Thursday, June 30, 2005

Important news on Mohammed Atta and 9/11

Daniel Hopsicker has uncovered fascinating new details about Mohammed Atta and his pre-9/11 travels and associations. I can recommend without reservation his most recent interview on the For the Record program -- which, sadly, seems to be the only radio venue paying attention to his work.

For the latest interview, go here, then download F-516a and F-516b. (I wish that web site was organized in a more user-friendly fashion, but let's be grateful for what we have.) I can happily report that Hopsicker and his host have, on this occasion, presented the story in a focused, organized and professional manner.

You should also read Hopsicker's latest article on this subject, which you can find here.

So what is he saying that's so damned important?

Much. Here are a few examples:

1. Amanda Keller, the "B-girl" named by a number of local news agencies as Mohammed Atta's one-time live-in girlfriend, was extensively interviewed by Hopsicker. He spent months tracking her down and convincing her to tell her story. In the early news accounts, she was portrayed as "too afraid" to speak openly, perhaps because she reports details which conflict sharply with the official Atta bio.

Now, a Frenchman using a known Atta alias has come forward, claiming that Amanda Keller is mistaken -- that he, not Mohammed Atta, was her boyfriend in 2001! This gentleman does not resemble Atta (he does not even look Egyptian) and is of a very different height.

Obviously, I find it very hard to believe that a woman can be so mistaken about her bedmate -- especially so notorious a bedmate.

Furthermore, this "false Atta" claims -- predictably -- that Amanda is now telling her tale for the sake of publicity. Odd, then, that she proved so difficult to track down. Odd, too, that she was so reticent to speak to legitimate Florida newspapers. Odd that she finally opened up to the relatively down-at-heels Hopsicker -- who, frankly, would not be the first choice of anyone interested in either fame or money.

Obviously, the "second Atta" is a disinformationist. No such attempt would be mounted if the tale of Amanda Keller were not of key importance.

2. Lexis/Nexis is purging its files of important stories about Atta, published by mainstream news journals in those relatively-open first few weeks following the tragedy.

3. Former Iranian SAVAK agent Sam Koutchesfahani, more recently a rather mysterious landlord in San Diego, may also possess ties to the 9/11 catastrophe.

Koutchesfahani was indicted for helping to bring illegal Middle Eastern "students" into this country in the 1990s. A witness has connected him to the same bogus university linked to Abdussattar Shaikh, the mendacious FBI informant who provided aid and shelter to two of the hijackers.

Hopsicker connects these two men (Shaikh and Koutchesfahani) to a long-running, little-known scandal involving a network of fake colleges -- storefront schools based in California and Utah (and perhaps elsewhere). This network first came to light some 15 years ago.

Pete Wilson, then the governor of California, mounted a committee to investigate these fake institutions of higher learning. Wilson named as chairman of this committee a man named Dr. Richard Crews -- an odd choice, for Crews also was the titular head of two of these fake schools.

Crews is a doctor connected with the Special Forces in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Why (one wonders) would he run phony universities in California?

And why would Wilson invite him to investigate the problem when he seems to have been the problem?

These same bogus schools appear in the resume of Abdussattar Shaikh, the FBI informant who helped two 9/11 plotters find shelter in California. (Shaikh has falsely claimed to be a professor.)

As a moment's thought will tell you, terrorists within our borders had -- and have -- a pressing need for both housing and "student" cover documentation. These requirements may explain why Shaikh would have links to such schools.

But we still have many further questions:

Why isn't Shaikh explaining this tangled situation to interrogators at Gitmo?

Why are "his" schools the same ones formerly run by Richard Crews, a gentleman connected to the American Special Forces?

Why (if Hopsicker's informants are correct) did Sam Koutchesfahani run foreign students into our country? And why is Koutchesfahani connected to at least one of these very same fake schools?

Koutchesfahani is of particular note since his name first appeared in the press in connection with the "Heaven's Gate" suicides. He was the landlord who owned the mansion in which the cultists died. Although I doubt whether he had any further interaction with that bizarre cult, I am open to speculation that he originally purchased the mansion to house overseas "students."

Kotchesfahani later purchase of a motel may have served a similar purpose.

As Hopsicker wrote in a previous story:

"For more than six years in the 1990s, people from the Middle East came to San Diego County on bogus student visas," reported a September 21, 2001 San Diego Union-Tribune story headlined "Terrorists may have exploited student visas."

"Through an underground network led by a Rancho Santa Fe man, nearly 100 Middle Easterners paid local community college teachers and administrators for counterfeit admission papers and grades, which allowed them to get student visas."

(The final figure was "more than 200," according to Sam's plea bargain.)

"At the center of the scam was a Rancho Santa Fe man, Sam Koutchesfahani, whose family roots and wealth were deep in Iran. He pleaded guilty to tax evasion and fraud and was sentenced to a year in prison."
Here's the topper:

Hopsicker uncovered an eyewitness who could put Sam Koutchesfahani and Abdussattar Shaikh together in the same place at the same time. (Shaikh, many believe, remains a key witness in the events leading up to the attack.)

This same witness, Hopsicker now reports, has now received the proverbial middle-of-the-night death threat.

There is more. I strongly urge you to listen to the interview and read the articles.

The events of September 11, 2001, have occasioned many unconvincing theories, and have filled many a plate with a side order of scarlet red herring. Readers interested in the "unconventional wisdom" on 9/11 will, I hope, pay less attention to wild claims of "controlled demolition," jet-shaped missiles, and similarly far-fetched ideas. The "ground level" investigative leads which I have briefly outlined here seem much more promising.

Here's a very telling fact: Well-funded right-wing conspiracy theorists have embraced the "controlled demolition" nonsense. Yet these rightists have studiously ignored the more important tale of Mohammed Atta and the subterranean linkages between the terorrists and various personages within our own national security establishment.

That is where we should focus our attention.
Whoa! I believe I knew Richard Crews (Crewes?) in the late eighties, early nineties. Did he not run a diploma mill in Marin County, (Columbia-Pacific Univ?). I thought him a bit--strange... certainly a bit of a scammer, and probably off-the-beaten track sexually (insofar as there was a beaten track in Marin County. But I don't see him consciously participating in treasonous acts.
Hopsicker's knocking on some interesting doors as I've gone over his Welcome to Terrorland a few times and find it truly fascinating. However, I have been puzzled about the 2nd Mohamed story since it first came out 2 months ago.
Quite simply - Has this recent incarnation of "Arajaki" been confirmed as a fraud by Keller? I feel that that is crucial to believing this as a disinformation campaign and yet I am straining to find any evidence of a source, other than Hopsicker, that has refuted these claims. The purging of the Lexis-nexis database and obvious lack of physical similarity between Atta and this new character notwithstanding, the lack of corroboration is troubling and does pose a threat to the credibility of Hopsicker's "Atta timeline" in FL, the supposed Atta's European associates in Key West as well as the theme of Atta as anti-fundamentalist who likes to party. Some one out there help me to understand this better, if possible.
On the contrary, none of this discredits the evidence of elements of a (government sponsored?) criminal cadre that surrounded whoever the true Mohamed and the other terrorists were in FL & CA - i.e. the real story.
Where does the energy come from to make a 110 story building eject thirty foot steel beams a 100 foot away & collapse to the ground in ten seconds - free fall speed ?

Got an answer?

I have = controlled demolition
Acceptance of controlled demolition as the reason for the destruction of WTC1, 2 & 7 is not right wing conspiracy. It is in fact the only explanation that accords with the laws of physics, mathematics and common sense, and the physical evidence such as slow motion video records etc. Rather than slagging off the evidence, read Jim Hoffman's website and open your mind to that evidence.
Weren't the insurance policies for some of the WTC complex buildings under Marvin Bush's name? It seems I recall reading that somewhere. A Bush would have cashed in on those regardless of 'complicity' or not, so a hush-hush controlled demo in that case is not too much of a stretch. They're theives, the lot of them.

I admire Hopsicker's work on the Barry Seal issue. I have not yet read "Terrorland" but it's in my stack to read soon.

I'm especially intrigued by the "Heaven's Gate" angle. Weird.
['...wild claims of "controlled demolition" ...'.] Joseph: I hate to break it to you, but there are several pretty respectable investigtors of 9/11 who would tell you that the truly wild claims would be those which stipulate anything *other* than controlled demolotion as the likely cause of those collapses. WTC#7 had only minor fires and NO impact, yet it and two other steel-frame towers collapsed that day for the first time in history or since. Hopsicker's research is undoubtedly interesting, as is your coverage here (Kudos!), but there's more to the story still. I myself try not to get bogged down in the antagonism that occasionally eriupts in the 9/11 research community. No one has ALL the answers yet. But controlled demolition isn't *remotely* "out there", unlike, say, the pods or holograms. Focus your attention wherever the evidence leads you would be my own slant. And, excellent piece, as usual!
Files NOT found
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