Sunday, June 30, 2002

Although he had absolutely nothing to do with the events of September 11, it is very instructive to consider the case of Ali Mohamed. Ali Mohamed is an Egyptian who was an Islamic fundamentalist. He had earned two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree at the University of Alexandria. He joined the Egyptian army and worked his way up through the ranks to become a major in Egypt's special forces. His fundamentalism became so disruptive that the Egyptian army threw him out in 1984. What did he do? He became a security expert for Egyptair and approached the CIA to offer to supply them with information. The CIA turned him down after a month, claiming he was 'unreliable', possibly because they knew he had secretly joined Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the group responsible for the assassination of Sadat. They even put him on the State Department watch list, warned other U.S. government agencies about him, and urged them to detain him if possible. I guess it wasn't possible, as in 1985 he managed to obtain a visa, emigrated to the United States, married an American (who he had met on his flight over to the United States!), and became an American citizen. In 1986, at the age of 34 (rather old for a recruit) he joined the United States Army as a regular soldier, and worked his way up to become a sergeant (with a level 'secret' security clearance). How can a guy who is too fundamentalist to stay in the Egyptian army, not to mention being on a State Department watch list, so easily get in to the United States and so easily join the U. S. Army? A U. S. government official even said that there was 'no evidence' that the CIA helped Mohamed gain entry to the United States in 1985, which isn't much of a denial. It seems to have been an open secret amongst people who knew him in the army that he was acting as a liason between the CIA and Islamic fundamentalists fighting in Afghanistan and he made absolutely no secret of his fundamentalist beliefs while in the army. Amazingly, he stated that he intended, while on military leave, to fight in Afghanistan without seeking the permission of his army superiors. A report was filed on the matter, and when he returned a second report was filed, but no charges were filed against him! He even claimed to have killed two Soviet soldiers and gave away as souvenirs what he claimed were their uniform belts. Do you think his little adventure was really unauthorized? He left the army officially in 1989, and continued to be involved in the American proxy war against the Russians being fought by Islamic fundamentalists (including, of course, bin Laden). Since it was American policy to support this war, do you think it was possible that he was still working for some part of the U. S. government at this time (he was in the Army Reserves for five years after his honorable discharge)? He was even the guy who brought Dr. Ayman Zawahri, head of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and a good candidate as the real leader of al-Qaeda, on his famous fund-raising trip to the United States. Mohamed even found time while smuggling Islamic fundamentalists into the United States from Vancouver to become an FBI informant on smuggling involving Mexicans and other aliens (he gave the FBI their first comprehensive briefing on al-Qaeda in 1993, and as late as 1997 told the FBI that it was bin Laden's men who were responible for the 18 American deaths in Somalia)! All the while, he was assisting in the plotting of terrorism against the United States which led to the bombings of the U. S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and was eventually arrested, pled guilty, and is currently in jail. How is Ali Mohamed useful in considering September 11? He was so obviously an Islamic fundamentalist that he was kicked out of the Egyptain army and put on a U. S. State Department watch list, but had no problem: 1) emigrating to the U. S.; 2) joining the U. S. army, and becoming a sergeant; 3) while on military leave, fighting in Afghanistan (by the way, this sounds much worse than Lindh's case, as Lindh wasn't even in the U. S. army) without any sanction; and 4) becoming an informant for the FBI. The CIA already knew who he was due to his contacting them while in Egypt. Do you think that it is even slightly possible that the CIA didn't really turn him down while in Egypt, but arranged for the whole series of steps which led him to the United States? Do you think that they haven't admitted to any of this because to do so might involve an admission that the CIA was fooled by him, or even - gasp - that they were involved in the African bombing plot? Do you really think that no one noticed that he had spent five years moving back and forth between the U. S. and Afghanistan? Can you see an analogy to the events of September 11? Is it even conceivable that the international Islamic networks linked to bin Laden may have been nurtured and encouraged by elements of the U.S. intelligence community? Two final points:

  1. Some of the September 11 hijackers are said to have attended U. S. military officer's schools, something that soldiers of allies of the U. S. can be invited to do. Ali Mohamed graduated from such a school in 1981 in a program for visiting military officials from foreign countries, and went back to the Egyptian army.

  2. Mohamed Atef, a member of al-Qaeda, refused to let Mohamed know what name and passport he was traveling under. L'Houssaine Khertchou testified at the embassy bombing trial that this was "because he was afraid that maybe he is working with United States or other governments".