9/11 Update From "The American Monitor"
Devlin Buckley, 1/16/07
The Albanian government has seized the assets of a wealthy Saudi that, for several years, reportedly maintained simultaneous connections to both al-Qaeda and the U.S. government while serving the interests of the CIA.
“The Finance Ministry said it ordered authorities to block four apartments, a house, four bars and shops, and more than 2 hectares (about 5 acres) of land belonging to Yasin al-Qadi,” the Associated Press reports, citing the Official Gazette.1
Yasin al-Qadi, the owner of the property, according to the U.S. Treasury Department, “heads the Saudi-based Muwafaq Foundation…an al-Qaeda front that receives funding from wealthy Saudi businessmen.”2 The Treasury has thus identified the prominent entrepreneur as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).3
Despite his alleged affiliations to terrorism, al-Qadi has maintained concurrent contacts within influential Washington circles.4 In fact, prior to being publicly connected to money laundering and terrorist financing, al-Qadi regularly spoke of his relationship with Vice President Dick Cheney.5
Al-Qadi, who has been identified as one of Osama bin Laden’s “chief money launderers,”6 owned a prominent U.S. technology firm and alleged CIA front known as Ptech.7 He also escorted U.S. officials around during their visits to Saudi Arabia.8
As reported by the Associated Press, al-Qadi “allegedly worked with Osama bin Laden to provide support to terror networks in Albania,” prompting the recent confiscation of his assets in that country.9
According to the Associated Press, al-Qadi used six different names for the recently seized assets, all of which were in the Tirana area, Albania’s capital city.10
The confiscation comes approximately 14 months after the Albanian government made a similar seizure of property belonging to al-Qadi,11 who is suspected of laundering about $10 million in Albania alone for the al-Qaeda network.12
As documented in a report issued by the Library of Congress, “In December 2001, Albanian authorities announced the discovery of a major instance of terrorist support money being concealed behind the facade of a legitimate business operating in Albania.”13
“Yasin al-Qadi,” the report states, “the Saudi Arabian head of a company called Karavan Construction, has been accused of using a twin-tower construction project being built by that company in Tirana to launder money for al Qaeda.”14
“In 2004 the government confirmed that the location was being used to launder financial activities for al-Qaeda,” and in October 2005 “the Albanian authorities took possession of office space at the so-called Twin Towers of central Tirana,” the Southeast European Times recently noted.15
Al-Qadi has a history of using legitimate businesses to reportedly launder money for terrorist activities.
Raided by federal authorities in 2002, Ptech marketed highly sophisticated software to numerous U.S. government agencies,18 maintained a security clearance with the military,19 and held several sensitive contracts.20
Intelligence officials have privately confided to 9/11 whistleblower Indira Singh that Ptech served as a front for the CIA, apparently laundering mob-linked drug money for covert operations.21
A similar pattern is apparent in Albania, where Yasin al-Qadi, according to federal law enforcement officials, assisted the CIA with efforts to provide underground support to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).22
As author Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed documents in his book, The War on Truth, “Extensive military training and assistance was provided to the KLA during the Kosovo conflict in the late 1990s by both American and British forces.”23
“This training continued,” Ahmed writes, “despite the fact that it was documented in a 1999 Congressional report by the US Republican Party Committee that the KLA is closely involved with
The extensive Albanian crime network that extends throughout Europe and into North America, including allegations that a major portion of the KLA finances are derived from that network, mainly proceeds from drug trafficking; and Terrorist organizations motivated by the ideology of radical Islam, including assets of Iran and of the notorious Osama bin-Ladin -- who has vowed a global terrorist war against Americans and American interests."24
Indeed, according to Fatos Klosi, the head of Albanian intelligence, “a major network of bin Laden supporters was established in 1998 in Albania under the cover of various Muslim charities.”25
One charity to allegedly launder money in Albania for the al-Qaeda network was Yasin al-Qadi’s Muwafaq Foundation.26
Khalid bin Mahfouz, an extremely influential and wealthy Saudi who “established and funded” the Muwafaq Foundation, was once the principal shareholder and director of BCCI,27 a criminal enterprise used by the CIA during the 1980s to funnel cash to Osama bin Laden for the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan.28
As former DEA undercover agent Michael Levine explained to The New American in 1999, the U.S. armed and funded “the worst elements of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan — drug traffickers, arms smugglers, anti-American terrorists. We later paid the price when the World Trade Center was bombed [in 1993], and we learned that some of those responsible had been trained by us. Now we’re doing the same thing with the KLA.”29
“These guys,” Levine said, referring to the KLA, “have a network that’s active on the streets of this country. ... They’re the worst elements of society that you can imagine, and now, according to my sources in drug enforcement, they’re politically protected.”30
According to Yossef Bodansky, Director of Research of the International Strategic Studies Association, “The role of the Albanian Mafia, which is tightly connected to the KLA, is laundering money, providing technology, safe houses, and other support to terrorists within this country.”31
“In any case,” Bodansky told The New American, “a serious investigation of the Albanian mob isn’t going to happen, because they’re ‘our boys’ — they’re protected."32
This may help explain why, according to FBI whistleblower Robert Wright, his investigation into Yasin al-Qadi during the 1990s was "intentionally and repeatedly thwarted and obstructed" by higher ups at the FBI.33
According to Agent Wright, who seized $1.4 million directly linked to al-Qadi in 1998,34 “FBI intelligence agents lied and hid vital records from criminal agents for the purpose of obstructing his criminal investigation of the terrorists in order to protect their ‘subjects,’ and prolong their intelligence operations,” as reported by the group representing Wright, Judicial Watch.35
"The supervisor who was there from headquarters was right straight across from me and started yelling at me: 'You will not open criminal investigations. I forbid any of you. You will not open criminal investigations against any of these intelligence subjects,'" Agent Wright told ABC News in 2002.36
According to Agent Wright and other members of his former unit, the money trails of the 1998 African embassy bombings led back to al-Qadi, but even after the bombings, FBI headquarters wanted no arrests.37
According to Agent Wright, it is very likely that 9/11 would have been prevented if he had simply been allowed to do his job.38
Yasin al-Qadi, in addition to crossing paths with the CIA in Albania, Kosovo, and the United States, may have also been involved with covert operations in Bosnia during the mid-1990s.39
Al-Qadi’s charity, the Muwafaq Foundation, which was established by former BCCI head Khalid bin Mahfouz,40 provided support to Islamic militants in Bosnia,41 where the CIA conducted operations of mutual interest.42
As London’s The Spectator has noted, “If Western intervention in Afghanistan created the mujahadeen, Western intervention in Bosnia appears to have globalised it.”43
“From 1992 to 1995,” according to The Spectator, “the Pentagon assisted with the movement of thousands of mujahadeen and other Islamic elements from Central Asia into Europe, to fight alongside Bosnian Muslims against the Serbs.”44
During the civil war, Alija Izetbegovic, Bosnia’s then president, invited Mujahideen fighters into the region and incorporated them into the Bosnian army.45
As Adrian Morgan recently reported for Spero News, “Izetbegovic was portrayed by the Clinton administration as a moderate, though it was recently revealed that he was in the pay of a Saudi Al Qaeda operative, Yassin al-Khadi (Yassin al Qadi).”46
1. “Albania seizes assets of alleged bin Laden associate,” The Associated Press, December 22, 2006, <http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/12/22/europe/EU_GEN_Albania_Terror_Financing.php>.
2. Lee S. Wolosky, "An Assessment of Current Efforts to Combat Terrorism Financing,"Statement before Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, June 15, 2004, <http://hsgac.senate.gov/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Testimony&HearingID=181&WitnessID=657>.
3. “Treasury Department releases list of 39 additional Specially Designated Global Terrorists,” United States Treasury Department Office of Public Affairs press release, October 12, 2001, <http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/po689.htm>.
4. Merrie Najimy, “Support Ptech Employees,” The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee- Massachusetts, March 2003, <http://www.adcma.org/campaigns/fleetbank-fax-march-2003.html>.
5. Dan Verton, “Ptech workers tell the story behind the search,” Computer World Magazine, January 17, 2003, quoting Ptech Chairman and CEO Oussama Ziade, <http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/story/0,10801,77682,00.html>; “Treasury action smacks of arrogance, violates human rights, says Al-Qadi,” Arab News, October 14, 2001, <http://www.saudia-online.com/newsoct01/news30.shtml>.
6. Jeff Johnson, “Tearful FBI Agent Apologizes To Sept. 11 Families and Victims,” Cybercast News Service, May 30, 2002, <http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=/Nation/archive/200205/NAT20020530d.html>.
7. "Customs searches software firm near Boston," CNN, December 6, 2002, <http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/Northeast/12/06/ptech.raid/>; Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, "Dollars of Terror," Front Page Magazine, April 18, 2005, <http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=17730>; Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, "The Business of Terror," Front Page Magazine, June 17, 2005, <http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=18450>.
8. Ibid., 4; Lynn Grant, “Hastert’s Turkish Allies Tied to Bin Laden,” International Post, August 15, 2005, quoting The Boston Globe, <http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article9775.htm>.
9. Ibid., 1.
10. Ibid., 1.
11. Erlis Selimaj, “Albania moves against terrorists' assets,” Southeast European Times, October 24, 2005, <http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2005/10/24/feature-02>.
12. Alban Bala, “Albania: Officials Crack Down On Terror Suspects,” Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty,” January 27, 2002, <http://www.balkanpeace.org/index.php?index=article&articleid=9389>.
13. “A Global Overview of Narcotics-Funded Terrorist and Other Extremist Groups,” Library of Congress, Report Prepared by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress under an Interagency Agreement with the Department of Defense, May 2002, page 90, <http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/pdf-files/NarcsFundedTerrs_Extrems.pdf>.
15. Erlis Selimaj, “Alleged terrorist's assets seized in Albania,” Southeast European Times, January 2, 2007, <http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2007/01/02/feature-03>.
16. Ibid., 7.
17. Thanasis Cambanis and Ross Kerber, "Ptech CEO Says Probe Put Firm on Ropes," Boston Globe, September 13, 2002.
18. Joe Bergantino and the I-Team, “The I Team Investigates P-Tech,” CBS4 Boston, December 9, 2002, <http://cbs4boston.com/iteam/local_story_343143121.html>.
19. Jerry Guidera and Glenn R. Simpson, “U.S. probes terror ties to Boston software firm,” The Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2002, <http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/index.jsp?section=static&page=ptech>.
20. Citizens’ Complaint and Petition to Attorney General of the State of New York for an Independent Grand Jury Investigation, Appendix A7, Reference 28, compiled by Indira Singh, November 19, 2004, <http://www.justicefor911.org/iiA7_PtechPress_112204.php>; Matthew Levitt, “Subversion from Within: Saudi Funding of Islamic Extremist Groups Undermining U.S. Interests and the War on Terror from within the United States,” Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security, September 10, 2003, <http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC07.php?CID=13>.
21. Indira Singh, Testimony at the 9/11 Citizens’ Commission Hearing, September 9, 2004, <http://www.911citizenswatch.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=Downloads&file=index&req=getit&lid=15>, <http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-368745798563225089&q=indira+singh>.
23. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism (Olive Branch Press, 2005) pages 39-45.
24. Ibid.; “The Kosovo Liberation Army: Does Clinton Policy Support Group with Terror, Drug Ties?,” United States Senate Republican Policy Committee, March 31, 1999, <http://www.senate.gov/~rpc/releases/1999/fr033199.htm>.
25. Jamie Dettmer, “Al-Qaeda's links in the Balkans; Macedonian officials contend the Bush administration largely is ignoring intelligence information that has connected al-Qaeda elements to Albanian separatists - World: war on terror,” Insight on the News, July 22, 2002, <http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_26_18/ai_90041160/pg_1>.
26. Jonathan M. Winer, Origins, Organization and Prevention of Terrorist Finance, Testimony before U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, July, 31, 2003, <http://www.iwar.org.uk/cyberterror/resources/terror-financing/073103winer.htm>; David Pallister and Jamie Wilson, “Muslim relief groups caught in crossfire,” The Guardian, September 26, 2001, <http://society.guardian.co.uk/disasterresponse/story/0,,558348,00.html>.
27. Rachel Ehrenfeld, “The Saudi Buck Stops Here,” Front Page Magazine, March 3, 2005, quoting New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, <http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=17215>.
29. William Norman Grigg, “Behind the Terror Network,” The New American, Vol. 17, No. 23, November 5, 2001, <http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2001/11-05-2001/vo17no23_network.htm>.
33. Ibid., 6.
35. “FBI AGENT ROBERT WRIGHT SAYS FBI AGENTS ASSIGNED TO INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS CONTINUE TO PROTECT TERRORISTS FROM CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS AND PROSECUTIONS,” Judicial Watch press release, September 11, 2002, <http://www.judicialwatch.org/printer_2469.shtml>.
36. Brian Ross and Vic Walter, “FBI Called off Terror Investigations,” ABC News, December 19, 2002, <http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=131907&page=1>.
40. Ibid., 27.
41. Ibid., 26.
42. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism (Olive Branch Press, 2005) pages 32-34.
43. Brendan O'Neill, “How we trained al-Qa'eda,” The Spectator, September 13, 2003, archived online by Findarticles.com, <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3724/is_200309/ai_n9253533>.
45. Adrian Morgan, “Bosnia: Muslims upset by Wahhabi leaders,” Spero News, November 13, 2006, <http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?id=6540>.
47. “Terrorism: Weekly Claims Wartime Bosnian President Linked to al-Qaeda,” VPR/AKI, September 8, 2006, <http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level_English.php?cat=Terrorism&loid=8.0.338134636&par=>.