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$100,000 transfer from Saeed Sheikh to Mohammed Atta -- Clearing up a few issues

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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 01:23 PM
Original message
$100,000 transfer from Saeed Sheikh to Mohammed Atta -- Clearing up a few issues
Edited on Sat Jan-26-08 01:37 PM by HamdenRice
There has been a bit of confusion about the allegations that Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence chief, Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Ahmad, ordered Saeed Sheikh to send $100,000 to Mohammed Atta.

Somehow, many bloggers and posters have confused the dates of these alleged transactions and the sources of the allegations. For some reason many people have begun to write that the wire transfer occurred just before the 9/11 attacks, in August 2001 -- an allegation that doesn't make sense if we also believe that Mohammed Atta tried to return excess funds to his backers around the same time.

The original reporting, however, claimed that Saeed Sheikh wired Mohammed Atta $100,000 in the summer of 2000, not the summer of 2001. This makes much more sense, if the allegation is that Atta used funds from Saeed Sheikh to organize and carry out the 9/11 attacks.

Paul Thompson's timeline establishes the date of the transfers as the summer of 2000. The source of the allegation was that the phone records from the phone company used by Sheikh, including a record of Sheikh's repeated phone calls to Ahmad around the same time Sheikh wired money to Atta:

In 2002, French author Bernard-Henri Levy is presented evidence by government officials in New Delhi, India, that Saeed Sheikh makes repeated calls to ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed during the summer of 2000. Later, Levy gets unofficial confirmation from sources in Washington regarding these calls that the information he was given in India is correct. He notes that someone in the United Arab Emirates using a variety of aliases sends Mohamed Atta slightly over $100,000 between June and September of this year (see June 29, 2000-September 18, 2000 and (July-August 2000)), and the timing of these phone calls and the money transfers may have been the source of news reports that Mahmood Ahmed ordered Saeed Sheikh to send $100,000 to Mohamed Atta (see October 7, 2001). However, he also notes that there is evidence of Sheikh sending Atta $100,000 in August 2001 (see Early August 2001), so the reports could refer to that, or both $100,000 transfers could involve Mahmood Ahmed, Saeed Sheikh, and Mohamed Atta.

<end quote>

Also, there is some confusion about sources -- namely that the only source was the Times of India. This is not correct. The Times of India was the first source, but French author Bernard-Henri Levy, CNN, Asia Times and the Wall St. Journal followed up on the story and reported that American officials (sometimes more specifically described as the FBI) had confirmed the the allegations that Sheikh wired the money at the request of Gen. Ahmad. So, the "story" is not simply that the Times of India alleged an Ahmad-Sheikh-Atta connection, but that the US government had confirmed the Indian allegations. The Wall St. Journal also reported shortly after 9/11, that Ahmad had been fired because of his ties to Sheikh.

The Indian newspaper Excelsior also explained the aftermath of the Indian-FBI collaboration -- namely, that the FBI did not believe the Indian allegations until, using Indian supplied electronic data, they confirmed for themselves the Ahmad-Sheikh-Atta connection:

http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/01oct18/news.htm

The FBI investigators are reported to have conceded that Indias inputs proved to be "vital". A highly-placed intelligence source told EXCELSIOR that the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) provided the critical lead, which was vigorously pursued by the FBI investigators in Pakistan for more than 10 days until the cat was out of the bag.

The critical lead, the source elaborated, was the cellphone number of Omar Sheikh. In the initial stages, Americas intelligence establishment was found having certain reservations on Indias inputs. The scenario changed after the RAW made available Omar Sheikhs cellphone number-0300 94587772.

The FBIs examination of the hard disk of the cellphone company Omar Sheikh had subscribed to led to the discovery of the "link" between him and the deposed chief of the Pakistani ISI, Gen. Mehmood Ahmed. And as the FBI investigators delved deep, sensational information surfaced with regard to the transfer of 100,000 dollars to Mohammed Atta, one of the Kamikaze pilots who flew his Boeing into the World Trade Centre. Gen. Mehmood Ahmed, the FBI investigators found, fully knew about the transfer of money to Atta.

<end quote>

Later, the Pittsburg Tribune Review reported leaks from the Pakistani government to the effect that Sheikh was not only an ISI asset, but a direct CIA asset:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_20141....

POWERED BY THE CIA?

But there is also a tragedy of disbelief. There are many in Musharraf's government who believe that Saeed Sheikh's power comes not from the ISI, but from his connections with our own CIA. The theory is that with such intense pressure to locate bin Laden, Saeed Sheikh was bought and paid for. True or not, it would be logical for the CIA to recruit an intelligent, young political criminal with contacts in both India and Pakistan. That he was uncontrollable may not have been a factor until too late!

Another wake-up call for those for whom the war is far, far away: Saeed Sheikh has long had close contacts with the "Tanseem ul-uqra" (the Group of the Impoverished), which claims close ties with the Muslims of the Americas a U.S. tax-exempt group claiming about 3,000 members in Red House, Va.; the Baladullah Estate in Fresno, Calif.; and various groups in Colorado, New York State and the Caribbean.

<end quote>

The confusion about the date of the transfers seems to have arisen because Levy also reported a second transfer in the summer of 2001. But the better sourced allegation was that the transfers took place a year earlier.
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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. What explains the conduct in the first place?
Why would the ISI Chief be so closely associated with wiring money to Atta? One would think the ISI Chief has the capability to cover his tracks more effectively. It reminds me of Posner's Zubaydah claim. Why would Zubaydah have direct access to the Pakistani AF Chief? Why would high ranking Pakistani officials be so carefree and/or sloppy?

Admittedly it is possible that concealment wasn't the overriding priority.
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William Seger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. What explanation would you accept?
> "Why would the ISI Chief be so closely associated with wiring money to Atta?"

Um, assuming that's what happened, it might be because he was sympathetic to Al-Qaeda's anti-US jihad?

> "One would think the ISI Chief has the capability to cover his tracks more effectively."

He probably would, if he were acting within the ISI and Pakistani government framework. Which sorta implies that he wasn't, doesn't it?


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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. It would be like Tenet telling a subordinate
Edited on Sat Jan-26-08 07:39 PM by noise
to wire $100,000 to McVeigh.

If he wasn't acting within official government channels it seems he would have been even more careful to conceal his involvement.
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Maybe he was given
reassurances that he was immune. In fact he is/was immune if you recall that the redacted 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report were due to "national security concerns" rumored to be in fact not to upset the Saudi or Pakistani govts.

(Or the CIA/neocon handlers told him it was a sting operation and they needed his help).

People are assuming that 9/11 went totally to plan. I don't think it did. IMO United 93 was intended for a political target. Had it hit its target (prob the WH or dome of the Capitol) Cheney could have implemented extra-constitutional emergency rule and squelched any investigaton (which they did quite effectively anyway even under the pseudo-democracy that survived 9/11).
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. 935 lies
what's one or two more between traitors
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pauldp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
6. Thanks Hamden, that clears up some things and also raises more questions.
The FBI needs to give us some f*cking answers.
The fact that the FBI has not clarified this story more openly in the american press is very disturbing,
especially given that Ahmed was a close ally of Musharraf and instrumental in the coup that installed him.
If the FBI did corroborate the Indian intelligence, then why the hell isn't Ahmed in U.S. custody, awaiting trial,
instead of enjoying a nice life in Pakistan's private sector?
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KJF Donating Member (792 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-27-08 06:22 AM
Response to Original message
7. Various issues
(1) First source.
You write


The Times of India was the first source


Please could you tell me the date of the Times of India article you were referring to?

(2) Date of transfer in summer of 2001
The alleged date of transfer is sometimes said to be "just before the attacks" or whatever. My understanding, however, is that it actually supposed to be around early August (it is supposed to have come from the ransom of an Indian shoe magnet). The way I see it is that the hijackers were broke (there are reports of them not being able to make ATM withdrawals around this time), so Atta called KSM, KSM called Saeed Sheikh (note: they were associates, for example collaborated on the kidnap and murder of Daniel Pearl), so Sheikh (who is previously said to have provided funding for AQ) sent USD 100,000 where KSM told him to. The hijackers then used the money to buy plane tickets for 9/11 (about USD 37,000), support themselves for a month, and sent some money back to Dubai.

(3) Transfer in summer 2000
According to the 9/11 Commission, the Florida hijackers received only USD 115,000 in transfers from abroad, in the summer-autumn of 2000 (mostly to a joint Atta-Alshehhi account). However, I found three sources (NYT, FT, PBS - see June-August 2000 in the Atta timeline) that put the number at USD 200,000. One of the NYT accounts even says Atta had an account with the "Century Bank of Florida," a bank account I have never seen mentioned in any official documents (Dennis Lormel told the NYT the hijackers had 35 bank accounts, but only about 25 have been disclosed). I checked, and the Century Bank has a branch round the corner from Huffman Aviation. All this makes me pretty suspicious. It seems odd that the three news outlets would all make the same mistake. It looks to me that this is what somebody (probably from the FBI, maybe Lormel) told them.

In any case, the 9/11 Commission missed out some transfers, for example one from Egypt at the end of August 2001 and one from Germany in May 2001, but both of these were small.

btw, there was a guy in Red House arrested with a box cutter just after 9/11 - weird, huh?

btw2, did you see the thing with Pistole in 2004 and the 2006 Lee Hamilton interview:

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a07...

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a08...

btw3, check this too:
http://web.archive.org/web/20021231182956/http://www.on...
More confirmation from AP writer Kathy Gannon.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-27-08 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
8. Good and important work, HR - and KJF too ...
Now remember this?

http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=2006031308021...

Allegations of Bribes to 9/11 Commission - Pakistan


The 9/11 Commission made "dramatic changes" to its final report to omit information about the role of Pakistan, according to The Friday Times, a Pakistani weekly. After learning that the report would contain damaging revelations, the Pakistani government dispatched lobbyists to Washington to influence the 9/11 Commission, and may have even paid bribes to Commission members or their staff, the weekly says, citing an official at the Pakistani Foreign Office. “The disclosure sheds doubt on the integrity and honesty of the members of the 9/11 Inquiry Commission and above all on the authenticity of the information in their final report,” according to one source cited by the weekly.

The story was picked up yesterday by The Telegraph of Calcutta, India and is now shooting around the blogosphere. We cannot vouch for its veracity, but we can guess at the sort of information that both the US and the Pakistani government might have wanted to omit from The 9/11 Commission Report:

For example, prior to Sept. 11 the chief of the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI allegedly approved a $100,000 wire transfer to a certain Mohamed Atta. Yet the same ISI chief, Mahmud Ahmed, was in Washington for a working visit to his counterparts in the US government for more than a week prior to Sept. 11. On the morning of 9/11 itself, he was having breakfast at the Capitol with the future congressional investigators of the September 11th events. These alleged investigators, Porter Goss and Bob Graham, somehow failed to mention anything about the Pakistani connection in their report, in the same way that the 9/11 Commission later closed its eyes to the same facts. Were bribes really necessary to whitewash all this? In reality, the "Pakistani Connection" actually leads back to the US intelligence behemoth. For the full background, be sure to read "The Pakistani ISI" appendix to the "Justice for 9/11" Attorney General complaint.

(The following was published originally in the subscription-only The Friday Times of Pakistan, March 3, 2006. Reproduced here solely for educational purposes, see below.)

Did Pakistan influence the 9/11 Commission Report?

Ahmed Rauf
According to an FO official, "dramatic changes" were made in the final draft of the 9/11 Commission Report after Pakistani lobbyists convinced the commission's members to remove anti-Pakistan findings

Pakistan gave tens of thousands of dollars through its lobbyists in the United States to members of the 9/11 inquiry commission to ‘convince’ them to drop some anti-Pakistan findings in the report. This was disclosed by Foreign Office officials to the Public Accounts Committee at a secret meeting held last Tuesday. Even more interesting was the revelation that Pakistan embassy officials in Washington did indeed manage to convince the commission to drop the information.

The 9/11 inquiry commission was constituted to look into the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States and make proposals to fight terrorism in the long run. A lengthy report of the commission has since been published in book form. This book, say FO sources, left out some information relating to Pakistan because the commission’s members were paid by Pakistan to prevent them from including damaging information. “The disclosure sheds doubt on the integrity and honesty of the members of the 9/11 Inquiry Commission and above all on the authenticity of the information in their final report,” said an insider.

Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan and Special Secretary Sher Afgan were present at the meeting when an FO official, Sadiq, who was part of the secret negotiations with members of the US inquiry team and has just returned from Washington after completing a three-year tenure at the Pakistan embassy, revealed that a lot of money had been spent to ‘silence’ the members of the inquiry commission and induce them to go ‘soft’ on Pakistan.

(MORE)
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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-27-08 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. These accounts
Edited on Sun Jan-27-08 04:25 PM by noise
are 'over the top' in regards to incriminating Pakistani officials in 9/11. I don't know what it signifies but IMO it is a red flag. It seems the wire transfer account is credible but IMO the bribery story is BS. In relation to the wire transfer I would characterize it as 'over the top' because of Ahmed's seeming indifference to concealing his involvement.

All the foreign sponsorship links in the Universe don't explain how the alleged hijackers got on the planes.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-27-08 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Your attitude is logical but may not be evidentiary.
While I may agree with you about where the leads ultimately go, you have to take it one brick at a time, using the leads you actually have.

How do you know Ahmed was indifferent once claims of his involvement came out? Seen any statements from him?
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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-27-08 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I don't understand why Ahmed
would be one link removed from wiring funds to Atta. So the indifferent chacterization is in relation to his failure to cover his tracks. Admittedly I don't know his motives. IMO, it does seem farfetched to think that Ahmed was simply sloppy in light of the fact that he headed the ISI at the time.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-27-08 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. There could be a lot of reasons...
And there's no need to speculate. In fact, we should bar ourselves from speculating. The story is on its own sufficient to debunk the 9/11 Commission for ignoring it and for claiming 9/11 funding didn't matter, and to build pressure for disclosure.
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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-27-08 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. I don't see a problem with speculation
as long as it is labeled as such. IMO, the credibility issue occurs when speculation is put forth as truth or proof. It also doesn't help when a person who disagrees with the distorted standard is labeled a government shill.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-27-08 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Agreed.
But it shouldn't distract from the main point, even if that leaves us repeating the main point over and over: Pakistan money connection invalidates the 9/11 Commission Report, justifies renewed pressure for disclosure, and is self-evidently more important than all these side debates about some guy's pet theory.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-27-08 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
15. kick again
So that a smart thread can spend a few minutes on top.
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Grateful for Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-27-08 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
16. Giving this thread another kick n/t
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pauldp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-28-08 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
17. kick again. n/t
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