Kevin Fenton's blog

History Commons Chapter Summary – Mamoun Darkazanli

As you may be aware, the History Commons (aka Center for Cooperative Research) has a lot of material in its timelines, but some of the chapters are pretty involved. For this purpose, I’m going to write a series of chapter summaries, briefly highlighting what each entry in a chapter is about. The first one is for Mamoun Darkazanli, an associate of “Hamburg Cell” hijackers Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, and Ziad Jarrah:

Mamoun Darkazanli is a Hamburg-based businessman and suspected al-Qaeda operative who is said to be connected to the 1998 East African embassy bombings. He was monitored by German and US intelligence and was close to the “Hamburg Cell” of 9/11 hijackers Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi and Ziad Jarrah. He is currently free.

No confirmation yet of al-Qaeda's claim of responsibility for Bhutto killing

I just found this at Informed Comment:

The USG Open Source Center sent out the following note, which points out that in scouring jihadi web sites, the analysts have found none where al-Qaeda has taken credit for assassinating Benazir Bhutto. You think of the announcement by al-Qaeda posted the morning of 7/7/05 when the London Underground was bombed. Yet they are not claiming this one. Curioser and curioser:

"FYI - - No Al-Qa'ida Claims for Bhutto Assassination Found on Jihadist Websites
Jihadist Websites -- OSC Summary
Monday, December 31,

FYI: No Al-Qa'ida Claims for Bhutto Assassination Found on Jihadist Websites

As of 1830 GMT on 31 December, OSC has not observed any official statements from Al-Qa'ida claiming responsibility for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on any of the websites that normally disseminate authenticated statements from the group. OSC will continue to monitor these websites for any such claims."
http://www.juancole.com/2008/01/pakistan-elections-postponed-ppp.html

CIA Tapes, Partial Destruction and Content Thereof – Additions to 9/11 Timeline as of December 15, 2007

As you are probably aware, the media is full of stories about the destruction of CIA videotapes and sorting though this story is now our top priority. We have added two categories to deal with all the new information emerging, Destruction of CIA Interrogation Tapes and High Value Detainees, which you can find under the ‘War on Terrorism’ Outside Iraq meta-category on the front page. The new events are:

MSNBC asks "Was Bin Laden's last video faked?"

Good on MSNBC for asking the question. The article begins:

When al-Qaida’s media arm released its first Osama Bin Laden video in nearly three years, most of the media attention was focused on Bin Laden's beard. It appeared either dyed — or perhaps even pasted on. He was ridiculed and a variety of theories were offered to explain it.

But now, there is a running debate among video analysts about whether al-Qaida faked the video altogether —that rather than being new, the September 7 message may have been something recorded at the same time as his last video in October 2004 (and then released with new audio).

More at link:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21530470

Krawetz makes a lot of sense to me.

Translation of Spanish article wanted

I would like a translation of a Spanish article. It is about a guy named Amer el-Azizi, who seems to be involved in the Madrid train bombings and 9/11. It is interesting because it says he has a relationship with a Spanish security service. If there is somebody here who speaks Spanish and could translate it, then that would be good. Here it is:

El SUP afirma que el Cesid frustró la detención de Amer Azizi
El Mundo
April 29, 2004
http://www.elmundo.es/papel/2004/04/29/espana/1629645.html

MADRID.- El secretario general del Sindicato Unificado de Policía (SUP), José Manuel Sánchez Fornet, aseguró ayer que una «interferencia» del Cesid (antiguos servicios secretos, ahora CNI) frustró, en noviembre de 2001, la detención en Madrid del marroquí Amer Azizi, considerado un importante miembro de Al Qaeda.

En declaraciones a Efe, Sánchez Fornet afirmó que existe «una grabación policial» en la que se ve a dos agentes del Cesid llamando a la casa de Azizi, situada en la calle del Buen Gobernador en Madrid, lo que alertó a éste de que su domicilio estaba siendo vigilado y le hizo darse a la fuga.

The Khallad Identification, Day of, More Blind Sheikh, and Yemen – Additions to 9/11 Timeline as of October 6, 2007

A set of recent additions to the 9/11 Timeline deals with the identification of al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash for the CIA. The identification, made by an asset known as Omar, placed bin Attash at al-Qaeda's Malaysia summit, with 9/11 hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, who was connected to the Cole bombing and who the CIA appears to have confused with bin Attash for a short while.

Vital Lockerbie evidence 'was tampered with'

That's one of the headlines in today's Observer. The article starts:

"The key piece of material evidence used by prosecutors to implicate Libya in the Lockerbie bombing has emerged as a probable fake. Nearly two decades after Pan Am flight 103 exploded over Scotland on 21 December, 1988, allegations of international political intrigue and shoddy investigative work are being levelled at the British government, the FBI and the Scottish police as one of the crucial witnesses, Swiss engineer Ulrich Lumpert, has apparently confessed that he lied about the origins of a crucial 'timer' - evidence that helped tie the man convicted of the bombing to the crime."
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,2160655,00.html

I liked the last paragraph too:
"Few people apart from conspiracy theorists and investigative journalists working on the case were prepared to believe Bollier until the end of last month, when Lumpert, one of his former employees, walked into a Zurich police station and asked to swear an affidavit before a notary."

Those krazy konspiracy theorists were right after all!

Where is the NSA report on 9/11?

The FBI performed so bad before 9/11 that it took four and a half years to get an unredacted version of the DOJ inspector general's report. The CIA performed so bad before 9/11 that it took nearly six years to get a redacted summary of its inspector general's report. The NSA performed so bad before 9/11 that it has not even admitted its inspector general wrote a report.

Given that the NSA was tapping the hijackers' phones, it surely has a couple of issues to address and explain to the public (for example: why did you let them do it?), but it has not done so as far as I can see. I have never heard of any NSA inspector general report and, when I had a look just now, I couldn't find anything. The NSA admits at its website that it has an inspector general and he is reputed to have begun work on at least one report (into warrantless wiretapping), so presumably he would write a report into the agency's failings before 9/11. However, I can't find a single trace of it. Can anybody help me out here? Is there at least a mention somewhere, anywhere of the NSA inspector general writing a report on the agency's performance before 9/11?

Hillary Clinton Says Possible Terrorist Attack Will Benefit Republicans

From CNN:

She says she is the Democrat best equipped to fight terrorists, but White House hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton told New Hampshire voters Thursday that another attack on the United States would likely help Republican candidates at the polls.

"It's a horrible prospect to ask yourself, 'What if? What if?' " Clinton, a New York Democrat, told a house party in Concord, according to the New York Post and The Associated Press and confirmed by her campaign.

"But, if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world."
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/08/24/clinton.terrorism/index.html

There are two ways to interpret these comment. Naomi Wolf comes out in favour of the sensible one. Sample:

Blind Sheikh's Representative Met US Officials in Secret in 1989

Intelwire just came up with this:

U.S. Secretly Met With Followers of Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman Before Controversial Visa Application

Followers of Omar Abdel Rahman made overtures to U.S. diplomats one year before the radical sheikh entered the United States on a visa approved by a CIA agent.

During several meetings with diplomatic officers at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, members of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Group) provided extensive details about the operations of one of Egypt's most notorious terrorist organizations.

Initiated by al-Gama'a, the meetings were aimed at creating a dialogue with the U.S. in the hopes of eventual, unspecified cooperation. The initiative was based on a perception that the U.S. enjoyed similar cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Less than four years after the approach, an al-Gama'a terror cell led personally by Abdel-Rahman bombed the World Trade Center in New York City.

Continued at link: http://intelwire.egoplex.com/2007_06_14_exclusives.html

It's taken from two embassy cables he obtained through FOIA requests. This is only a small tile in the mosaic, but it is really good work.

Richard Perle linked to Islamic Militancy in Bosnia

I just found this in Intelwire, which has a bunch of really great stuff. They say they have 500 pages of documentation to back it up.

Richard Perle, MPRI and Bosnian Arms Shipments

Connoisseurs of elaborate Bosnia conspiracy theories will love this (and don't think I don't know you're out there).

Controversial neocon philosopher Richard Perle led an obscure nongovernmental organization tasked with hiring a private company to run the U.S. State Department's "Train and Equip" program in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1996.

Perle's group, the "Acquisition Support Institute," hired Military Professional Resources Inc., essentially a professional mercenary company nearly as controversial as Perle himself. It's not at all clear what or whom is responsible for the Institute, or why a "non-governmental, non-profit organization" would be responsible for selecting the recipient of a massive State Department contract on one of the most sensitive issues of the day.

Guardian Covers Loose Change

There is a big piece in the Guardian today on Loose Change. You can find it here:

http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,,1998430,00.html

It is not a hit piece, but of the three or four points the article mentions, most people here would probably only agree with 1 of them: explosive demolition.

It is very disappointing to me that the other two, no-plane at the Pentagon and no-plane in Shanksville, get a mention, but many of our better arguments get ignored. What about Saeed Sheikh, Able Danger, the "hunt" for Osama, Sibel Edmonds, the fact the NSA was tapping one of the hijacker's phones for 3 years before 9/11, the dust, the visas, the fact that the hijackers thought they were being followed, the Malaysia meeting, all the warnings, war games on 9/11, bojinka, "3 individuals have been followed since Millenium and Cole", Jarrah in Dubai, David Schippers, etc., etc.?

Big Sibel Edmonds Update at 9/11 Timeline

The Sibel Edmonds chapter at the 9/11 Timeline has seen a lot of new entries recently and you can find the details of the whole story here:
http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timelin...

Sample:

January 14, 2002: FBI Special Agent Concerned That Translator Is Protecting Surveillance Targets and Involved in Espionage

Another Malaysia Meeting Attendee Identified

The Malaysia meeting was a major planning session for 9/11 and was held from 5-8 January 2000 and attended by various al-Qaeda operatives, some of whom went on to participate in the operation. The CIA and NSA found out about it in advance by tapping one of the hijackers’ phones, so it was also surveilled by Malaysian intelligence and the results were passed to the CIA. However, no complete list of the attendees has ever been published.

In his book Intelligence Matters, Bob Graham, co-chairman of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, makes the following claim:

One of the organizers of the failed attack ((on the USS Sullivans)) was Muhammad Omar al-Harazi, an al-Qaeda operations chief in East Africa and one of the plotters of the Nairobi embassy bombing. Al-Harazi was personally humiliated by the failed attack. Two days later, he headed to Kuala Lumpur for the terrorist summit that the CIA knew was taking place. (p. 59)

Graham seems pretty solid as a source to me, so we can add al-Harazi to the other 6 generally accepted attendees (the total is supposed to be 13):
(1) Khalid Almihdhar, American 77 hijacker;
(2) Nawaf Alhazmi, American 77 hijacker;

The story of the NEADS tapes

This came up this week. I think it's quite important and shows why the 9/11 Commission believes its story of the day of 9/11 (I don't by the way).

Late October 2003: 9/11 Commission’s Tour of NEADS Facility Suspended Over Discrepancies

Several months into its investigation, the 9/11 Commission is already dissatisfied with the Department of Defense (see July 8, 2003). When its staff take a tour of a Northeast Air Defense Sector facility in Rome, New York, which helped coordinate the air defense on the day of 9/11, the staff enter the operations room, which has “more than twenty banks of operators: some weapons controllers and some flight controllers.” The staff find that the operators’ conversations are always tape-recorded, but the tapes for 9/11 have not yet been sent to the commission and, according to Commission Chairman Tom Kean and Vice-Chairman Lee Hamilton, “there were also discrepancies between things NORAD was telling [the commission] about their performance on the morning of September—things that the agency had stated publicly after 9/11—and the story told by the limited tapes and documents the commission had received.” Upon learning of the existence of the tapes, team leader John Farmer immediately suspends the tour and the interviews and flies to meet Kean in New Jersey. The commission subsequently subpoenas NORAD for the tapes (see October-November 2003), but, according to Kean and Hamilton, this means that “the staff had lost so much time that our hearing on the 9/11 story in the skies was postponed for months. Indeed, the delays from NORAD and the FAA made it highly unlikely that the team could complete its work as scheduled.” [Kean and Hamilton, 2006, pp. 85-88] Chapter 1 of the commission’s final report will draw heavily on the tapes. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 1-46] However, the commission does not make the same effort with all day of 9/11 recordings. For example, it does not even find out which person(s) from the Department of Defense participated in a White House video conference chaired by counter-terrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke during the attacks. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 36]