Posts Tagged ‘War on terror’

Politics of Sanctions: Does US have links with Al Qaeda?

15 September 2011

It is nobody’s case, at least since 2001, based on official stories put out by US administrations from time to time, that either they or other US entities have any links or business dealings with Al Qaeda, its leaders, operatives or affiliates. Ever since 911, when George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Collin Powell, et al, accused and convicted without proof Al Qaeda of master minding and executing the plot of *high jacking* 4 passenger aircrafts and of crashing two of them into two WTC towers to *demolish* them completely, and of crashing one of them into Pentagon damaging it partially; US war machine has been the sworn enemy of Al Qaeda and has been in perpetual war with it for over a decade now. This perpetual war took US into faraway places such as Afghanistan, where head of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, was then reportedly staying, and where US & NATO are still waging an inconclusive war (hours-long siege of the US embassy and NATO headquarters) even after claiming on International Labour Day, i.e. 1st May this year, to have killed OBL in a raid at Abbottabad in Pakistan.  Bush expanded shortly this war on Al Qaeda into Iraq and it still rages (More than 20 people were killed in violence across Iraq-14 September) out there. Bush, a Republican, finished his two terms and Obama, a Democrat, replaced him. Did it change anything? Yes it did. A Texas cowboy had given way to the first Afro-US president. However, the project to bring Freedom & Democracy (and, shhh, Global Capital) to the *repressed* regions of the world continued unabated, this time in Libya.

The perpetual state of war on terror has devastated these 3 countries, but has not been without consequences for USA. On the positive side the Armament, Oil, and Security Industries have extraordinarily profited, as they would be expected to in a state of war. But their super healthy bottom lines (US corporate profits hit record high) along with those of some other corporations have done nothing to improve the lot of ordinary US citizens, who were made to contribute, and it would be hard to say they did it unenthusiastically, with both money and blood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

War profiteers along with their fellow soul mates Wall Street Investment Bankers have defrauded the US citizens in a day light robbery. US Census Bureau Report of income and poverty for 2010 is dismal news even after factoring in the jugglery with numbers and clever massaging that goes into defining poverty levels (annual income of US$ 22,134 for a family of four), or Consumer Price Index (core CPI excludes Food & Energy, the items most important to those below poverty level), or Jobless rate (count only people who are actively seeking work, so if you are so discouraged by the job market that you have given up hope, then you aren’t unemployed), or such parameters that impact peoples’ lives. Number of poor has swelled to 46.2 million or nearly 1 in 6. The median annual income in 1973, when OPEC delivered the first oil shock, was somewhat better than that reported in 2010: “the median annual income for a male full-time, year-round worker in 2010 — $47,715 — was virtually unchanged, in 2010 dollars, from its level in 1973, when it was $49,065, said Sheldon Danziger, professor of public policy at the University of Michigan… The recession has continued pushing 25-to-34-year-olds to move in with family and friends to save money. Of that group, nearly half were living below the poverty line, when their parents’ incomes were excluded”. The percentage of people without health insurance coverage of any kind rose to 16.30% in 2010. Obviously, the fortunes of Wall Street and of Main Street have moved in opposite direction. It would arguably get more & more difficult to sell the perpetual war doctrine to US citizens even under the illusion of *America is under the attack*. Well, actually it is under attack, but from enemy within rather than without.

Even if one were to set aside one’s critical faculty and uncritically buy wholesale into the story of audacious Al Qaeda attack on US in 2001, and thereby also accept that war on terror waged by Bush & Obama was not only necessary, but nay unavoidable; still a question begs: Would and Should US administration or Entities continue to have *any contacts* with Al Qaeda or affiliated individuals or groups, other than those absolutely necessary for latter’s perdition? Suggestion of any contacts or relationship with Al Qaeda, whom US has sworn to destroy, other than for meeting its objective would meet with disbelieving outrage from most in USA. In fact, Presidents and other high ranking administration officials never tire of pronouncing that any country or entities or individuals, who are found to *cooperate* with Al Qaeda would be dealt with in similar fashion. Yet a news of precisely such *Cooperation* that appeared in many newspapers hardly raised any eyebrows or comment on any of the websites, especially those that champion “Jihad Watch”, either in US or elsewhere.  The announcement or admission was implicit, but was there for anyone with eyes to see. Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the votary of US & Global capital, reported on 7 September, just 4 days short of the tenth anniversary of WTC towers collapse that killed some 3000 people, US Slaps Sanctions On 3 Senior Al-Qaida members: “The Obama administration has put sanctions on *three Pakistan-based individuals it says are top al-Qaida members*. Wednesday’s action *freezes any assets in the United States* belonging to Abu Yahya al-Libi; Abd al-Rahman Ould Muhammad al-Husayn Ould Muhammad Salim; and Mustafa Hajji Muhammad Khan. *Americans are also barred from doing business with the men*. David S. Cohen, the undersecretary of treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, says the sanctions strike “at the heart of al-Qaida’s remaining leadership and its operations in Pakistan.” The Treasury Department identified al-Libi as an al-Qaida commander, Salim as a senior leader of the terrorist organization and Khan as a facilitator, courier and operative”. It may appear to unwary observer that some hitherto unknown individuals have been identified by US administration to be part of Al Qaeda network. Had it been so, then it would meet approval of most over its untiring vigilant ways, and of sanctioning such new found terror threats without brooking any delay. Though, even a cursory reading will tell that it cannot be so because members of any organization cannot reach the *top* in complete obscurity especially if they are crazy of publicity accorded to video taped messages from them as Osama Bin Laden or Dr. Ayman Al Jawahiri were. It is time to study available information of each of these individuals named by Obama Administration.

Abu Yahya Al Libi

  1. 1.           Press Statement

Gordon Duguid
Acting Deputy Department Spokesman, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman

Washington, DC
March 25, 2009


The U.S. Department of State has authorized a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the location and/or capture of Abu Yahya al-Libi, a prominent member of al-Qa’ida. Al-Libi, a Libyan citizen, is an Islamic scholar who was captured by authorities in 2002 and imprisoned at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. Al-Libi escaped in July 2005, and has since appeared in a number of propaganda videos, using his religious training to influence people and legitimize the actions of al-Qa’ida. Al-Libi is a key motivator in the global jihadi movement and his messages convey a clear threat to U.S. persons or property worldwide. Al-Libi is believed to be in hiding in Afghanistan or Pakistan. More information about al-Libi is located on the Rewards for Justice website (www.rewardsforjustice.net/abuyahya). We encourage anyone with information on the location of al-Libi to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, any U.S. military commander, or the Rewards for Justice staff via the website (www.rewardsforjustice.net), e-mail (RFJ@state.gov) or mail (Rewards for Justice, Washington, DC 20520-0303, USA). Government officials are not eligible for rewards based on information furnished in the course of their official duties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an official statement from the Bureau of Public Affairs made more than two years ago announcing a *Wanted Person* and *Reward* available for his capture or death.

  1. Washington Post: Al Qaeda’s New Leadership. (© 2006 The Washington Post Company)

Abu Yahya al-Libi, Religious Scholar. Nationality: Libyan

Believed to be in his late 30s, Libi has emerged as a public face of for al-Qaeda, appearing in more than a dozen lengthy Internet videos since last year. His claim to fame is his successful escape from a high-security U.S. military prison in Bagram, Afghanistan, in July 2005, along with three other al-Qaeda members. A year later, he appeared in a 54-minute videotape dedicated to his account of his capture by Pakistani forces in 2002, his subsequent time in U.S. custody and his prison breakout. Al-Qaeda has named Libi as a field commander in Afghanistan, though he styles himself as a theologian and has offered lengthy commentaries on a variety of political events, including the Prophet Muhammad cartoon controversy in Denmark and the criminal trials of Bulgarian nurses in Libya. “As time has gone on, we’ve seen him begin to address global issues of importance to al- Qaeda,” said Ben Venzke, chief executive of IntelCenter a terrorism research group. “He’s become their most visible face on video, surpassing Ayman al-Zawahiri in the past year and a half, as well as their most prolific writer.”

What strikes immediately is that Al Libi has been on the US radar at least since 2005 when he escaped from US military prison at Bagram-Afghanistan, and was considered the *most visible face* from 2006 onwards (WP report is of year 2006 and it quotes Al Libi had become *most visible face* in the past year and half).

Abd Al-Rahman Ould Muhammad Al-Husayn ould Muhammad Salim

This person is well known as Younis Al Mauratani according to the Long War Journal. “Mauritani, whose real name is ‘Abd al Rahman Ould Muhammad al Husayn Ould uhammad Salim, was born in Saudi Arabia but holds citizenship from Mauritania…. As a top leader of the external operations council, Mauritani developed a plan to “damage the economy of Europe.” Slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was aware of the plan and, “as of late 2010,” he “devoted most of al Qaeda’s funds to a plan developed by [Mauritani],” according to the Treasury press release.. The European plot, which was to consist of Mumbai-like attacks in Germany, France, and Britain, was broken up after an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan operative was captured in Afghanistan during the summer of 2010 and disclosed the details. Mauritani joined the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) in 2001 and served as a link with al Qaeda’s central command. He played a role in the GSPC’s official merger with al Qaeda; al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was formed in January 2007”.

The German newspaper Der Spiegel online reported on 6 September under the headline “On the Trail of the al-Qaida Phantom” that the arrest of Younis Al Mauretani was announced by Pakistan on Monday, 5 September. “On Monday, the Pakistani secret service ISI confirmed that they had apprehended Mauretani not far from Quetta, though there are indications that he may have been arrested more than a week ago. Such a delay is not uncommon for the ISI; they often prefer to interrogate prisoners before they admit to having them. The White House welcomed the arrest as have US diplomats in Pakistan who called it a significant blow against al-Qaida. The operation, which also netted two other al-Qaida operatives, was the result of close cooperation between ISI and the CIA, Pakistani officials said…  The Arab language website of Agence Nouakchott d’Information, the official government news agency in Mauritania, cited well-informed sources as saying that Mauretani’s true identity was Abd al-Rahman Ould Mohammed Hussein, who is thought to have been involved in a 2005 attack in the country”. The Spiegel article after many sentences on his arrest and identification warns at the end that it may still be a case of mistaken identity: “Indeed, there has so far been no independent confirmation that Mauretani has even been apprehended. Terror suspects have been misidentified before — particularly those about whom little is known”.

Mustafa Hajji Muhammad Khan

Long War Journal calls him Hassan Ghul and states: “Ghul, whose real name is Mustafa Hajji Muhammad Khan, “has acted as an al Qaeda facilitator, courier and operative since at least 2003,” Treasury stated. He “once served as a messenger between al Qaeda and former al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi.” He delivered a message from bin Laden to Zarqawi in 2003, but was captured in 2004 by Kurdish Peshmerga forces when he attempted to deliver Zarqawi’s response”. In January 2004 Fox News had reported, “Another possible Al Qaeda operative, Hasan Ghul, was detained Thursday in Iraq. Ghul, a Pakistani, is known to have been an Al Qaeda member since the early 1990s, when Al Qaeda was established”. Three days after his capture, Bush in his *characteristic style* had mentioned in his speech: “Just yesterdaynot yesterdayjust last week, we made further progress in making America more secure when a fellow named Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Hassan Ghul was a — reported directly to Khalid Shaik Muhammad, who was the mastermind of the September the 11th attacks. He was a killer. He was moving money and messages around South Asia and the Middle East to other al Qaeda leaders. He was a part of this network of haters that we’re dismantling”.  Ghul was transferred from US custody to Pakistani custody in 2006 after he disclosed a name that ultimately helped US *track down Osama*. After holding him for 1 year, he was released by Pakistan because of his ties with Lashkar-e-Taiba according to former CIA officers. Same LeT stands accused of 2008 Mumbai Terror Attacks (If CIA released Ghul to Pakistani custody knowing fully well his ties to LeT, then this is another proof of CIA complicity in Mumbai Attacks). “Ghul was transferred to US forces and interrogated and held at so-called CIA “black sites” for two years. During the interrogations, he disclosed the name of Abu Ahmed al Kuwaiti, a key courier used by bin Laden. The identification of al Kuwaiti ultimately led to bin Laden at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Ghul was transferred to Pakistani custody sometime in 2006, and was released after nearly a year in custody. “Former CIA officers who targeted Ghul” said they believed he was released because “he had ties to the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group,” the al Qaeda-linked terror group that is supported by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate”. In another article Long War Journal gratuitously asks “It seems that numerous detainees discussed the courier, in one way or another, who led ultimately Osama bin Laden’s to demise. But only one of these detainees was freed: Hassan Ghul. And the Pakistanis freed him. Why?”. But before Pakistanis could free him, US handed over his custody to Pakistan? Why did US administration free from its custody such an important Al Qaeda operative in the first place? Why?

Available information in public domain on these three individuals that one has accessed till now only makes all the goings on in the covert world of intelligence, spy agencies, news leaks, etc., carried out in the name of War on Terror, murkier. It raises more questions than these *media reports* and *press releases* are supposed to answer. When lies serve as official truths, contradictions and inconsistencies become the norm. But one fact is incontrovertible that all the three individuals named by Obama administration to the *Sanctions List* have been known to US as prominent Al Qaeda operatives for past several years,  at least two of them had been in the US custody for some lengths of time in the past before one escaped and the other was wilfully released from custody, and the third is probably right now in Pakistan’s custody. It is this background that raises pivotal question about the announcement made by Obama administration on 7 September 2011. Where was the need to name these individuals now, when Al Qaeda has been on the US sanctions list for long? “One of the first measures implemented by President Bush in the war on terrorism was aimed at disrupting terrorist finances. On September 23, he issued an executive order freezing the assets of named terrorists, terrorist groups, and terrorist fundraising organizations in an effort to weaken the financial lifeline of the al Qaeda network.To coordinate the activities of the various US agencies on the financial front, the administration created the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center in the Treasury Department”. An inescapable conclusion is, that the three individuals now named would have been and should have been on the sanctions’ watch list all these years. But as they have been named now individually, it begs following questions.

  1. Which Banks, Financial Institutions, other entities, or Individuals are or were holding financial assets on their behalf?
  2. Why these assets were not frozen earlier when it became known they are prominent Al Qaeda operatives?
  3. Which US citizens, natural or legal (e.g. US Corporations), have been doing business with them till now with full knowledge that they are *Terrorists* from Al Qaeda?
  4. Why administration failed to name these individuals to sanctions list all these years?

US citizens have a right to know answers to these questions.  Not only they, but the entire world has right to know these answers, especially the countries from Afghanistan to Libya. Search for answers will reveal several other truths too about the perpetual War On Terror.

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