Friday, October 30, 2009

9 -11 & Said Bahaji: Right under the Nose of Bush, Musharraf and Mahmud.

Why the Pakistani Military used to Support Taliban, Several Sectarian Outfits and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba before 911? And while the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi stand officially disbanded, their most militant son and leader, Maulana Azam Tariq, an accused in several cases of sectarian killing, contested elections from jail - albeit as an independent candidate - won his seat, and was released on bail shortly thereafter. Musharraf rewrote election rules to disqualify former Prime Ministers Mohammed Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, and threatened to toss them in jail if they returned from abroad, which badly undermined both Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League and Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP). Musharraf has plainly given the religious groups more free rein in the campaign than he has allowed the two big parties that were his main rivals. In Jhang city, in Punjab province, Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of an outlawed extremist group called Sipah-e-Sahaba, which has been linked to numerous sectarian killings, is being allowed to run as an independent despite election laws that disqualify any candidate who has criminal charges pending, or even those who did not earn a college degree. "It makes no sense that Benazir can't run in the election," says one Islamabad-based diplomat, "and this nasty guy can."

References: And this takes me back to Pervez Musharraf’s first visit to the US after his coup. At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.” Pakistani neocons and UN sanctions Khalid Hasan This entry was posted on Sunday, December 28th, 2008 at 6:00 pm. For The 'General' Good By Sairah Irshad Khan Monthly Newsline January 2003 - General's Election By TIM MCGIRK / KHANA-KHEL Monday, Oct. 07, 2002,9171,361788,00.html - MORE DETAILS: General Musharraf, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Brigadier [R] Usman Khalid & Deobandi Taliban.

We can easily say that the the latest reveleation is the last nail in the coffin of our so-called Startegic Depth. REFERENCE: Passport of 9/11 conspirator found in Waziristan By Zahid Hussain Friday, 30 Oct, 2009 The 9-11 Commission Report
Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Official Government Edition

German intelligence is periodically tapping suspected al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar’s telephone. On this day, investigators hear a caller being told Zammar is at a meeting with “Mohamed, Ramzi, and Said,” and can be reached at the phone number of the Marienstrasse apartment where all three of them live. This refers to Mohamed Atta, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, and Said Bahaji, all members of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. However, apparently the German police fail to grasp the importance of these names, even though Said Bahaji is also under investigation. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 6/22/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 1/18/2003] Atta’s last name is given as well. Agents check the phone number and confirm the street address, but it is not known what they make of the information. [DER SPIEGEL (HAMBURG), 2/3/2003]. REFERENCE: Context of 'February 17, 1999: Germans Intercept Al-Qaeda Calls, One Mentions Atta’s Name'

Pakistan’s chief spy Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad “was in the US when the attacks occurred.” He arrived in the US on the 4th of September, a full week before the attacks. He had meetings at the State Department “after” the attacks on the WTC. But he also had “a regular visit of consultations” with his US counterparts at the CIA and the Pentagon during the week prior to September 11. REFERENCE: Cover-up or Complicity of the Bush Administration? The Role of Pakistan’s Military Intelligence (ISI) in the September 11 Attacks by Michel Chossudovsky Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG), Montréal Posted at 2 November 2001

Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa. TFF Associates

AFTER 9/11.

In the afternoon, Mahmood was invited to CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia, where he told George Tenet, the CIA director, that in his view Mullah Omar, the Taliban chief, was a religious man with humanitarian instincts and not a man of violence! This was a bit difficult for the CIA officials to digest and rightly so as the Taliban’s track record, especially in the realm of human rights, was no secret. General Mahmood was told politely but firmly that Mullah Omar and the Taliban would have to face US Military might if Osama Bin Laden along with other Al-Qaeda leaders were not handed over without delay. To send the message across clearly, Richard Armitage held a second meeting with Mahmood the same day, informing him that he would soon be handed specific American demands, to which Mahmood reiterated that Pakistan would cooperate. {Bush at War by Bob Woodward, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002, New York}, p 32. {Pakistan: Eye of the Storm by Owen Bennett Jones, published by New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002}, p. 2.

General Mahmood on September 13, 2001, was handed a formal list of the US demands by Mr. Armitage and was asked to convey these to Musharraf and was also duly informed, for the sake of emphasis, that these were “not negotiable.” Colin Powell, Richard Armitage, and the assisstant secretary of state, Christina Rocca, had drafted the list in the shape of a “non-paper”. It categorically asked Pakistan:

Stop Al-Qaeda operatives coming from Afghanistan to Pakistan, intercept arms shipments through Pakistan, and end ALL logistical support for Osama Bin Laden.

Give blanket overflight and landing rights to US aircraft.

Give the US access to Pakistani Naval and Air Bases and to the border areas betweeen Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Turn over all the intelligence and immigration information.

Condemn the September 11 attacks and curb all domestic expressions of support for terrorism.

Cut off all shipments of fuel to the Talibans, and stop Pakistani volunteers from going into Afghanistan to join the Taliban. Note that, should the evidence strongly implicate Osama Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda Network in Afghanistan, and should the Taliban continue to harbour him and his accomplices, Pakistan will break diplomatic relations with the Taliban regime, end support for the Taliban, and assist the US in the aforementioned ways to destroy Osama and his network.

Having gone through the list, Mahmood declared that he was quite clear on the subject and that “he knew how the President thought, and the President would accept these points.” {Bush at War by Bob Woodward, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002, New York}, p 58-59. Interview: Richard Armitage, “Campaign Against Terror,” PBS (Frontline), April 19, 2002}

Mahmood then faxed the document to Musharraf. While the latter was going through it and in the process of weighing the pros and cons of each demand, his aide de camp that Colin Powell was on the line. Musharraf liked and respected Powell, and the conversation was not going to be a problem. He told him that he understood and appreciated the US position, but he would respond to the US demands after having discussed these with his associates. Powell was far too polite to remind him that he in fact was the government, but did inform him that his General in Washington had already assured them that these demands would be acceptable to the government of Pakistan. {Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism : Allah, the Army, and America’s War on Terror by Hassan Abbas, published by An East Gate Book , M.E. Sharpe Armonk, New York. London, England.}. NOTES/REFERENCES - Pakistan: Eye of the Storm by Owen Bennett Jones, published by New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002. Interview: Richard Armitage, “Campaign Against Terror,” PBS (Frontline), April 19, 2002; last accessed June 2, 2003, at
Bush at War by Bob Woodward, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002, New York. Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism : Allah, the Army, and America’s War on Terror by Hassan Abbas, published by An East Gate Book , M.E. Sharpe Armonk, New York. London, England

Zaffar Abbas is resident editor of Dawn News in Islamabad, Pakistan. Abbas was the Bureau Chief for the monthly Herald in the capital and also remained the BBC's correspondent first in Karachi and then in Islamabad for 17 years. On trail of Al Qaeda operative Said Bahaji By Zaffar Abbas Friday, 30 Oct, 2009

ISLAMABAD: In November 2001, Pakistan’s prestigious Herald magazine, in an investigative story, had given a detailed account of how Said Bahaji along with two of his accomplices, had arrived and stayed in Karachi shortly before the dastardly 9/11 attack and how they had managed to slip out of the country, with at least two of them crossing into Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden had his base under the Taliban’s protection.

The detailed report in the magazine said that on arrival at the Karachi airport the three had identified themselves as Abdellah Hosayni, a Belgian citizen of Algerian dissent, Ammar Moula of Morrocan origin but travelling on a French passport, and German national Said Bahaji. In a normal hustle bustle at the airport, no one noticed that all three got into the same taxi. They then headed for a hotel which none of them had mentioned in the disembarkation card submitted with the Pakistani immigration authorities.

The three remained as anonymous as any other tourist until all hell broke loose in the US on September 11, 2001. The massive manhunt that followed soon spread to Hamburg and Paris, and with the help of Pakistani security agencies, a connection was established with these three mysterious characters who had arrived in Karachi exactly eight days prior to the attacks in New York and Washington.

No one knows where these men went after they left their hotel on September 5, 2001. But the paper trail followed by Pakistani sleuths at the time led to some startling disclosures about the trio’s earlier activities. Investigators believed they had unearthed the first direct link between Afghanistan — and possibly Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda movement — and the events of September 11.

It all began when authorities in Hamburg, acting on a tip from US investigators, raided a flat which had been frequently visited by one of the main suspected hijackers, Mohammed Atta. Sifting through the few items found in the flat, German investigators were able to determine that someone by the name of Said Bahaji, among others, had been in close contact with Mohammed Atta. Soon they also tracked down a shipment slip which revealed that a packet, ostensibly containing ‘religious literature’, was sent to Bahaji on March 30, 2001 from an address in Karachi.

The German authorities then passed on a list of telephone numbers to their Pakistani counterparts, primarily to confirm whether any calls were made to these numbers from this country. This really set the ball rolling. Within days, Pakistani security agencies were able to pinpoint the location in Karachi from where calls had been placed to one of the suspect numbers 0049-40-76757634. Additional spade work soon linked this telephony to the three mysterious men who arrived in the city on September 4, 2001. Three calls were made to the above number in Germany from a World Call phone booth in PECHS Block 6 in the Nursery area. The first call was made on August 31, another was placed on September 2, and the third on September 4. Investigators believe the first two calls were made by Said Bahaji’s local contact while the third was the work of either Bahaji or his associates after the trio landed in Karachi.

The Herald report said, working on assumption that the person making the calls must have been lodged at a nearby hotel, security operatives found their way to a Hotel Embassy on the main Sharae Faisal. It was here that the investigators hit the jackpot. Pakistani law requires foreign visitors to provide hotels with photocopies of their passports and these documents offered a wealth of information. The hotel record, meanwhile, showed that all three men had stayed in the same room (318) for one night, paid for it in cash and had not used the hotel telephone. A trip to Hotel Embassy by the Herald correspondent left little doubt that the staff had been through ceaseless questioning by more than one security agency.

According to information gleaned by investigators at that time from the hotel record, Said Bahaji was travelling on a genuine German passport (L8642163). Bahaji had Morrocon father and German mother and was married to a Turkish woman called Nezy. Bahaji was clean shaven in his passport photograph but was sporting a beard when he applied for a visa.

Abdellah Hosayni’s Belgian passport was also deemed genuine. However, subsequent investigations in France revealed that the third occupant of room 318 had been travelling on a fake passport. The real ‘Ammar Moula’ had by then been tracked down by French authorities.

Apart from getting information about the possible presence of Al Qaeda supporters in Karachi, investigators said that circumstantial evidence suggested that at least two of the men boarded a PIA flight for Quetta the following day. They did not book into any hotel in Quetta and might have slipped into Afghanistan the same day.

At that time there was a strong suspicion that at least one member of the trio, most likely Said Bahaji, left Pakistan on Sept 5 on a fake passport and under an assumed name. Pakcom internet service record of that period showed that an email in German was sent that day to Hamburg from the Quaid-i-Azam, International Airport’s departure lounge, probably by Said Bahaji to his mother. The airport record showed that two flights took off in this period and investigators were of the view that Bahaji most probably flew to Bahrain.

Although the trail went cold here, senior security officials at that time said their work had earned praise not just from the Germans but also the FBI and other organisations which have been working round the clock to corner the group responsible for the 9/11 attack.

The recovery of Said Bahaji’s passport during the current security operation in South Waziristan suggests that the Al Qaeda operative at some point must have returned to the area. It’s, however, not clear if he was still alive, and was travelling within or outside the country under an assumed name.

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