Updated Title: The Dubai-Al Qaeda Connection: Smoking Gun for Bush?/poll
Tue Feb 21, 2006 at 10:10:30 PM PDT
Lots of stuff has been going back and forth over the whole Dubai Ports scandal, but one thing that has been neglected has been the phrase in the media:
"There are connections between the United Arab Emirates and Al Qaeda" but it's been vague and hasn't really said much, other than some people from the Emirates participated in 9/11. Considering that any independent person from there could have been involved, that's not much of an indictable offense.
Well, I decided to start googling and this is what I came up with.
The Emir of Dubai, and the head of the family that owns Dubai Ports is an associate and hunting companion of Osama Bin Laden.
Hummingbird's diary :: ::
I kept having this niggling feeling that I had heard this a while back and I had, because MSNBC had reported it on 9/5/03. No one has talked about this yet in the news, though Peter King, has said:
"By having a company right out of the heartland of al-Qaida managing those ports without being properly cleared or investigated, to me is madness," Rep. King told ABC News.
King cited "a number of reports about the port of Dubai itself, about weapons going through that port, to Iran, about corruption, and again about an al-Qaida presence. And I know there was no real investigation done on this matter."
This bothered me. Surely there must be more. And with a little bit of effort, I found it at cooperativeresearch.org.
Between 1995-2001 the Arab Elite went hunting with Bin Laden:
According to Wikipedia, Sheik Mohammed ibn Rashid al Maktum is the Prime Minister of the Entirety of the UAE, and recently become the Emir of Dubai after the former Emir, Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, died of a heart attack this month in Queensland, Australia.
After the Taliban takes control of the area around Kandahar, Afghanistan, in September 1994, prominent Persian Gulf state officials and businessmen, including high-ranking United Arab Emirates and Saudi government ministers, such as Saudi intelligence minister Prince Turki al-Faisal, frequently secretly fly into Kandahar on state and private jets for hunting expeditions. [Los Angeles Times, 11/18/01] General Wayne Downing, Bush's former national director for combating terrorism, says: "They would go out and see Osama, spend some time with him, talk with him, you know, live out in the tents, eat the simple food, engage in falconing, some other pursuits, ride horses. One noted visitor is Sheik Mohammed ibn Rashid al Maktum, United Arab Emirates Defense Minister and Crown Prince for the emirate of Dubai." [MSNBC, 9/5/03] While there, some develop ties to the Taliban and al-Qaeda and give them money. Both bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar sometimes participate in these hunting trips. Former US and Afghan officials suspect that the dignitaries' outbound jets may also have smuggled out al-Qaeda and Taliban personnel. [Los Angeles Times, 11/18/01] On one occasion, the US will decide not to attack bin Laden with a missile because he's falconing with important members of the United Arab Emirates' royal family (see February 1999).
George Tenet actually confirmed this in his testimony in front of the 9/11 commission. Hollywood Reporter pointed this out today on the tjf1977's diary:
FIELDING: Well, yesterday we talked about the three events in '98 and '99 where there were occasions that it looked like there might be an opportunity which then, in each instance, was deemed not to be operational. And the one that I find the most intriguing and the one that's been labeled as perhaps the lost opportunity more than any was the February '99 hunting camp -- I guess it's been described -- the desert camp.
And yesterday in the staff statement that was read, we're told about that and we were told that the intelligence seemed pretty strong and that the preparations were made and then the strike was called off. And the lead CIA agent in the field felt that it was very reliable intelligence.
I guess, was there anything unique about the intelligence or the circumstances that necessitated that decision?
FIELDING: And who made that decision?
TENET: I don't have a recollection of the uniqueness of the intelligence in question at the time. I can go back and provide that for you. In fact, I'd like to go back and try and package up all the data at my disposal when we were thinking about these issues.
I believe this was a collective decision. I also believe this target went away because the camp was ultimately dismantled. So in reading through your staff inquiry -- your staff notes on this, I can't recall who made the call, but I know we were all in the same place about it, Mr. Fielding.
FIELDING: I would appreciate that on behalf of the commission, if you could do that because it seemed that this -- when the intelligence was so good and that by the time the camp was dismantled, days and days had passed. So I would appreciate that.
TENET: It's also a question, I believe, as to whether bin Laden was inside or outside the camp...
FIELDING: Of course.
TENET: ... the complicating issue in this whole thing and whether he was there or not. So there's a second complicating factor here.
The third complicating factor here is you might have wiped out half the royal family in the UAE in the process, which I'm sure entered into everybody's calculation in all this.
Wow, looks like between all of us, we can come up with a real connection between this Dubai and bin laden, and this is heavily indicting on Bush considering his insistence that he will VETO any attempt to stop this deal. He's squirming on this hook and with his connections to the House of Saud, and the Bin Ladens, this is looking even worse. Selling us out to the terrorists?