Wednesday, January 11, 2006

AlterNet: MediaCulture: The Scoop from 'State of War'

This chapter raises the question of continued connections between US intelligence and Al qaida. If thye had information that could have uncovered the whole financial base of Al qaida, why was it not persued?

AlterNet: MediaCulture: The Scoop from 'State of War': "Chapter 8: In Denial: Oil, Terrorism, and Saudi Arabia

Risen writes that after Abu Zubaydah was captured in March 2002, he was discovered to have had two bank cards on his person one from a Kuwaiti bank, and another from a Saudi bank, which Risen writes 'had the potential to be keys that could unlock some of al Qaeda's darkest secrets. The cards 'could give us entrée right into who was funding al Qaeda, no link analysis needed,' said one American source. 'You could track money right from the financiers to a top al Qaeda figure.' But something very odd happened when the FBI and CIA team [that collected Zubaydah's personal and business effects]. There is little evidence that an aggressive investigation of the cards was ever conducted.

'Two American sources familiar with the matter say that they don't believe the government's experts on terrorism financing have ever thoroughly probed the transactions in Abu Zubaydah's accounts...' Risen later reports that his two sources believe that this is because of a lack of oversight, 'rather than a political cover-up to protect the Saudis.' Risen writes that a 'Muslim financier with a questionable past, and with connections to the Afghan Taliban, al Qaeda, and Saudi intelligence agreed to work with [American investigators]' on this story. Risen says that the financier reported that in 2004, '18 months earlier, he said he had been told, Saudi intelligence officials seized all of the records related to [Zubaydah's Saudi bank card]; the records then disappeared… The timing of the reported seizure of the records by Saudi intelligence closely coincided with the timing of Abu Zubaydah's capture in Pakistan in March 2002.'"


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