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 antiwar.com, 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.So. Now the former ISI head has pulled a Keyser Sose: "..and poof, he's gone." Perhaps he's vacationing with Khaled Sheik Mohammed?
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.
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.