly on NPR.

But again, the big point remains: what on earth was the money man for Mohammed Atta doing meeting with the leadership of the US defense and intelligence community on 9/11???

BTW, the facts alleged in my comment are all documented by reference to mainstream media sources in Paul Thompson's excellent cooperativeresearch timeline

HamdenRice from DU
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