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Bandar Bush

some of this page retreived from a cache of a page by John j emerson

which can also be seen on Portland Indymedia

Who is Bandar Bush?

Prince Bandar graduated from the British Royal Air Force College at Cranwell, England, in 1968 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF). He received pilot training in the United Kingdom and the United States, and has flown numerous fighter aircraft including the JP 3-4, T-38, T-33, F-5, F-53/55, F-102, and the F-15. During his seventeen-year military career he attained the rank of lieutenant colonel, commanded fighter squadrons at three RSAF bases, and undertook program management responsibilities in the major RSAF modernization project Peace Hawk. In addition, Prince Bandar carried out special assignments in Washington, DC, during the debates between the U.S. administration and the Congress concerning the sale to Saudi Arabia of F-15s in 1978 and of AWACs in 1981. In 1982 he was assigned to Washington, DC, as the Kingdom's defense attaché.

Prince Bandar completed his post-graduate work in several U.S. military schools including staff courses with the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, and with the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair in Washington, DC. He received his master's degree in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC, in 1980. - saudiembassy.net

A Documented Summary of the Case Against Bush's War on Terror

Bandar Bush Tells Us What We Need to Do In Iraq

Apparently Bandar was unhappy with the outcome of Iraq War I, and we had to promise him to do it right this time and remove Saddam from power. Colin Powell was not told anything until after Bandar had given his approval.

If you're new to this planet, the 9/11 attackers and sponsors were mostly Saudis, and there was quite possibly no Iraqi involvement at all. We've spent several years now scouring the earth for little specks of evidence that Saddam had something to do with 9/11, while ignoring warehouses of evidence that high-level Saudis were implicated.

And so Bandar, who's skeptical because he knows in the first Gulf War we didn't get Saddam out, so he says to Cheney and Rumsfeld, ‘So Saddam this time is gonna be out, period?’ And Cheney - who has said nothing - says the following: ‘Prince Bandar, once we start, Saddam is toast.’"

After Bandar left, according to Woodward, Cheney said, “I wanted him to know that this is for real. We're really doing it."

But this wasn’t enough for Prince Bandar, who Woodward says wanted confirmation from the president. “Then, two days later, Bandar is called to meet with the president and the president says, ‘Their message is my message,’” says Woodward."

Paranoid as I am, I find this almost unbelievable. I also find it unbelievable that there has been so little media outcry, and that

Bush supporters still are able to believe anything that the man says.

this modern world

cbsnews - 60minutes/

Bandar Promises to Keep Oil Prices Down

If you read this story carefully, you can see that Bandar has been keeping Bush on a string. He did not come to the rescue immediately when OPEC decided to cut production, but waited a bit. Presumably he got his quid pro quo in the meantime, and we can expect that oil prices will go down in time for the election. No problem here -- move along, folks.

"Woodward, discussing his new book, Plan of Attack, on the Bush Administration's preparations for the Iraq war, told CBS television that Prince Bandar pledged the Saudis would try to fine-tune oil prices to prime the US economy for the election - a move they understood would favour Mr Bush's re-election.

Questioned about his claim at a time when oil prices are nearing a 13-year high, Woodward, a senior editor at The Washington Post, said: 'They're high. And they could go down very quickly. That's the Saudi pledge. Certainly over the summer or as we get closer to the election they could increase production several million barrels a day and the price would drop significantly.'"



The Guardian

I. The Bushes and the Saudis


The Bush-Saudi links are many, and include direct links between members of the Bush family and members of the Bin Laden and Mahfouz families -- two billionaire clans whose power in Saudi Arabia approaches that of the ruling Saud clan.

James Bath was in the National Guard with George W. Bush and left at about the same time under suspicious circumstances. He made a career investing large amounts of money for the Mahfouz clan. (Mahfouz money played a big role in the BCCI financial crimes, which along with the U.S. Savings and Loan frauds pioneered the kinds of management looting which we have been forced to accept as normal.) It seems likely that Bath funneled Mahfouz money into George W. Bush's early business ventures, though (as often) the investigation was squelched and no smoking gun has been found.

Up until shortly after 9/11 Bin Ladens were part owners of the Carlyle Corporation, for which George H. W. Bush (the father) did some very lucrative consulting which was presumably mostly "access capitalism" or influence peddling. As it happened, at the moment of the 9/11 attacks, the elder Bush was at a Carlyle meeting with Bin Laden's brother Shafig. Shortly after this, the Bin Ladens were asked to leave the group.

Neil Bush, as usual, was the one who brought the bad publicity. Not long after the 9/11 attack he made a speech in Jeddah explaining that the Saudis had a P.R. problem and needed to do something (presumably involving a job for Neil) to get their point of view out.

The Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar, is so close to the Bush family that he is sometimes called "Bandar Bush", and in August of 2002 he was invited to visit the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas. Bandar was probably responsible for the high-level arrangements for the evacuation of all Bin Ladens from the U.S. on 9/13 -- a complex task, since the Bin Ladens were scattered all over the country. Bandar and his wife were also responsible for distributing millions of dollars of aid to Saudis resident in the U.S., some of which ended up in the hands of two of the hijackers.

Oil lobbyist is US ambassador to Saudi Arabia


Matt Welch: Bandar Bush Summary

During the first weeks of the second Bush Administration, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, met with the new President. Bandar.....was so close to the President's father, George H. W. Bush, that he was considered almost a member of the family. source

Time Magazine Bush-Saudi Timeline:

At a desert resort outside Riyadh, Bush meets with Crown Prince Abdullah on behalf of Carlyle, which is pursuing a partnership with SBC Communications, a Texas-based Baby Bell, to buy a 25% stake in the Saudi national phone system. After the January meeting, Bush spends several hours on a yacht in the Red Sea with Saudi business officials and attends a party at a private Saudi residence. The Carlyle Group denies that Bush discussed Carlyle business. The proposed telecommunications deal with the Saudis later falls through.

Shortly after his son's election day, the former President flies to Spain with Prince Bandar for a hunting trip.

Bush-Bin Laden: Sept. 11, 2001

The morning of the attack George Bush Sr. is meets with members of the Carlyle Group in Washington. Bin Laden's own brother [Shafig] is at the meeting. Members of the Bin Laden family are allowed to leave the U.S. without questioning two days later." source

Neil Bush Advises the Saudis on Public Relations
Jan. 24, 2002 | Presidential brother Neil Bush, while giving a speech Monday in Saudi Arabia, condemned the American media for stereotyping the Arab world and urged Arab leaders to hire lobbyists and public relations representatives to combat these negative images as well as to sway public opinion to a more sympathetic view of Arabs in the Arab-Israeli conflict, according to reports in foreign media outlets. Bush implied that Israel has done a better job of getting its message across in the American media.

"The U.S. media campaign against the interests of Arabs and Muslims, and the American public opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, could be influenced through a sustained lobbying and P.R. effort," said the younger Bush, according to the Arab News, Saudi Arabia's first English-language daily.

"Public opinion shapes public policy dramatically. It's true in the U.S., in this part of the world and elsewhere."


The Bush-bin Laden Connection
Andrew Wheat, Texas Observer, 9 November 2001

After the death of Mohammed bin Laden, control of the company passed to Salem bin Laden, Osama’s half brother. The roots of the first known Bush-bin Laden convergence date back to the mid-1970s, when the two clans were linked by a Houston businessman named James R. Bath. Bath had befriended George W. Bush in the late 1960s, when they both served in the Texas Air National Guard. By 1976, when Gerald Ford appointed the elder George Bush as CIA director, Bath was acting as a business agent for Salem bin Laden’s interests in Texas. (Texas and Saudi Arabia were well-connected by this point through U.S. oil companies and related industries with operations in both locations.) In 1991 Time magazine and later other publications reported on allegations by Bath’s former business partner that the Bush CIA hired Bath in 1976 to create offshore companies to move CIA funds and aircraft between Texas and Saudi Arabia.

After W. lost a bid for Congress, he decided to launch an oil company in Midland in 1979. For $50,000, Bath bought a 5 percent stake in W.’s Arbusto (Spanish for "Bush") partnerships. At the time, Bath also served as business agent for several prominent Saudis, including Salem bin Laden. In exchange for a percentage of the deals, Bath made U.S. investments for these clients in his own name, according to Time. Although Bath has said that he invested his own money in Arbusto, not Saudi money, the fact that he was Salem’s agent at the time has fueled speculation that Osama bin Laden’s eldest brother was an early investor in W.’s first oil venture. It was around the time of this investment, incidentally, that Osama bin Laden made his first trip to the Khyber Pass, where he would soon join the Mujaheddin and the CIA in the holy war that expelled the Soviets from Afghanistan. (Salem, for his part, owned a house in Marble Falls, and died in a 1988 plane crash near San Antonio.)

The bin Ladens cemented clearer-cut financial ties with the Bush clan in 1995, when they invested $2 million in the Carlyle Group. Carlyle specializes in the buyout of government defense contractors, and many of its principals were heavyweights in the Reagan and Bush administrations. Carlyle’s chair is former Reagan Administration Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci. Former Bush Secretary of State James A. Baker III is a Carlyle partner and the firm’s senior counsel. Ex-President Bush himself is a Carlyle board member and its senior Asian advisor. In recent years, Carlyle has dispatched Carlucci, Baker and Bush to Saudi Arabia to butter up the bin Ladens.

Bush-Bath-Bin Laden

Houston Chronicle, June 4, 1992:

George W. Bush's company, Bush Exploration Co., general partner in the limited partnerships, went through several mergers, eventually evolving into Harken Energy Corp., a suburban Dallas-based company. Bush, known informally as George Jr., is a shareholder and director of Harken, which has been granted lucrative offshore drilling rights off the coast of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. One of the top shareholders of Harken, a public company, is Saudi businessman Abdullah Taha Bakhsh. Bush said that to his knowledge, Bath 's investment was from personal funds, and no Saudi money was investedin Arbusto .

Bath, 55, a former U.S. Air Force pilot, declined to comment for the record. Spokesmen for FinCEN and the FBI also declined to comment." According to a 1976 trust agreement, drawn shortly after Bush was appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi Sheik Salem M. Binladen appointed Bath as his business representative in Houston.


Newsnight has uncovered a long history of shadowy connections between the State Department, the CIA and the Saudis. The former head of the American visa bureau in Jeddah is Michael Springman.

In Saudi Arabia I was repeatedly ordered by high level State Dept officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants. These were, essentially, people who had no ties either to Saudi Arabia or to their own country. I complained bitterly at the time there. I returned to the US, I complained to the State Dept here, to the General Accounting Office, to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and to the Inspector General's office. I was met with silence.

By now, Bush Sr, once CIA director, was in the White House. Springman was shocked to find this wasn't visa fraud. Rather, State and CIA were playing "the Great Game".

What I was protesting was, in reality, an effort to bring recruits, rounded up by Osama Bin Laden, to the US for terrorist training by the CIA. They would then be returned to Afghanistan to fight against the then-Soviets.

The attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 did not shake the State Department's faith in the Saudis, nor did the attack on American barracks at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia three years later, in which 19 Americans died. FBI agents began to feel their investigation was being obstructed. Would you be surprised to find out that FBI agents are a bit frustrated that they can't be looking into some Saudi connections?

Greg Palast, BBC:

Bush - Cheney - Neocon - Saudi - oil


According to an April 29, 2002 report in Britain's Guardian, ARAMCO constitutes 12% of the world's total oil production; a figure which has certainly increased as other countries have progressed deeper into irreversible decline.

ARAMCO is the largest oil group in the world, a state-owned Saudi company in partnership with four major US oil companies. One of them is ExxonMobil which gave up one of its board members, Condoleezza Rice, when she became the National Security Advisor to George Bush. All of ARAMCO's key decisions are made by the Saudi royal family while US oil expertise, personnel and technology keeps the cash coming in and the oil going out. ARAMCO operates, manages, and maintains virtually all Saudi oil fields - 25% of all the oil on the planet.

It gets better.

According to a New York Times report on March 8th of this year, ARAMCO is planning to make a 25% investment in a new and badly needed refinery to produce gasoline. The remaining 75% ownership of the refinery will go to the only nation that is quickly becoming America's major world competitor for ever-diminishing supplies of oil: China.

Almost the entire Bush administration has an interest in ARAMCO.

The Boston Globe reported that in 2001 ARAMCO had signed a $140 million multi-year contract with Halliburton, then chaired by Dick Cheney, to develop a new oil field. Halliburton does a lot of business in Saudi Arabia. Current estimates of Halliburton contracts or joint ventures in the country run into the tens of billions of dollars. So do the fortunes of some shady figures from the Bush family's past.

As recently as 1991 ARAMCO had Khalid bin Mahfouz sitting on its Supreme Council or board of directors. Mahfouz, Saudi Arabia's former treasurer and the nation's largest banker, has been reported in several places to be Osama bin Laden's brother in law. However, he has denied this and brought intense legal pressure to bear demanding retractions of these allegations. He has major partnership investments with the multi-billion dollar Binladin Group of companies and he is a former director of BCCI, the infamous criminal drug-money laundering bank which performed a number of very useful services for the CIA before its 1991 collapse under criminal investigation by a whole lot of countries.

As Saudi Arabia's largest banker he handles the accounts of the royal family and - no doubt - ARAMCO, while at the same time he is a named defendant in a $1 trillion lawsuit filed by 9/11 victim families against the Saudi government and prominent Saudi officials who, the suit alleges, were complicit in the 9/11 attacks. Both BCCI and Mahfouz have historical connections to the Bush family dating back to the 1980s. Another bank (one of many) connected to Mahfouz - the InterMaritime Bank - bailed out a cash-starved Harken Energy in 1987 with $25 million. After the rejuvenated Harken got a no-bid oil lease in 1991, CEO George W. Bush promptly sold his shares in a pump-and-dump scheme and made a whole lot of money.

- COUP D'ETAT: The Real Reason Tenet and Pavitt Resigned from the CIA on June 3rd and 4th

see also Osama is a Bush

March 24, 2003 New Yorker on "Bandar Bush"

In the early eighties, Bandar began having regular lunches with Vice-President George Bush, in his office at the Old Executive Office Building. Although Bush was widely considered a weak Vice-President, Bandar believed that he was the first important American politician he'd known who did not automatically favor Israel; from the start, Bandar had found Bush helpful in advancing the Saudi cause, and supportive of Saudi efforts to buy weapons from the United States. Bandar also liked him personally.

In 1985, Bandar threw a lavish party for Bush, who never forgot the courtesy, and always had time for the Saudi Ambassador. "Most important, he was a troubleshooter for King Fahd," Brent Scowcroft, Bush's national-security adviser, wrote of Bandar in a joint memoir with Bush. "The King frequently turned to him for advice. For these reasons, we knew he was a special conduit from us to Fahd."


Tracking bin Laden's money flow leads back to Midland, Texas: Bush, Bath, Mahfouz, Bin Laden BCCI

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 their investigation of the matter in 1991 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.” Or even the president: Bath finally came under investigation by the FBI in 1992 for his Saudi business relationships, accused of funneling Saudi money through Houston in order to influence the foreign policies of the Reagan and first Bush administrations.
Worst of all, bin Mahfouz allegedly has been financing the bin Laden terrorist network—making Bush a U.S. citizen who has done business with those who finance and support terrorists.

Wayne Madsen, In These Times, 12 November 2001

George H. W. Bush, Carlyle, and the Saudis

(March, 2001 - pre- 9/11)
The NYT ran a front-page photo of former President Bush with Saudi King Fahd on a trip to Saudi Arabia as part of his work for the Carlyle Group. The ice-breaking story by Leslie Wayne quoted Charles Lewis: "In a really peculiar way, George W. Bush could, some day, benefit financially from his own administration's decisions, through his father's investments. The average American doesn't know that and, to me, that's a jaw-dropper."


: James Bath and the Saudis pdf


Bush Family Values

II. Favoritism to the Saudis

The Bin Ladens Leave the Country Without Being Questioned

The manifest was submitted the day before. It was obvious that someone in Washington had said OK, but the FBI didn't want to say they could go, so it was really tense. In the end, nobody was interrogated." According to the passenger list, among the 46 passengers were several high-level Saudi royals with diplomatic passports. On Sunday, Sept. 16, the flight finally left for Geneva, Switzerland. The FBI did not even get the manifest until about two hours before departure. Even if it had wanted to interview the passengers -- and the Bureau had shown little inclination to do so -- there would not have been enough time".

Saving the Saudis after 9/11

Did the Saudis buy a President?

"This is especially disturbing since it is now known that the Saudi intelligence service and the Pakistani service kept up communications with top bin Laden aides until the spring prior to the 9-11 attacks. That information was withheld from the congressional joint inquiry even though both the Bush White House and CIA were aware of it. Prince Turki resigned as head of the Saudi intelligence service and became the Saudi ambassador to the Court of St. James in the aftermath of 9-11."

The CIA and the Saudis

The FBI file, marked Secret and coded 199, which means a case involving national security, records that Abdullah bin Laden, who lived in Washington, had originally had a file opened on him "because of his relationship with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth - a suspected terrorist organisation".....

But the FBI files were closed in 1996 apparently before any conclusions could be reached on either the Bin Laden brothers or the organisation itself. High-placed intelligence sources in Washington told the Guardian this week: "There were always constraints on investigating the Saudis".....

They said the restrictions became worse after the Bush administration took over this year. The intelligence agencies had been told to "back off" from investigations involving other members of the Bin Laden family, the Saudi royals, and possible Saudi links to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Pakistan.

"There were particular investigations that were effectively killed." Palast in The Guardian

Crawford visit by Bandar, August, 2002.

The two leaders, Fleischer said, discussed the recent Rand Corporation presentation to the U.S. Defense Policy Board that portrayed Saudi Arabia as supporting the enemies of the United States. Fleischer said the President conveyed to the Crown Prince that the Rand analyst's views "had nothing to do with the views of any senior-level government administration officials, including himself, including the Secretary of Defense or the Vice President. And they also talked about the path to peace in the Middle East," Fleischer said.


Bush Censors Congressional report to Protect Saudis.
At Bush administration's request, 28 pages on Saudi involvement in 9/11 are blacked out of congressional 9/11 report "for reasons of national security". nydailynews.com

Most of bin Laden's relatives were attending high school and college. The young members of the bin Laden family were driven or flown under FBI supervision to< size="4" face="Arial"> a secret place in Texas and then to Washington, The Times reported Sunday.....They left the country on a private charter plane when airports reopened three days after the attacks. - cbsnews.com

NY Times (Sept 2003) White House Approved Secret Evacuation of Bin Ladens After 9-11

"Richard Clarke, who ran White House crisis team after Sept 11 terror attacks, says top White House officials personally approved evacuation of dozens of influential Saudis, including relatives of Osama bin Laden, from United States in days after Sept 11, when most flights were grounded."

via truthout.org

Tampa Tribune: Bodyguards tell of Secret Bin Laden Flight "The hastily arranged flight out of Raytheon Airport Services, a private hangar on the outskirts of Tampa International Airport, was anything but ordinary. It lifted off the tarmac at a time when every private plane in the nation was grounded due to safety concerns after the Sept. 11 attacks.


Immigration missed many clues missed on 9/11 plotters (LA Times, January 27, 2004)

WASHINGTON — Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, plot, obtained a visa to come to the United States just weeks before the attacks despite being under a federal terrorism indictment, a report by the federal commission investigating the attacks revealed Monday.

And as many as eight of the hijackers entered the country with doctored passports that contained "clues to their association with Al Qaeda" that should have been caught by immigration authorities, commission investigators said.....

Ginsburg cited a series of other security breakdowns that had not been previously disclosed. She said investigators now believe eight hijackers entered the country on passports that had been doctored "in ways that have been associated with Al Qaeda." ......

Melendez-Perez said that leading up to Sept. 11, customs officials were discouraged by their superiors from hassling Saudi travelers, seen as big spenders who made frequent visits to theme parks in the Orlando area. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.

indianexpress.com - Greg Miller and Josh Meyer Times Staff Writers

[Note; In December, 2002 -- after 19 other countries had already been put on the visa special registration list -- Saudi Arabia was finally added]

Saudi Royalty Above the Law in the US
Orlando Sentinel, July 2, 2003
No link, but a "Buniah + Soryono" google gets 31 stories

Princess Buniah al-Saud was at home in the desert kingdom when her plea of no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge was entered, seven months after she was accused of pushing her maid down a flight of stairs. An Orlando judge ordered the princess to pay a $1,000 fine and $133 in court costs and write the court a letter of regret....

Troutman said he was outraged that the U.S. government did not allow Suryono, 36, to return for trial. Paperwork shows that her visa was denied on the grounds that she might remain in the United States indefinitely. Troutman said the denial of her visa was tantamount to a conspiracy by the governments of both countries to keep the maid from returning to testify.

"When the king's niece has been charged with a felony in this country, then it's strictly a little favor, even though it's minuscule compared to the issues facing the world today," he said.

U.S. ties to Saudi elite may be hurting war on terrorism

A steady stream of billion-dollar oil and arms deals between American corporate leaders and the elite of Saudi Arabia may be hindering efforts by the West to defeat international Islamic terrorism.

U.S. business and political leaders are so wedded to preserving the gilded American-Saudi marriage that officials in Washington D.C. continue to give the oil-rich Gulf monarchy a wide berth, despite mounting evidence of support in Saudi Arabia for Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, some experts say.


by Jonathan Wells, Jack Meyers and Maggie Mulvihill (Boston Herald) Monday, December 10, 2001

The White House connection: Saudi agents' close Bush friends

by Maggie Mulvihill, Jonathan Wells and Jack Meyers (Boston Herald) Tuesday, December 11, 2001

A powerful Washington, D.C., law firm with unusually close ties to the White House has earned hefty fees representing controversial Saudi billionaires as well as a Texas-based Islamic charity fingered last week as a terrorist front.

The influential law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld has represented three wealthy Saudi businessmen - Khalid bin Mahfouz, Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi and Salah Idris - who have been scrutinized by U.S. authorities for possible involvement in financing Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network.

In addition, Akin, Gump currently represents the largest Islamic charity in the United States, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development in Richmond, Texas.

Holy Land's assets were frozen by the Treasury Department last week as government investigators probe its ties to Hamas, the militant Palestinian group blamed for suicide attacks against Israelis.

Partners at Akin, Gump include one of President Bush's closest Texas friends, James C. Langdon, and George R. Salem, a Bush fund-raiser who chaired his 2000 campaign's outreach to Arab-Americans.

this link is now gone(Seems to be the following story, wrongly attributed to Molly Ivins: Google cache.)

Bush advisers cashed in on Saudi gravy train

Many of the same American corporate executives who have reaped millions of dollars from arms and oil deals with the Saudi monarchy have served or currently serve at the highest levels of U.S. government, public records show.

Those lucrative financial relationships call into question the ability of America's political elite to make tough foreign policy decisions about the kingdom that produced Osama bin Laden and is perhaps the biggest incubator for anti-Western Islamic terrorists.


by Maggie Mulvihill, Jack Meyers and Jonathan Wells (Boston Herald)
Tuesday, December 11, 2001

Saudi clans working with U.S. oil firms may be tied to bin Laden:

Two billionaire Saudi families scrutinized by authorities for possible financial ties to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network continue to engage in major oil deals with leading U.S. corporations.

The bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi clans, who control three private Saudi Arabian oil companies, are partners with U. S. firms in a series of ambitious oil development and pipeline projects in central and south Asia, records show.


by Jack Meyers, Jonathan Wells and Maggie Mulvihill (Boston Herald)
Monday, December 10, 2001

III. Saudi support for terrorism


The official story is that Osama Bin Laden has been rejected both by his family and by the Saudis as a whole, but this is not true. He is not the only terrorist among the Bin Ladens, and several family members maintain contact with him. He has received a great deal of support from his fellow millionaires in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, and while he leads an insurgent faction opposed to the ruling group, he still maintains significant support within Saudi Arabia, some of it at high governmental levels. Through a network of semi-governmental Islamic charities, Saudi Arabia has been sponsoring Muslim fundamentalists and terrorists in many parts of the world for decades.

Osama is an enemy of the ruling faction in Saudi Arabia, but he is the leader of the insurgent faction and has a great deal of support in high places in Saudi society. Saudi Arabia is an archaic, bizarre clan society whose ruling Saud, Mahfouz, and Bin Laden clans (together with the Muslim clergy) dominate the commoners, but are unable to control their own members. (For example, Mahrous Bin Laden, who was involved in an attempted insurrection over a decade ago, remains free; everyone else involved was beheaded.) For a decade or more the Saudi leaders have tried to buy off their own domestic opposition by giving them control of the educational system and by giving them money to wreak havoc, in the name of Islam, elsewhere in the world. 9/11 was the ultimate fruit of that policy.

[cws note: ]

Is Bush is oblivious to what's going on?

Or is the Saudi monarchy a cultic front helping to steer terror?

Explaining gift, Saudi envoy expresses dismay over strains (NYT, Nov 27, 2002)

Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan and wife Princess Haifa al-Faisal say they are loyal partners in Bush administration's fight against terrorism and are pained that her gifts to ailing Jordanian wife of Saudi man have strained United States-Saudi ties by ending up in hands of two of Sept 11 hijackers.


Bandar's money and the terrorists

FBI officials are seeking to question, anew, Saudi businessman Omar al-Bayoumi. During his time in San Diego, he threw a welcoming party for eventual hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi and put down money for their deposit and first month's rent.....

For instance, Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, and his wife, Princess Haifa al-Faisal, wrote tens of thousands of dollars of checks to a Saudi named Usama Basnan and his wife, Magda Ibrahim Dweikat, who were in San Diego around the time of the hijackers stay.

Al-Jubeir said Bandar gave charitable donations to Basnan to help cover his wife's medical bills starting in 1998 and that al-Faisal separately gave regular monthly payments to Dweikat, who used her maiden name that did not call attention to her marriage to Basnan.

Al-Jubeir said Saudi investigators traced every payment — which totaled more than $100,000 — and found evidence two or three of the princess' checks to Dweikat were signed over to al-Bayoumi's wife.


Charity Cases, David Armstrong
Harper's Magazine, 3/2004 (no link)

"Since September 2001, the administration has designated hundreds of individuals and organizations, including several Islamic charities, as terrorists or sponsors of terrorism and frozen their assets. Yet Saudi organizations and individuals have emerged relatively unscathed.... And although in January the Treasury Department designated several branches of the Saudi charity al-Haramain, U.S. officials declined to freeze the assets of the group's dozens of other offices worldwide, including its headquarters in Riyadh.....

Although both I.I.R.O. [The International Islamic Relief Organization] and M.W.L. [Muslim World League] were known to have funded al Qaeda, U.S. government sources indicated to Newsweek in October 2001 that the Bush Administration left the two organizations off a list of designated terrorist groups in order to spare the Saudi government from embarassment. On top of this, the most promising domestic inquiry into these Saudi groups has been dismantled.....

One of the Muslim activists who met with [Secretary of the Treasury] O'Neill was Talat Othman, a longtime friend and former business partner of President Bush. [The purpose of the meeting was to call Customs agents off Saudi Islamic charities]. The two served together on the board of the Texas-based oil company Harken Energy starting in the late 1980's and have remained close ever since. Othman sat on Harken's board as a representative of Abdullah Taha Bakhsh. a Saudi business magnate and close associate of suspected terrorist financier Khalid bin Mahfouuz. Bakhsh now heads an oil company that is a subsidiary of Halliburton, the energy giant formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney. In addition to his work with the Islamic Institute, Othman served on the board of Amana Mutual funds, an Islamic investment group that had close ties to raided entities and yet was not itself targeted. At the time of the Green Quest raids in March 2002, at least four figures in the targeted groups were affiliated with Amana, including M. Yaqub Mirza, the individual who set up the U.S. branch of M.W.L., the fund-raising branch of the U.S. branch of M.W.L., the fund-raising arm of the U.S. branch of I.I.R.O., and many of the other raided organizations. Despite Mirza's presence on the board, and despite the fact that large sums of money from the suspect groups have moved through Amana, Green Quest agents chose not to raid the firm.

More on Talat Othman

Othman was important in recruiting Muslim-American voters to the Bush cause for the 2000 election.

Saudis and terror: Time magazine, Sept. 15, 2003

Saudi non-cooperation in terror investigations; Saudi sponsorship of hard-core fundamentalism (and terrorism) worldwide; Saudi schools teach hatred of infidels:

"U.S. investigators, he says, sometimes suspect that the Saudis are fishing, trying to ferret out details of U.S. intelligence, or stalling, to protect Saudi individuals from embarrassment. One of the Administration's top counterterrorism officials says the Saudis still appear to be protecting charities associated with the royal family and its friends.....

Indeed, when President Bush spoke to Abdullah for 20 minutes by phone last week [fall 2003], say U.S. and Saudi sources, he went out of his way to compliment the Prince on Saudi Arabia's efforts to combat terrorism."


Elizabeth Rubin, New York Times Magazine, March 7, 2004
This story of three extremely isolated Saudi liberals makes Saudi Arabia seem virtually hopeless. During the Soviet-Afghan war (and after the 1979 occupation of the Grand Mosque), the most extreme fundamentalists had a free hand there for well over a decade. After 1995 when they attacked again within Saudi Arabia, the regime cracked down a little, and even more so after 9/11. Yet there is almost no evidence in this piece that things will improve much. The liberals are pariahs, small suggestions for reform are angrily rejected, no challenge to the royal power is even imaginable, and at the same time that some government officials are rather brutally attacking the fundamentalists and terrorists, others are quietly supporting them. It seems entirely out of the question that the few real liberals will accomplish anything, and quite possible that the fundamentalists will untimately defeat the (relative) moderates.

Based on this article, Saudi Arabia seems far more oppressive than the Soviet Union and its satellites during its last years, where there always was an educated resistance which barely seems to exist in Saudi Arabia.

And what are the chances that George W. Bush will bring up this article next time he has Bandar over?

Don't make me laugh. It's not George's way to spoil a good time by going to the defense of a liberal. He's barely willing to timidly mention the Saudi-American children abducted to Saudi Arabia in violation of American law.


Judicial Crucifixion and Torture in Saudi Arabia

And this was Westerners. You don't even want to ask what happens to Saudi Arabia's guest workers from impoverished Asian nations.


KING'S RANSOM: How vulnerable are the Saudi royals?

The intercepts have demonstrated to analysts that by 1996 Saudi money was supporting Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda and other extremist groups in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen, and Central Asia, and throughout the Persian Gulf region. "Ninety-six is the key year," one American intelligence official told me. "Bin Laden hooked up to all the bad guys—it's like the Grand Alliance— and had a capability for conducting large-scale operations." The Saudi regime, he said, had "gone to the dark side."....

The American intelligence officials have been particularly angered by the refusal of the Saudis to help the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. run "traces"—that is, name checks and other background information—on the nineteen men, more than half of them believed to be from Saudi Arabia, who took part in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. "They knew that once we started asking for a few traces the list would grow," one former official said. "It's better to shut it down right away." He pointed out that thousands of disaffected Saudis have joined fundamentalist groups throughout the Middle East. Other officials said that there is a growing worry inside the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. that the actual identities of many of those involved in the attacks may not be known definitively for months, if ever. Last week, a senior intelligence official confirmed the lack of Saudi co�eration and told me, angrily, that the Saudis "have only one constant—and it's keeping themselves in power."....

In 1994, Mohammed al-Khilewi, the first secretary at the Saudi Mission to the United Nations, defected and sought political asylum in the United States. He brought with him, according to his New York lawyer, Michael J. Wildes, some fourteen thousand internal government documents depicting the Saudi royal family's corruption, human-rights abuses, and financial support for terrorists. He claimed to have evidence that the Saudis had given financial and technical support to Hamas, the extremist Islamic group whose target is Israel. There was a meeting at the lawyer's office with two F.B.I. agents and an Assistant United States Attorney. "We gave them a sampling of the documents and put them on the table," Wildes told me last week. "But the agents refused to accept them." He and his client heard nothing further from federal authorities. Al-Khilewi, who was granted asylum, is now living under cover.

The Saudis were also shielded from Washington's foreign-policy bureaucracy. A government expert on Saudi affairs told me that Prince Bandar dealt exclusively with the men at the top, and never met with desk officers and the like. "Only a tiny handful of people inside the government are familiar with U.S.-Saudi relations," he explained. "And that is purposeful."

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the royal family has repeatedly insisted that Saudi Arabia has made no contributions to radical Islamic groups. When the Saudis were confronted by press reports that some of the substantial funds that the monarchy routinely gives to Islamic charities may actually have gone to Al Qaeda and other terrorist networks, they denied any knowledge of such transfers. The intercepts, however, have led many in the intelligence community to conclude otherwise.....

by SEYMOUR M. HERSH, New Yorker, 2001-10-22

U.S. diplomats return to troubled Saudi kingdom

The United States has authorised the return of non-essential diplomats and their families to Saudi Arabia, two months after they were told to leave the kingdom for security reasons.

Earlier unrest in Saudi Arabia

Al Qaeda and the Saudi Establishment

The joint congressional report on the intelligence community and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon released last month covers the question of official Saudi Arabian support for the attackers, drawing attention once again to troubled Saudi-U.S. relations. Despite the highly controversial White House decision to keep details about the possible Saudi connection classified, the report highlights the need to resolve longstanding contradictions in the relationship.

Saudi Arabia has been a close ally, friend, and business partner of the United States for more than 60 years. Saudi Arabia was also a breeding ground for the Sept. 11 attacks. Fifteen of the 19 Arabs involved in the attacks were Saudi nationals. Bin Laden, whose organization Al Qaeda has taken credit for the attacks and promised more, is from Saudi Arabia. The intelligence community is strongly convinced that much of Al Qaeda's finances come from private Saudi sources. The question that remains unresolved is whether Al Qaeda has managed to penetrate the Saudi ruling elite to the extent that it has received intelligence, logistical, or financial support from official Saudi sources.


Osama and the Bin Ladens

The vast majority of the bin Ladens have truly disowned Osama, as the family have continually told the world since 1994. But there is proof that a few rogue members are still in contact with Osama and may hold dangerously similar political beliefs. The lingering fear is whether or not this means Osama still has some sort of financial link to the family or even, through them, access to the corridors of power in Saudi Arabia and beyond.

This isn't a family with just one aberrant son. If you look below the surface, Osama is not the only member of the family with links to terrorism. One of Osama's brothers was involved in an attack in Saudi Arabia, another helped Osama flee the country when he was under effective house arrest, and a brother-in-law has been linked by the CIA to the attack last year on the USS Cole in Yemen by Osama's terror group, al-Qaeda ('the base').

While the family say publicly that they have no contact with Osama, that is not quite the case. Certainly, the world's most wanted man is still close to some of his relatives. He phoned his stepmother, Al-Khalifa bin Laden, two days before the terrorist attacks on America to tell her 'something big' was about to happen. Osama and his stepmother, who raised him after the death of his natural mother, had been planning a meeting in the Middle East somewhere, say wire-tappers with the US National Security Agency, who listened in on the call. Bin Laden told her they would be unable to meet and she wouldn't hear from him for a while.....

There are also reports that Osama's step-mother and other family members attended the marriage of his son in Kandahar in Afghanistan earlier this year......

United States officials believe that at least two of the more junior members of the family have maintained contact with Osama. Two brothers-in-law -- Mohammed Jamal Khalifa and Saad al-Sharif -- are alleged to have financial connections to al-Qaeda. Khalifa, who is based in Saudi Arabia, is suspected by US intelligence of using a charity called the International Islamic Relief Organisation to finance Islamic terrorists in the Philippines. These terror groups are also connected to al-Qaeda. Vincent Cannistraro, the former CIA chief of counter-terrorism, said Khalifa may also have funded the Islamic Army of Aden, which claimed responsibility for the bombing of the USS Cole. Khalifa was detained briefly in the US in 1994 after immigration officials discovered that he had been sentenced to death in Jordan in absentia for 'conspiracy to carry out terrorist acts'......

One of bin Laden's brothers, Mahrous -- who was once arrested over his connections to armed Islamists in Saudi Arabia -- is currently manager of the Saudi Binladin Group, the family's multibillion-dollar business, at its branch in Medina.

After studying in England in the 1970s, Mahrous struck up a friendship with members of the Muslim Brothers, a Syrian Islamic fundamentalist organisation then in exile in Saudi Arabia. Members of this organisation used bin Laden company trucks to get weapons into the city of Mecca in 1979 when at least 500 dissidents invaded and seized the Grand Mosque.....


Possible Direct Financial Support for Terrorism & Direct Contact with Osama

"Western intelligence services are now examining the financial ties that may exist between the affairs of the United States' public enemy number one and those of his family. The SBG group encompasses some 100 offshore subsidiaries in tax havens, most of which are managed, under very obscure conditions, by Yeslam Bin Ladin's Saudi Investment Group." ("Bin Ladin Family Businesses Scrutinized for Ties to Terrorism", Le Monde, September 23, 2001)

"[Yeslam] also discussed the intense pressure he is getting from U.S. intelligence agencies who suspect him and other family members of funneling money to Al Qaeda." (Peg Tyre, Periscope section, Newsweek, November 19, 2001)

"Relatives" are among Osama Bin Laden’s important financial "backers." (David E. Kaplan; Joshua Kurlantzick, "How a terror network funds attacks--and hides its tracks", U.S. News & World Report, October 1, 2001)

"There are appearances of impropriety. No question about it." says Vince Cannistraro, former counterterrorism chief at the CIA (Interview with JohnDoe, September 2001)

"While Osama, one of the more than 50 children of Mohammed bin Laden, is shut out of the closely held family business, his own children are not. According to Jamal Khashoggi, deputy editor in chief of the Arab News, based in Jidda, who has known the family -- including Osama -- for years, the militant's oldest son Abdullah, in his early 20s, lives in Jidda and participates in running the family's company." (Yaroslav Trofimov, "Attack on America: Saudi Arabia's bin Laden Clan Loses Support of Royal Family --- Riyadh Shows Shift in Attitude Following Sept. 11 Attacks Against U.S. --- Plenty of Hometown Defenders Remain", The Wall Street Journal Europe, October 2, 2001)

bin laden family.com

Saudi non-cooperation: Wright on O'Neill (2002).

Freeh was initially optimistic that the Saudis would co-operate, but O'Neill became increasingly frustrated, and eventually a rift seems to have developed between the two men. "John started telling Louis things Louis didn't want to hear," Clarke said. "John told me that, after one of the many trips he and Freeh took to the Mideast to get better co�eration from the Saudis, they boarded the Gulfstream to come home and Freeh says, 'Wasn't that a great trip? I think they're really going to help us.' And John says, 'You've got to be kidding. They didn't give us anything. They were just shining sunshine up your ass.' For the next twelve hours, Freeh didn't say another word to him."


Saudi non-Cooperation

Complaints against the Saudi government for a lack of cooperation in the U.S. war against terrorism is no new development. The U.S. government has for years sought Imad Fayez Mugniyah -- one of the top 22 "most wanted terrorists" who in 1983 led the bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, which killed 16, and the U.S. Marine barracks, which killed 241. In 1995, the FBI learned that Mugniyah was on a commercial airliner scheduled for a layover in Saudi Arabia. But at the last minute, the Saudi government -- against U.S. wishes -- denied the plane permission to land, and Mugniyah thus avoided capture. A couple years later, before U.S. officials could interrogate four individuals responsible for the 1997 truck-bombing of the Khobar Towers housing complex in Dhahran -- in which 19 American soldiers were killed -- the Saudi authorities had the four men beheaded. Eleven others are wanted for extradition, but the Saudi government has refused those requests.


IV. Bush's Indifference to Counterterrorism

When Bush took office, he and his appointees ignored and rejected all attempts by departing Clinton officials to inform them of the importance of the terrorism threat. The man specifically in charge, Atty. General Ashcroft, was uninterested in counter-terrorism before 9/11, preferring to devote the Justice Department's resources to victimless sex-and-drug-related crimes (e.g., as Tommy Chong's bongs.)

Wesley Clark on Wolf Blitzers show

But I would say this, Wolf, that if this does become the issue in the campaign, there will be many of us who will point out that this administration did not do everything it could have done prior to 9/11.

We still don't have the results of the 9/11 commission. The White House is still quarreling and quibbling with providing a full disclosure of everything they knew and what they did before 9/11.

And, you know, one of the things I always saw in any large organization is it's not just the people in the middle, it's the people at the top that have to participate in getting a grip on what went wrong.

As Americans, we deserve an answer to what went wrong that enabled Osama bin Laden and the terrorists to come in and conduct the attacks of 9/11. If that does become the issue, I think it's a loaded gun pointed right back at the White House.

cnn.com(March 7, 2004: page down)

But that's not the end of the story. A far more revealing indication of the administration's ma�na mindset about terrorism comes a month later, on Sept. 9, when Donald Rumsfeld threatened a presidential veto if Congress moved $600 million out of the White House's prized ballistic missile defense system and into counterterrorism. On Sept. 10, John Ashcroft submitted a final Justice Department budget request calling for increases in 68 programs, none of them directly related to combating terrorism.

Frank Rich, New York Times, 5-25-2002 Bush's weak counter-terrorism record

Ashcroft uninterested in counter-terrorism before 9/11
On September 10 last year, the last day of what is now seen as a bygone age of innocence, Mr Ashcroft sent a request for budget increases to the White House. It covered 68 programmes, none of them related to counter-terrorism.

He also sent a memorandum to his heads of departments, stating his seven priorities. Counter-terrorism was not on the list. He turned down an FBI request for hundreds more agents to be assigned to tracking terrorist threats.

Nevertheless, he began using a chartered private jet to travel around the country, rather than take commercial airliners as Ms Reno had done.


Hart Report Ignored by Bush Administration

Before the White House decided to go in its own direction, Congress seemed to be taking the commission's suggestions seriously, according to Hart and Rudman. "Frankly, the White House shut it down," Hart says. "The president said 'Please wait, we're going to turn this over to the vice president. We believe FEMA is competent to coordinate this effort.' And so Congress moved on to other things, like tax cuts and the issue of the day."


Porter Goss's Cocaine Import Agency (CIA) has links to "Al Qaeda" and Saudis.

Wayne Madsen | 22.04.2006 23:11

Porter Goss's Cocaine Import Agency (CIA) has links to "Al Qaeda" and Saudis. Last year, WMR reported on links between the Saudi Royal Family and CIA proprietary airline companies involved in cocaine smuggling.

April 21, 2006 -- SPECIAL REPORT. Porter Goss's Cocaine Import Agency (CIA) has links to "Al Qaeda" and Saudis. Last year, WMR reported on links between the Saudi Royal Family and CIA proprietary airline companies involved in cocaine smuggling. On April 10, Mexican police, acting on a tip from INTERPOL, seized a DC-9 aircraft carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine with an estimated street value of $100 million. The U.S.-registered plane was en route from Caracas, Venezuela, which, according to French intelligence, is a known hub for cocaine shipments from Colombia to Saudi Arabia (see article below). The DC-9 (registration number N900SA) made an emergency landing at Ciudad del Carmen in Campeche state. A Falcon aircraft that arrived at Ciudad del Carmen from Toluca airport in Mexico state in advance of the arrival of the DC-9 was also seized. The cocaine was contained in 128 suitcases. The Mexican police later claimed the unidentified DC-9's pilot managed to escape. However, the police did arrest the co-pilot.

The DC-9 was painted in the familiar blue and white colors of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration with am official-looking seal with an American eagle bearing the inscription: "Sky Way Aircraft - Protection of America's Skies." The registered owner of the aircraft is: Royal Sons Inc., 15875 Fairchild Drive, Clearwater, Florida. On April 5, 2006, the plane flew from St. Petersburg/Clearwater International to Simon Bolivar International in Caracas. "Sky Ways" (see article below) has also been linked to the Saudi government and Bush family/CIA activities. Royal Sons, the name of which may indicate the involvement of Saudi princes, such as the cocaine-transporting Prince Nayif, cited below, also maintained an office at 224 East Airport Ave., Venice, Florida, at the same time lead hijacker Mohammad Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi were training at Huffman Aviation, which was located near by at 400 East Airport Avenue. Two years before 911, Venice was also the subject of intensive intelligence operations by Israeli intelligence agents masquerading as "art students." Not surprisingly in light of Saudi involvement with cocaine smuggling, the activities of the Israelis drew the particular attention of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which had Venice airport under surveillance and later prepared a lengthy report on the activities of the Israelis. Atta and al Shehhi also used Clearwater airport for practice take-off and landings during off-peak hours.

In 2004 a Sky Way Aircraft Beechcraft BE-200, registration N391SA, flying under the false registration of N168D, was confiscated by the Venezuelan government after flying from Caracas Charallave airport to Santiago Marino airport on Margarita island. FAA records indicate that Sky Way's office of record was 341 8th Ave. SE # 3C, St. Petersburg, Florida. The FAA registration database also states, "N391SA has multiple records" in addition to its status as being "exported" to Venezuela and, thus, "de-registered" with the FAA. After the revelations about CIA rendition flights and proprietary companies, it was discovered that N168D was the tail number for a Casa CN-235-300 registered to Devon Holding and Leasing of Lexington, North Carolina.

Sky Way Beechcraft that was held by Venezuela after it used a false registration number N168D, the same tail number used by one of the CIA's rendition planes.

The DC-9 seized by Mexico was previously owned by a partnership of Royal Sons and Skyway Communications Holding Corp. (Symbol: SWYCQ) of 6021, 142nd Avenue North Clearwater, Florida. SWYCQ's web site states, "SWYC was founded in 2000 by Mr. Brent Kovar. SWYC's focus includes in-flight wireless Homeland Security and In-flight Entertainment (IFE) service." In 2003, then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay appointed Kovar as Honorary Chairman of the Business Advisory Council of the National Republican Congressional Committee. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR database, "Kovar has been President and Director of Sky Way Aircraft since inception. In addition, as president and director of research and development and engineering, Mr. Kovar founded Sky Way Global in 2000, a high speed broadband wireless service company. From 1996 to 2000, Mr. Kovar served as the executive vice president and director of research and development for Satellite Access Systems, a satellite services company. In 1990, Mr. Kovar founded PC, Ltd., a company that produced specialty-designed remote controlled arm and RF/communications related products, and until 1996, he served as president and director of new product engineering. From 1987 to 1989, he was associated with Jacobs Engineering, an national engineering company in Pasadena, California. From 1986 to 1987, Mr. Kovar worked with Falcon Communications as a wireless communications engineer.

Also, EDGAR provides details on SWYCQ's CEO and CFO Jim Kent, "Mr. Kent has been CEO and Director of Sky Way Aircraft since July 2002 and its CFO since February 2003. He has been director of business operations for Sky Way Global since 2000. From 1998 to 1999, Mr. Kent served as director of operations for Satellite Access Systems, Inc., a satellite services company where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations. From 1997 to 1998 he served as a senior management consultant for Booz, Allen & Hamilton, a government contractor and national/international business consulting firm providing program and financial management services to the U. S. Government. From 1980 to 1997, Mr. Kent served in various government contract management positions providing financial and program management services supporting national communications and intelligence projects for the Department of Defense, National Security Agency, and Department of the Navy." Also, according to the SEC, Kovar is affiliated with Net Command Tech Inc. (a St. Petersburg, Florida-based corporation formerly known as Acunet Corporation and Corsaire, Inc.). The company primarily markets video surveillance systems. According to SEC records, Banque Francaise De L'Orient has a significant financial stake in Net Command Tech. According to SEC filings, one of the significant shareholders is Fever Holdings Limited, c/o Banque Francaise de L'Orient, with an office listed at50 Curzon Street, London, England. Satellite Access Systems of Nevada is a Net Command Tech subsidiary.

Banque Francaise de l'Orient was originally Banque Al Saoudi, which was under the financial control of the Bin Laden family and other top Saudi royals and businessmen. In 1989, Banque Indosuez partly assumed control of the near bankrupt Bank Al Saoudi and it became Banque Francaise de l'Orient. The bank then merged with the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's Mediterranee Group. Banque Francaise de L'Orient maintains an office in Geneva. Bank Indosuez (now Credit Agricole Suez) maintains an address in Sana'a, Yemen. Bank Indosuez was used by the CIA for the establishment of secret accounts held by top Kazakhstan officials in return for lucrative Tengiz oil field contracts for Amoco, Mobil, Phillips Petroleum, Texaco, and Halliburton (scandal that became known as "Kazakhgate"). Previously, WMR also reported on the use of Christian missionary aircraft linked to the CIA to smuggle high-grade heroin out of Afghanistan.

Intelligence insiders report that CIA Director Porter Goss has authorized the CIA to resume Iran-contra-era networks that is permitting former agency contractors to renew their illicit trade in drugs.

The sudden in flow of cocaine and heroin into the United States is an early warning sign that covert operators are attempting to earn large amounts of cash for one or more "special projects." On April 20, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that security guards at the Beaver Valley Power Station in Pennsylvania stopped a truck containing $504,230 in cash wrapped in ten bundles with clear plastic and duct tape. The bundles were locked in a duffel bag. A drug sniffing dog reacted positively to the bag. The driver of the truck and a passenger came from Texas and said they were en route from Chicago and were to deliver tools from the power plant to Youngstown, Ohio. Police in Shippingport, Beaver County stopped the truck after the power plant security guards notified them. The guards grew suspicious when they cut the lock off the duffel bag and saw the cash. The truck occupants said the cash belonged to their boss in Houston. The trucking company was reportedly a contractor for San Francisco-based Bechtel Corporation, which was doing construction work at the power plant. When the guards called the boss in Houston he denied the cash was his. The truck quickly left the power plant, which is owned by First Energy Nuclear Operating Company. Shippingport Police and Pennsylvania state troopers later stopped the truck near the Shippingport Bridge and confiscated the cash. The passenger in the truck claimed his identification had been stolen from the truck the previous night. Shippingport Police Sgt. R. N. Davis, Jr., scoffed at that explanation in remarks to the Post-Gazette. "Your ID is stolen but not that bag of cash? Red flags were popping up all over," Davis said. The incident is highly reminiscent of cases involving Israeli "movers" picked up around the United States after 9-11 who had similarly unconvincing stories. The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force was notified about the Pennsylavnia incident and are said to be "investigating."

In 1999, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) broke open a major conspiracy involving a Saudi prince's Colombian cocaine smuggling from Venezuela to support some “future intention" involving Koranic prophecy. The DEA operations were contained in a “Declassification of a Secret DEA 6 Paris Country Office" memorandum dated June 26, 2000, a date which coincided with the height of Israeli art student and 911 hijacker activity in the United States. In June 1999, 808 kilograms of cocaine were seized in Paris. At the same time, the DEA was conducting a major investigation of the Medellin drug cartel called Operation Millennium.

Through an intercepted fax, the Bogota Country Office of the DEA learned of the Paris cocaine seizure and linked the drug smuggling operation to the Saudis. The DEA investigation centered around Saudi Prince Nayif al Saud, whose alias was El Principe (the Prince). Nayif's full name is Nayif (or Nayef) bin Fawwaz al-Shaalan al-Saud. In pursuit of his international drug deals, Nayif traveled in his own Boeing 727 and used his diplomatic status to avoid customs checks. The DEA report stated Nayif studied at the University of Miami, Florida, owned a bank in Switzerland, speaks eight languages, was heavily invested in Venezuela's petroleum industry, regularly visited the United States, and traveled with millions of dollars of U.S. currency. Nayif is also invested in Colombia's petroleum industry.

Nayif was also reported to have met with drug cartel members in Marbella, Spain, where the late Saudi King Fahd and the Saudi royal family maintained a huge palatial residence. The report states that when a group of cartel members traveled to Riyadh to meet Nayif, “they were picked up in a Rolls Royce automobile belonging to Nayif, and driven to the Riyadh Holiday Inn hotel. The next day they were met by Nayif and his brother [believed to be named Saul [sic] [His twin brother is Prince Saud. Nayif's older brother, Prince Nawaf, is married to King Abdullah's daughter].)… The second day they all traveled to the desert in terrain vehicles [hummers]. During this desert trip they discussed narcotics trafficking. UN [The DEA informant] and Nayif agreed to conduct the 2,000 kilogram cocaine shipment, which would be delivered to Caracas, VZ, by UN's people, where Nayif would facilitate the cocaine's transport to Paris, France. Nayif explained he would utilize his 727 jet airliner, under Diplomatic cover, to transport the cocaine. The Boeing 727 was operated by Skyways International,a Saudi-owned airline with past connections to the mysterious James Bath, George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard friend and later Arbusto and Harken Energy investment pass-through between the Saudis and Bush. These investors included Salem Bin Laden, Osama Bin Laden's late older brother who was killed in a 1988 plane crash in Texas. Bath was the registered agent for Salem Bin Laden.

Nayif told "UN" that he could transport up to 20,000 kilograms of cocaine in his jet airliner, and propositioned "UN" “to conduct 10-20,000 kilogram shipments in the future." "UN" wondered why Nayif, supposedly a devout Muslim, would be involved with drugs. Nayif's response in light of what is now known about Saudi funding of terrorism, is worth a close perusal. During the Riyadh meeting, Nayif responded to "UN's" question by stating that “he is a strict advocate of the Muslim Corran [sic]." "UN" stated, “Nayif does not drink, smoke, or violate any of the Corran's [sic] teachings. "UN" asked Nayif why he [Nayif] wanted to sell cocaine and Nayif stated that the world is already doomed and that he has been authorized by God to sell drugs. Nayif stated that "UN" would later learn of Nayif's true intentions for trafficking narcotics although Nayif would not comment further." The Saudi prince's drug smuggling operation was smashed by the DEA and French police in October 1999.[1]

On May 16, 1999, Prince Nayif's Skyways Boeing 727 touched down at LeBourget Airport outside of Paris ( this is the same airport that received the Bin Laden family flight from the United States following the 911 attacks). Also on board the plane were a number of Saudi princes and princesses. Two tons of cocaine, smuggled on to the aircraft in Caracas, were transported as one large diplomatic pouch by two waiting Saudi vans. The cocaine was transported to Noissy-le-Sec, a Paris suburb. A French-US law enforcement case against Nayif and his entourage, complete with evidence and confidential informants soon collapsed.

Wayne Madsen Report.com has come into possession of a "Confidential Diplomatic" cable from the French embassy in Saudi Arabia to Paris warning that Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef had warned that if France pursued the case against the Saudi prince, a lucrative $7 billion radar defense contract, Project SBGDP (Garde Frontiere), with the French firm Thales would be canceled. The embassy cable sought pressure against the French Interior Ministry to drop its investigation of Nayif. The cable also indicated that Saudi Interior Minister Nayef's irritation at the French investigation was shared by his brothers Abdullah (then-Crown Prince) and Sultan (Defense Minister) as well as the Governor of Riyadh Province Prince Salman. Saudi informers have revealed that Al Qaeda members routinely traveled through Riyadh on their way to Pakistan and then to Taliban Afghanistan. These insiders report that Salman's office arranged for cash payments, hotels, and air fares for the Al Qaeda members.

The French cable also states that the Saudis reiterated that it was merciless to drug traffickers for which Saudi youth were often the victims. The Saudis also told the French that unlike Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, Saudi Arabia was not a base for drug trafficking. The reaction by the Saudi government's key principals to the French drug investigation indicates they had something to hide. Perhaps similar to the Bush family, they had an off-the-books operation to generate hundreds of millions of dollars for their Wahhabi compatriots in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The French cable draws attention to intelligence rumors that the cocaine transported by Nayif from Venezuela originated in Colombia -- the same country where George H. W. Bush and his Iran-contra co-conspirators arranged for cocaine-for-cash-for-weapons transfers involving Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega as a middleman. CIA sources have recently reported that lead hijacker Mohammed Atta was known to U.S., British, and Saudi intelligence as a heroin courier from Mujaheddin-controlled Afghanistan as early as 1991. Atta was also identified as a cocaine user. Hence, what the French and U.S. law enforcement investigators discovered in 1999 may have been a major financial source for Al Qaeda's terrorist attacks. Recent revelations that a Top Secret U.S. Special Operations Command/Defense Intelligence Agency unit code named Able Danger was shadowing Al Qaeda operatives in 1999, the same year that Nayif and his courier activities were discovered, indicates high level collusion inside the United States Defense and Justice Departments with elements that did not want to embarrass the Saudis. As with the DEA investigation of Nayif, Able Danger was shut down on orders by Pentagon lawyers.

It is quite possible that the massive amounts of Able Danger data reported to have been destroyed on the Atta team may have included gigabytes of financial data on Prince Nayif's drug money laundering activities. Wayne Madsen Report.com has obtained a European intelligence agency flow chart titled "Operation Palme," illustrating the connections of Nayif's brother Nawwaf's financial operations to a myriad of other entities, a large number of them based in Geneva, a city where Wayne Madsen Report.com has previously reported the presence of a number of Bush-connected entities tied to the 911 attacks, including a money transfer to at least one of the hijackers.

According to the Operation Palme chart, Nawwaf bin Fawwaz al-Shaalan is Vice President of Kanz Bank located at 65 rue du Rhone in Geneva. This bank is linked to Bammer Financial Trade Organization at 7 rue Versonnex in Geneva, Virgin Corporation LLC in Vessy (Geneva Canton), Maison Virgin Corporation also in Vessy, Degroof Luxembourg SA of Genf, Geneva Canton, and Capital Trust SA, 640 Avenida Diagonal, Barcelona, Spain.

The most interesting document passed to Wayne Madsen Report is a business card that shows a clear link between Skyways International, the firm tied to the Bush family and the Saudis, and the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia. The business card for a flight engineer named Keith Monroe indicates that Skyways International is a subsidiary of the National Commercial Bank.

In 1992, according to The Houston Chronicle, George W. Bush's friend James Bath was investigated by the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) and the FBI. Investigators suspected Saudi investors who worked with Bath of illegally trying to influence U.S. policy during the Reagan and Bush I administrations. Bath invested Saudi money in Arbusto '70 Ltd., Arbusto '80 Ltd., and Bush Exploration Co. (which later morphed into Harken Energy Corp., which included George W. Bush as its director). After Desert Storm, Harken was granted lucrative off-shore drilling rights by Bahrain, a Desert Storm coalition partner. One of the other shareholders of Harken, along with Bush, was Saudi businessman Abdullah Taha Bakhsh. According to the Chronicle, Bath, who was a sole agent of Salem Bin Laden, was also the sole director of Skyway Aircraft Leasing Corp., one of the affiliates of Skyways International. Bath established four corporate entities with the name "Skyway" and the firm that incorporated the corporate contrivances in the Cayman Islands for Bath was the same one that established a Cayman-based money laundering front company for Oliver North in the Iran-contra scandal. In 1977, Bath bought Houston Gulf Airport on behalf of Salem Bin Laden. Skyway Aircraft Leasing Corporation was, according to the Chronicle, owned by Khalid Bin Mahfouz, a major shareholder in the defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), a major money laundering activity for George H. W. Bush's Iran-contra caper. Bin Mahfouz was also the owner of the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia.

There has never been any explanation by the Saudis of what Prince Nayif's ultimate intentions were and what he was planning to do with the cash from the illegal cocaine shipments. In light of the funding for 911 and other terrorist incidents, the DEA report on Operation Millenium takes on greater significance. Did Saudi drug smuggling proceeds help pay for the 911 attack? Why was this possible connection overlooked by the 911 Commission? What did the Able Danger team stumble across while Nayif was smuggling drugs? Was Atta a part of this Saudi drug network? If so, why was Atta, a drug courier, permitted to enter the United States on numerous occasions?

It would appear that the Saudis, in connection with people closely associated with George W. Bush (perhaps including Bush himself as well as his father), have been giving a "wink and a nod" to illicit airline smuggling businesses involving drugs and money laundering for a number of years. There are American citizens currently sitting in prisons under mandatory harsh drug-related sentences for doing much less than what the Bush crime family, their Saudi partners, and their network of drug mules and couriers (including Mohammed Atta and Saudi Prince Nayif) have been getting away with for decades. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) statutes cry out for an accounting by these individuals before a court of law.

[1] Drug Enforcement Administration, Memorandum, Declassification of Secret DEA 6 for Paris Country Office, June 26, 2000.

via Indymedia UK


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