Appendices A and B: “The Obama Administration, Terrorism, and Hypocrisy” |
Eric Reeves | 5 May 2014 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1i6
Appendix A: Khartoum and Osama bin Laden/al-Qaeda |
In the days following September 11, 2001, a number of revealing reports quickly emerged, demonstrating that bin Laden’s departure for Afghanistan did not end his relationship with the Khartoum regime. For example, the Boston Globe, CNN, and Reuters all reported on the continuing role of al-Shamal Bank in financing Osama bin Laden’s campaign of terror against the United States. Unsurprisingly, al-Shamal Bank is in Khartoum. Moreover, the National Islamic Front (as it was known during bin Laden’s sojourn) also gave bin Laden many lucrative opportunities not only in banking, but in agriculture and construction. And as the al-Shamal Bank example suggested, bin Laden continued to derive extensive support from Khartoum well after his departure for Afghanistan. The Boston Globe offered a particularly telling example:
“Bin Laden could be using the [al-]Shamal bank to gain access to US banks,” [Senator Carl] Levin said, calling for new laws that would prevent such access. Levin cited an instance in which $250,000 was wired from [al-]Shamal Bank to a bin Laden associate in Texas, who used the money to buy a plane for bin Laden. (September 27, 2001)
According to CNN (September 26, 2001), bin Laden had provided $50 million in start-up capital for the al-Shamal Bank. It’s simply not credible that the Khartoum regime wasn’t fully aware of such a large financial presence in its banking system. And as the Boston Globe also notes in reporting on the years in which bin Laden was actually in Sudan: “U.S. officials said bin Laden controlled some of the largest commercial enterprises in Sudan, generating both profits and a cover for terrorist activities.” In yet another revealing moment in the Boston Globe report, we learn that:
[Bin Laden’s] businesses were not just focused on the bottom line, U.S. prosecutors [in the Tanzania and Kenya embassies bombing trial] say. In one transaction, a bin Laden company sent sugar from Sudan to Afghanistan. But on its return flight, the rented Sudan Airways cargo plane was loaded with Milan rockets and Stinger missiles.
Moreover, al-Qaeda never fully left Khartoum and Sudan, even after bin Laden’s departure. The April 2001 State Department report on state sponsors of terrorism declared emphatically: “[In 2000] Sudan continued to be used as a safe haven by members of various groups, including associates of Usama Bin Ladin’s al-Qaida organization.”
The broadest and most authoritative picture was provided by Africa Confidential, and much of what was said over a decade ago remains true today:
The N[ational I[slamic] F[ront] political and security apparatus is intact, as are the NIF’s and the international Islamists’ control of the economy. Many of those running terrorist training are still in security and ministerial jobs. So, well informed Sudanese doubt that the NIF will hand much of value to U.S. investigators. The NIF is as Islamist as its friends Usama and the Taliban. This regime believes in what it does. Any concession is intended only to protect the greater cause. Secondly, any major betrayal would be suicidal, just as dangerous as holding free elections. (Africa Confidential, Volume 42, No. 19, September 28, 2001)
British Prime Minister at the time, Tony Blair, disclosed in the wake of 9/11 that:
… “these bin Laden companies were key assets in the al-Qaeda terrorist campaign. Since 1989, Osama bin Laden has established a series of (Sudanese) businesses to provide income for al-Qaeda, and to provide cover for the procurement of explosives, weapons and chemicals, and for the travel of al-Qaeda operatives,” said a report tabled in the British parliament. (The Citizen [Ottawa], October 12, 2001)
In the same account The Citizen reported (along with many others):
The FBI has confirmed that Mohamed Atta, who piloted one of the commercial jetliners into the World Trade Center, wired money to Mr. bin Laden’s former paymaster in Sudan, Shaykh Sai’id el Masry, also known as Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad, on the eve of the terrorist attacks…. Shaykh Sai’id [Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad] controlled the bin Laden financial network in Sudan through a company called Taba Investments, and used profits from related Sudanese banks and businesses to finance and cloak terrorist training.
The Associated Press reported that Ali Mohamed, who pled guilty to conspiracy in the 1998 east African embassy bombings, said
…he [Mohamed] arranged security for a meeting in the Sudan between Hezbollah’s chief and bin Laden. Hezbollah provided explosives training for al-Qaida and Islamic Jihad, Mohamed said, while Iran supplied Egyptian Jihad with weapons and used Hezbollah to supply explosives that were disguised to look like rocks.” (Associated Press, October 12, 2001)
The Washington Post, on October 11, 2001 reported that “Tens of millions of the $100 million provided by bin Laden to the Taliban since he arrived in Afghanistan from Sudan in 1996 has been directly traced to bin Laden entities through banking and other transfers.” These transfers would certainly have involved the Taba Investments Company and al-Shamal Bank in Khartoum, which received $50 million in start-up capital from bin Laden when he was in Sudan.
The Post had earlier reported: “Aldy el-Attar, a 53-year-old surgeon who had a practice in the city of Neu-Ulm in the state of Bavaria, met separately both with alleged hijacker Mohamed Atta and Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, an alleged financier for Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network, the sources said. El-Attar traveled frequently in Europe and between Germany and Sudan” (October 9, 2001).
The Los Angeles Times reported on October 7, 2001 that a unit of Islamic moujahedeen in Bosnia had been financed by bin Laden “by means of small convoys of recruits from the Arab world through his businesses in Sudan, according to Mideast sources.”
And The Guardian of October 1, 2001 reported in detail on the financial background of bin Laden and al-Qaeda:
United States investigators believe they have found the “smoking gun” linking Osama bin Laden to the September 11 terrorist attacks, with the discovery of financial evidence showing money transfers between the hijackers and a bin Laden aide in the United Arab Emirates. The man at the centre of the financial web is believed to be Sheikh Saeed, also known as Mustafa Mohamed Ahmad, who worked as a financial manager for bin Laden when the Saudi exile was based in Sudan, and is still a trusted paymaster in bin Laden’s al-Qaida organisation.
Perhaps the most chilling and explicit report was that of September 28, 2001, from the National Post (Canada). Citing documents from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the National Post reported on two disturbing developments:
 Sudanese leaders [of the National Islamic Front regime] 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.
 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.
This report found its counterpart in the Hindustan Times (New Delhi) of September 20, 2001:
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.
[See also my overview account of the banking, investment, and commercial intertwining of the Khartoum regime and bin Laden and al-Qaeda at: “Osama bin Laden’s Ongoing Commercial and Financial Connections to Khartoum, September 19, 2001 and “Khartoum and a ‘financial war on terrorism’: connecting the dots,” November 2, 2001, http://sudanreeves.org/2004/12/22/khartoum-and-a-financial-war-on-terrorism-connecting-the-dots-november-2-2001]
[See also transcripts of the 1998 embassy bombings trial, which had recently concluded. The trial for these acts of terrorism clearly indicated the responsibility of bin Laden and his terrorist network al-Qaeda. Companies such as Talisman Energy and the Government of Canada must certainly have had considerable knowledge of bin Laden’s, and thus Sudan’s, role in the embassy bombings when Talisman officially entered Sudan in October 1998. For transcripts of the trial, revealing much about bin Laden’s financial and commercial connections to Sudan, see the analysis of those transcripts by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies: http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/reports/binladen.htm ]
Has Khartoum really changed?
And just who is the man and the organization that Khartoum chose to have as such a close ally and business partner? Bin Laden makes little distinction between American civilians and soldiers. “You say I am fighting against the American civilians,” he told one interviewer. “My enemy is every American man who is fighting against me, even by paying taxes” (Los Angeles Times, September 15, 2001).
The same attitude prevails in many powerful quarters in Khartoum, as suggested by the willingness to assist in the transfer of powerful rockets to Gaza, where their only targets can be Israeli civilians, taxpaying and otherwise. General Gration’s false claim that only domestic “politics” keeps Sudan on the State Department list of state sponsors of international terrorism reflects either disabling ignorance or cynical mendacity; in his case it’s a tough call to make. But the U.S. intelligence community knows full well all that I report here—and still chooses to attempt to define U.S. Sudan policy through the lens of counter-terrorism “cooperation” with Khartoum.
Appendix B: U.S. State Department designation of Sudan as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (April 30, 2014)
Sudan was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1993. In 2013, the Government of Sudan remained a generally cooperative counterterrorism partner and continued to take action to address threats to U.S. interests and personnel in Sudan.
Elements of al-Qa’ida (AQ)-inspired terrorist groups remained in Sudan. The Government of Sudan has taken steps to limit the activities of these elements, and has worked to disrupt foreign fighters’ use of Sudan as a logistics base and transit point for terrorists going to Mali, Syria, and Afghanistan. However, groups continued to operate in Sudan in 2013 and there continued to be reports of Sudanese nationals participating in terrorist organizations. For example, regional media outlets alleged one Sudanese national was part of an al-Shabaab terrorist cell that attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in September. There was also evidence that Sudanese violent extremists participated in terrorist activities in Somalia and Mali.
In 2013, Sudan continued to allow members of Hamas to travel, fundraise, and live in Sudan.
The UN and NGOs reported in 2013 that the Lord’s Resistance Army is likely operating in the disputed Kafia Kingi area, claimed by Sudan and South Sudan, in close proximity to Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). At year’s end, the United States continued to engage the Government of Sudan, the AU, and the UN to evaluate these reports.
The kidnapping of foreigners for ransom in Darfur continued, although no U.S. citizens were kidnapped in 2013. These kidnappings have hindered humanitarian operations in Darfur. Abductees have been released unharmed amid rumors of ransoms having been paid.
In 2013, the United States continued to pursue justice for the January 1, 2008 killing of two U.S. Embassy employees. At the end of the year, the Sudanese Supreme Court was deliberating on an appeal filed by defense attorneys of the three remaining men convicted of the two murders, requesting that their death sentences be commuted. In February 2013, one of five men convicted of aiding the 2010 escape attempt by the four convicted killers received a presidential commutation of his remaining sentence. Government of Sudan authorities explained his release was part of a broad administrative parole affecting 200 other prisoners who had served some portion of their sentences with good behavior. U.S. officials protested the commutation and urged the Government of Sudan authorities to imprison the convicted accomplice for the full 12 years of his sentence.
In 2013, the U.S. Department of State designated three of the individuals who participated in the January 1, 2008 killings – Abdelbasit Alhaj Alhasan Haj Hamad, Mohamed Makawi Ibrahim Mohamed, and Abd Al-Ra’Ouf Abu Zaid Mohamed Hamza – as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224.
In 2013, Sudanese authorities continued to prosecute 25 individuals detained during a raid in December 2012 on what the Government of Sudan described as a terrorist training camp operating in Dinder National Park. The so-called “Dinder cell” as of December was still awaiting trial on charges of terrorism and murder stemming from the deaths of several police involved in the December 2012 raid. At least one fringe party, Just Peace Forum, has called upon President Bashir to pardon members of the “Dinder Cell,” but the court cases were still ongoing at the end of the year. One trial judge from the country’s terrorism court remanded several cases back to the attorney general for additional interrogations.
The Government of Sudan has made some progress in opposing terrorist financing, although members of Hamas are permitted to conduct fundraising in Sudan. The Central Bank of Sudan and its financial intelligence unit circulate to financial institutions a list of individuals and entities that have been included on the consolidated list of the UNSC 1267/1989 (al-Qa’ida) Sanctions Committee, as well as the U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations and E.O. lists. The financing of terrorism per UNSCR 1373 (2001) was criminalized in Sudan pursuant to Sudan’s Money Laundering Act of 2003.
Sudan is generally responsive to international community concerns about counterterrorism efforts. Sudan’s vast, mostly unmonitored borders with Libya, Chad, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea hampered counterterrorism efforts. Nonetheless, in recent years Sudan has forged increasingly stronger relations with its neighbors. For example, in December 2013, Government of Sudan law enforcement authorities hosted a regional workshop on counterterrorism initiatives under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s program for security sector reform.