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Non-Tech : GENI: GenesisIntermedia.com Inc
GENI 2.4600.0%Sep 24 4:00 PM EDT

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To: Kevin Podsiadlik who wrote (264)9/20/2001 8:21:44 PM
From: StockDung   of 574
 
Kashoggi had dealings with bin Laden's father, receiving a $50,000 cheque from him. Oil broker Roy Furmark,

Cooley says, provided a link between his CIA friend Casey and Kashoggi, introducing the latter to Manuchehr
Ghorbanifar, "the Iranian middleman who became a central figure in the arms for hostages and funds for
Contras deals with Iran, in which Kashoggi got involved". ley provides convincing evidence that Arab businessman and arms merchant Adna"


Saturday September 15, 2001
The Guardian

During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, US officials passed billions in funding and training to the
mojahedin. The CIA, in particular while under the direction of William Casey - head of the agency during the
Reagan administration - was the main manager of these operations. With the Russian withdrawal in 1989,
the CIA "celebrated its victory with champagne". So says Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International
Terrorism (Pluto Press, £12.99), the definitive account by ABC journalist John Cooley.
The celebrations, under the presidency of George Bush senior (himself a former CIA director), were
premature. The sophisticated methods taught to the mojahedin, and the thousands of tonnes of arms
supplied to them by the US - and Britain - are now tormenting the west in the phenomenon known as
"blowback", whereby a policy strategy rebounds on its own devisers. The sins of the father, it might well be
said, are being heaped on the head of the son.

Self-laceration may seem the last thing the US needs right now. But the lesson of these books is that only by
facing up to its dark past will a beleaguered country be able to create a future in which terrorist attacks on this
scale can be avoided. The whole issue of American "creation" of bin Laden in the Frankenstein's laboratory of
Afghanistan during the 1980s is generally avoided by government sources. Cooley points out that while the
State Department released a fact sheet on bin Laden in 1997 (the year prior to the bombing of the East African
embassies), the document "omits the background facts which help to explain how early and close were his
connections in the United States - making it easier for the Reagan-Casey jihad team to enlist his talents and
his fortune".

The British military establishment colluded with the US in supporting the mojahedin, with SAS and Green
Berets going into Afghanistan itself. As ex-SAS soldier Tom Carew explains in his Andy McNab-like Jihad: The
Secret War in Afghanistan (Mainstream, £7.99), they were inevitably drawn into actual combat. "We came to a
small hamlet and were stopped by a couple of mojahedin. They asked us, surprisingly politely, whether we
would mind helping them, as their commander had decided he was going to make some kind of stand
against the Russians."

As Cooley points out, in this country, "it was only Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's British government which
supported the jihad with full enthusiasm". Hindered by Congressional interference, the CIA covertly sought Mrs

Thatcher's help - in one incident, during the Falklands war, they curried favour by handing over an illegal
supply of Stinger missiles to British officials in a Washington car park.

Much of the help given to the mojahedin was coordinated by an MI6 field officer in Islamabad. It was surely only

a matter of time before some of this aid would find its way to the likes of bin Laden. Like the covert British and
American teams, many of which received dollar-for-dollar funding from the Saudi royal family, he arrived in
Afghanistan directly after the Soviet invasion in 1979. Everyone was getting along famously, according to
Cooley. "Delighted by his impeccable Saudi credentials, the CIA gave Osama free rein in Afghanistan, as did
Pakistan's intelligence generals."

In Ken Connor's Ghost Force: The Secret History of the SAS (Orion, £7.99), it is claimed that the elite regiment
actually trained Afghan fighters in remote locations in Scotland. In Afghanistan itself, the services of
Keenie-Meenie Services were used. This was an offshoot of British security firm Control Risks, mainly
comprising ex-SAS members and former members of Rhodesian and South African special forces. It took its
name from the Swahili word for the movement of a snake through grass. KMS later played a role in the Oliver
North, Iran-Contra affair of 1987.

On American soil, the CIA used Muslim charities and mosque communities as fronts for recruitment of
fighters in their secret war against the USSR in the Hindu Kush. As Cooley writes in Unholy Wars : "One was
[in] New York's Arab district, in Brooklyn along Atlantic Avenue... Another was a private rifle club in an affluent
community of Connecticut."

Bin Laden and a man named Mustafa Chalaby, who ran a jihad refugee centre in Brooklyn, were both protég
és of Abdullah Azzam. A formative influence on bin Laden, the charismatic Azzam was killed in a car-bomb in
1987: according to some rumours he was killed by the CIA. Others claim he was himself a CIA agent.

Cooley says that those directly recruited by the US went to Camp Peary - "the Farm", as the CIA's spy training
centre in Virginia is known in the intelligence community - in scenes, as he tells them, reminiscent of the
preparations for the killing of JFK recounted in Don DeLillo's Libra. At the Farm and other secret camps, young

Afghans and Arab nationals from countries such as Egypt and Jordan learned strategic sabotage skills.
Passed down to the younger jihad generation which filled the ranks of the bin Laden organisation, these skills

would come back to haunt the US. Simon Reeve's The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the

Future of Terrorism (Deutsch, £17.99) looks at how they were applied at the time of the 1993 attack on the
World Trade Centre and the 1998 embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam.

In the financial world, too, there is a blowback scenario, given that for years global banking has gained
considerable benefits from lack of transparency and regulation. BCCI, the British-Pakistani bank that was
closed down in 1991 after a massive fraud, was a regular route for mojahedin funding, including that provided
by Saudi intelligence.

Financing for Pentagon and CIA "black budget" operations - particularly in the era of William Casey - also
passed through BCCI, as did drug money. Some analysts claim black-budget US and British operatives flew
out opium on the planes with which they brought in arms. Later, jihad funding came from the
construction-industry coffers of Osama bin Laden and other Muslim "philanthropists". Bin Laden established
his own bank, the Al-Shamal Islamic, in Khartoum.

In Unholy Wars, Coon
Kashoggi had dealings with bin Laden's father, receiving a $50,000 cheque from him. Oil broker Roy Furmark,

Cooley says, provided a link between his CIA friend Casey and Kashoggi, introducing the latter to Manuchehr
Ghorbanifar, "the Iranian middleman who became a central figure in the arms for hostages and funds for
Contras deals with Iran, in which Kashoggi got involved". ley provides convincing evidence that Arab businessman and arms merchant Adna

Oil itself has long been a factor in the "great game" of Asian geopolitics, one which brings the other big player
in the blowback scenario, Russia, into the picture. As Afghan expert Michael Griffin puts it in Reaping the
Whirlwind: The Taliban Movement in Afghanistan (Pluto, £19.95): "A trans-Afghan pipeline would undermine
Russia's control of energy prices from Central Asia".

Griffin argues that the US under Clinton trimmed its opposition to the Taliban to gain an advantage in oil
politics. By that time, in this high-stakes game of snakes and ladders, Clinton's successor was effectively
already in the picture, as the son of a man with close ties to the oil company Unocal, which wanted to put a
pipeline across Afghanistan. Among their partners in the venture were BP and the Saudi royal family. The
future was beginning to cast as heavy a shadow as the past.

Griffin's introduction was penned seven months ago, but what he has to say still makes sobering reading.

"The accession in the US of President George W Bush... may shed yet fresh light on at least two central
mysteries of the Taliban ... The first is the extent to which the administration of Bill Clinton actively encouraged
its former cold war allies, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, to assemble and finance a tribal military force to end the
misrule of the mojahedin in the post-Soviet years. The second - of greater sensitivity - is to provide a coherent
explanation for the studied incompetence of the FBI, CIA and other American intelligence agencies in
addressing the alleged threats posed to the US by Osama bin Laden and his network. Bush's links with the
US energy industry, most notably Unocal, are, regrettably, more likely to restrict the current state of knowledge
about US policy in Afghanistan in the late 1990s, than to enlarge it."

Appalling as they are, this week's events may yet begin to force some dark secrets out into the light.

• Zanzibar, Giles Foden's novel about the US embassy bombings in East Africa, is published by Faber next
year.

books.guardian.co.uk
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