The mountain of evidence linking Osama bin Laden and Sudan’s National Islamic Front continues to grow, and it’s clear that the links are emphatically in the present tense. Al-Shamal bank is, for the moment, only the most conspicuous financial link. But there are several other banking connections analyzed in recent press reports. Just as significantly, construction and agricultural interests in Sudan continue to supply bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization with huge revenues. And in an extremely important development, the Khartoum regime is revealed today, in a report from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, to have “arranged for diplomatic credentials for bin Laden followers, allowing them unfettered travel around the world” (National Post, September 28, 2001).
Eric Reeves [September 28, 2001]
Northampton, MA 01063
Oil companies such as Talisman Energy of Canada, Petronas of Malaysia, Lundin Petroleum of Sweden, OMV of Austria, China National Petroleum Corp. should be seen for what they are: fully cognizant partners with a terrorist-supporting regime. The extremist National Islamic Front in Khartoum continues to support Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, continues to allow Sudanese financial and economic resources to benefit bin Laden—and, using the oil revenues supplied by Talisman Energy and its partners, continues its own massive terrorist campaign against the people of the south.
Though much is being made of the easy words of condolence emanating from Khartoum, the radical Islamist regime is deeply in sympathy with bin Laden and his goals. Though Bush administration officials are praising Sudan for its “cooperation,” this is short-sighted appeasement of a regime that has not, and cannot, change its brutal ways. They are “cooperating” simply determined to avoid American wrath. Self-preservation dictates that they will not yield the most telling information about Sudan’s decade-long support for terrorism and bin Laden in particular.
The most chilling recent revelation about Khartoum’s ongoing support for world terrorism comes from today’s National Post of Canada. Citing documents from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the article reports on two extremely disturbing developments:
 “Sudanese leaders agreed in 1998 to use their embassy staff in
New York, London and Rome to raise funds for Osama bin Laden, according to documents from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).”
 “The documents, filed in Federal Court, also claim the Sudanese agreed to arrange for diplomatic credentials for bin Laden followers, allowing them unfettered travel around the world. The alleged agreement was struck between bin Laden’s top aide, Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahri, and ‘Sudanese Islamic leaders,’ the CSIS brief said.”
There could hardly be more unambiguous evidence that Khartoum has not abandoned its terrorist ways simply because bin Laden ended his five-year stay in Sudan in 1996.
These findings of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service comport with a recent revelation in the Hindustan Times (India). The Times reports (September 20, 2001) that:
“According to a senior police official, fresh evidence gathered by them has
revealed that Ismail, the first secretary in the Sudanese embassy, was not
only operating as a conduit of Osama bin Laden in the Capital [New Delhi] but was also trying to recruit more operatives for subversive activities.
“‘Al-Safani, lieutenant of [bin] Laden, and Ismail had asked Mohd Shamim, one of the accused arrested in the case, to arrange for motivated youths to attack the American embassy and in return promised him a reward of Rs 100 lakh,’ said an officer. Special Cell sleuths now say that investigations into the case have been hampered as the [Sudanese] diplomat had fled the country after his name figured in the case.
“Sources reveal that [Sudanese Embassy First Secretary] Ismail was called back by his government [in Khartoum] as soon as his name was disclosed by [Abdel] Raouf [one of the accused in the original World Trade Center bombing].”
As these, and other, newspaper reports make clear, the Khartoum regime is using its diplomatic presence abroad to support Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, just as they gave safe haven to bin Laden from 1991 to 1996, and allowed al-Qaeda (begun in 1988) to come to full fruition.
The Hindustan Times continues:
“Raouf was nabbed by Special Cell sleuths in June and was suspected to be
working for [bin] Laden. Further investigations revealed that Raouf came to Delhi and stayed with [Sudanese Embassy First Secretary] Ismail at his Shanti Niketan residence for one and a half months and was being
paid by the Sudanese embassy. In fact, the charge sheet filed in a city court names Ismail and Yemenese national Hussain Mohd Safani, besides bin Laden, as the main conspirators. Safani is alleged to be main the conduit of Osama and a prominent figure in his terrorist outfit Al Qaeda. A trained bomb expert, he was involved in last years’ attack on US warship USS Cole Yemen, resulting in the death of 17 US sailors.”
The State Department and the Bush administration had best think long and hard before going further down the road of “cooperation” with a Khartoum regime that is clearly still in the terrorism business. There are a host of additional links between Khartoum and bin Laden and al-Qaeda that are only now emerging more clearly in the wake of the horrors of September 11. Investigative reporting is in high-gear, and there are a number of additional revelations that will emerge in the coming days.
At the same time, well aware of its own terrorist-supporting ways, Khartoum will predictably give up whatever and whomever it can—an expedient effort to divert American attention from both its support of world terrorism, and its genocidal conduct of the war and terrorism in the south. But they will obviously never give up most critical information; to do so would be to reveal just how fully they have continued to support bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
The United States will have betrayed its declared goal in confronting world terrorism if it does not face up squarely to these ongoing realities.