Saudi Arabia, Turkey, CIA

 6-11-01   The former head of the American visa bureau in Jeddah is Michael Springman.
MICHAEL SPRINGMAN:
In Saudi Arabia I was repeatedly ordered by high level State Dept officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants. These were, essentially, people who had no ties either to Saudi Arabia or to their own country. I complained bitterly at the time there. I returned to the US, I complained to the State Dept here, to the General Accounting Office, to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and to the Inspector General’s office. I was met with silence. What I was protesting was, in reality, an effort to bring recruits, rounded up by Osama Bin Laden, to the US for terrorist training by the CIA. They would then be returned to Afghanistan to fight against the then-Soviets.
PALAST:
I showed lawyer Michael Wildes our FBI documents. One of the Khobar Towers bombers was represented by Wildes, who thought he had useful intelligence for the US. He also represents a Saudi diplomat who defected to the USA with 14,000 documents which Wildes claims implicates Saudi citizens in financing terrorism and more. Wildes met with FBI men who told him they were not permitted to read all the documents. Nevertheless, he tried to give them to the agents.

WILDES:
“Take these with you. We’re not going to charge for the copies. Keep them. Do something with them. Get some bad guys with them.” They refused.
PALAST:
In the hall of mirrors that is the US intelligence community, Wildes, a former US federal attorney, said the FBI field agents wanted the documents, but they were told to “see no evil.”

WILDES:
You see a difference between the rank-and-file counter-intelligence agents, who are regarded by some as the motor pool of the FBI, who drive following diplomats, and the people who are getting the shots called at the highest level of our government, who have a different agenda. 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/events/newsnight/1645527.stm
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7-3-02 interview. 
Springmann: Afghanistan was the end user of their facilities. My sources told me that they were coming to the United States for training as terrorists, and they would be sent back to Afghanistan. But then the countries that had originally had supplied them certainly didn’t want them back. These were people that had been given skills in overthrowing governments, destroying armored columns and things like this, and the various governments in the region frankly didn’t want them back, because they thought they might apply these skills at home.
CBC: So if your theory is true, you can demonstrate a relationship between the CIA and Osama bin Laden dating back as far as 1987.
Springmann: That’s right. And as you recall, they believe that this fellow Sheikh Abdel Rahman over in New York that was tied to the first Trade Center bombing, had gotten his visa from a CIA case officer in the Sudan. And that 15 or so of the people who came from Saudi Arabia to participate in the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon had gotten their visas through the American consular general at Jeddah.
CBC: Well what does that suggest? That this pipeline was never rolled up, that it is still operating?
Springmann: Exactly. I had thought it had been, because I had raised sufficient hell that I thought they had done it. I had complained to the embassy in Riyadh, I had complained to the diplomatic security in Washington, I had complained to the General Accounting Office, I had complained to the State Department Inspector-General’s office, and I had complained to the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department. Apparently the reverberations from this where heard all over the State Department.
CBC: And if what you say may be true, many of the terrorists who allegedly flew those planes into those targets got their US visas through the CIA and your US consulate in Jeddah. That suggests an relationship ongoing as recently as September [2001]. What was the CIA presumably recruiting these people for, as recently as September 11th?
Springmann: That I don’t know. That’s one of the things that I tried to find out through a series of Freedom of Information Act requests starting 10 years ago. And at the time, the State Department and the CIA stonewalled my requests; they are still doing so.
CBC: If the CIA had a relationship with the people responsible for September 11, are you suggesting that they are in some way complicit?
Springmann: Even through omission or failure to act.
CBC: Do you have any evidence, any paperwork from all of these years that might go towards supporting all of this?
Springmann: Regrettably not. I had something at some point. My predecessor in Jeddah had begun a file of people with peculiar attributes who got had got visas. I kept it up, I added to it. I learned later on after I had left, that this file had been mysteriously been shredded.
CBC: But you complained, and you complained and you complained, but what eventually happened to you?
Springmann: My appointment in the State Department was terminated, and I was never given a coherent statement why.
CBC: You will above all will appreciate that conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen these days with regard to September 11th, what makes yours different or any more credible than the others?
Springmann: I have floated around the international affairs community for the past 20 years. I was in the middle of this in Jeddah; I knew people in the foreign service, I knew people out of it, I knew people in the CIA. I had at one time great respect for the CIA, but this operation in Jeddah was so peculiar, so strange, and it went against anything I had ever seen or heard in my 20 years in government, that I thought that what these people were telling me about CIA involvement with Osama, and with Afghanistan had to be true because nothing else would fit. By the attempts to cover me up and shut me down, this convinced me more and more that this was not a pipe-dream, this was not a machination, this was not a conspiracy theory.
CBC: But when you take the events of 1987, when visas were being issued to people unqualified for them, and suggest that happened again to the same people responsible for the attacks in New York and Washington: that’s a quantum leap. How do you justify that?
Springmann: For all I know, and for all we know, this might not have been the intended consequence. It could have been a mistake, it could have been a misjudgment. Or for all that we know, it could have been an effort to get the US directly involved in some fashion. I mean it’s only a few thousand dead, and what’s this against the greater gain in the Middle East.
CBC: But you’re quite sure that Mohammed Atta and others had their visas issued in Jeddah?
Springmann: This is what I was told by reading an article in the Los Angeles Times.  http://911review.org/Wiki/CiaVisasForPatsies.shtml
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“The Defense Department said Mr. Atta had gone to the International Officers School at Maxwell AFB in Alabama; Mr. al-Omari to the Aerospace Medical School at Brooks AFB in Texas; and Mr. al-Ghandi to the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio in Monterey, CA.”    -NYT, 9-15-01   http://books.google.com/books?id=qCYhAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT197&lpg=PT197&dq=atta+jeddah+l+a+times&source=bl&ots=rcFSE6Xx15&sig=uZaNuvoh9MtoSpN0Pzvvo1fCLfo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mAT0UoqoLcXZoASQxoLIBQ&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=atta%20jeddah%20l%20a%20times&f=false
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9-29-06   

For Al Qaeda’s network Turkey is a haven for its sources of funding. Turkish networks, along with Russians’, are the main players in these fields; they purchase the opium from Afghanistan and transport it through several Turkic speaking Central Asian states into Turkey, where the raw opium is processed into popular byproducts; then the network transports the final product into Western European and American markets via their partner networks in Albania. The networks’ banking arrangements in Turkey, Cyprus and Dubai are used to launder and recycle the proceeds, and various Turkish companies in Turkey and Central Asia are used to make this possible and seem legitimate. The Al Qaeda network also uses Turkey to obtain and transfer arms to its Central Asian bases, including Chechnya….

In January 1997, Tom Sackville, minister of state at the British Home Office, stated that 80% of the heroin seized in Britain came from Turkey, and that his government was concerned by reports that members of the Turkish police, and even of the Turkish government, were involved in drug trafficking.

 
In an article published in Drug Link Magazine, Adrian Gatton cites the case of Huseyin Baybasin, the famous Turkish heroin kingpin now in jail in Holland. Baybasin explains: “I handled the drugs which came through the channel of the Turkish Consulate in England,” and he adds: “I was with the Mafia but I was carrying this out with the same Mafia group in which the rulers of Turkey were part.” The article also cites a witness statement given to a UK immigration case involving Baybasin’s clan, and states that Huseyin Baybasin had agreed to provide investigators with information about what he knew of the role of Turkish politicians and officials in the heroin trade.  The article quotes Mark Galeotti, a former UK intelligence officer and expert on the Turkish mafia, “Since the 1970s, Turkey has accounted for between 75 and 90 per cent of all heroin in the UK. The key traffickers are Turks or criminals who operate along that route using Turkish contacts.” In 2001, Chris Harrison, a senior UK Customs officer in Manchester, told veteran crime reporter Martin Short that Customs could not get at the Turkish kingpins because they are “protected” at a high level.
In 1998, the highly official International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) of the U.S. State Department, revealed that “about 75% of the heroin seized in Europe is either produced in, or derives from, Turkey”, that “4 to 6 tons of heroin arrive from there every month, heading for Western Europe” and that “a number of laboratories for the purification of the opium used in transforming the basic morphine into heroin are located on Turkish soil”. The report stresses that Turkey is one of the countries most affected by money-laundering, which takes place particularly via the countries of the ex-Soviet Union, such as Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan, through the medium of casinos, the construction industry, and tourism. INCSR’s 2006 report cites Turkey as a major transshipment point and base of operations for international narcotics traffickers and associates trafficking in opium, morphine base, heroin, precursor chemicals and other drugs. …how many of us know of our government’s ‘selective go free cards’ that have been issued to those ‘ally countries’ that directly fund and support the terrorist networks?  In fact, our government would rather move heaven and earth, gag ‘whistleblowers’ with direct knowledge of these facts, classify congressional and other investigative reports, create a media black-out on these ‘allies’ terrorist supporting activities, than do the right thing; do what it really takes to counter terrorism….
Turkey played a major role in Pakistan and Libya’s illicit activities in obtaining nuclear technologies. In June 2004, Stephen Fidler, a reporter for Financial Times reported that in 2003, Turkish centrifuge motors and converters destined for Libya’s nuclear weapons program turned up in Tripoli aboard a ship that had sailed from Dubai. One of those detained individuals in this incident, a ‘respected and successful’ Turkish Businessman, Selim Alguadis, was cited in a public report from the Malaysian inspector-general of police into the Malaysian end of a Pakistani-led clandestine network that supplied Libya, Iran and North Korea with nuclear weapons technologies, designs and expertise. According to the report, “he supplied these materials to Libya.” Mr. Alguadis also confessed that he had on several occasions met A Q Khan, the disgraced Pakistani scientist who has admitted transmitting nuclear expertise to the three countries. Selim Alguadis remains a successful businessman in Turkey with companies in several other countries. He was released immediately after being turned over to Turkish authorities. His partner, another well-known and internationally recognized wealthy businessman, Gunes Cire, also actively participated in transferring nuclear technology and parts to Iran, Pakistan and North Korea. Although under investigation by several international communities, Alguadis and his partners continued to roam free in Turkey and conduct their illegitimate operations via their ‘legit international business’ front companies.
 
David Albright and Corey Hinderstein of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) identify Turkey’s major role in the nuclear black-market. According to their report, workshops in Turkey made the centrifuge motor and frequency converters used to drive the motor and spin the rotor to high speeds. These workshops imported subcomponents from Europe, and they assembled these centrifuge items in Turkey. Under false end-user certificates, these components were shipped from Turkey to Dubai for repackaging and shipment to Libya.     -Sibel Edmonds      http://nswbc.org/Op%20Ed/Part2-FNL-Nov29-06.htm
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During a trip to Russia in November, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again said that Ankara would abandon its quest to join the European Union if it was offered full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
According to Turkish newspapers, Erdogan made the comments during a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The impetus for Erdogan’s remarks was Putin’s response to a question about Ukraine recently pulling out of talks over an EU trade pact.
“We will ask Turkey what we can do. Turkey has great experience in EU talks,” Putin said sarcastically, referring to Ankara’s long and checkered history of seeking EU membership.
Without skipping a beat, Erdogan responded: “You are right. Fifty years of experience is not easy. Allow us into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and save us from this trouble.”
Given the context the comment was made in, it might be easy to dismiss the comment as a lighthearted joke. However, this is not the first time that Erdogan has said Turkey would gladly forgo EU membership if it was invited to join the SCO as a full member.
Indeed, Erdogan made waves in January of this year when he stated, that “If we get into the SCO, we will say good-bye to the European Union. The Shanghai Five [former name of the SCO] is better — much more powerful. Pakistan wants in. India wants in as well. If the SCO wants us, all of us will become members of this organization.”
He added, “The Shanghai Five is better and more powerful, and we have common values with them.”
This followed comments he made in the summer of last year when, again speaking with Putin, Erdogan said Ankara would like to join the SCO. Shortly after making these initial comments, his office wrote them off as a joke. However, he has now repeated it no less than three times.
The SCO is an international organization created in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It was born out of the Shanghai Five group, which consisted of the same nations minus Uzbekistan.
Alongside these permanent members, the SCO also has an increasing number of dialogue partners and observers. Last year, Turkey joined the SCO as a dialogue partner during a summit in Beijing. Belarus and Sri Lanka are also dialogue partners while Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia enjoy observer status at the SCO.  http://thediplomat.com/2013/12/turkey-renews-plea-to-join-shanghai-cooperation-organization/
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11-8-13  

● Erdogan remains intent on unseating Syria’s President Bashar Assad, who was one of his early allies.
● He continues to strongly support Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, ousted from power in last summer’s military coup, which has pitted Turkey against the current Egyptian ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
● Turkey is viewed with suspicion by the Palestinian Authority because of its strong backing of their mortal rival Hamas.
● Relations with Saudi Arabia have also cooled off, partly because Turkey, which has a Sunni majority, has started repairing ties with Shiite powers, including not only Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki but, most troubling to America, the mullahs who rule Iran.  http://www.newsweek.com/turkeys-erdogan-quietly-wooing-americas-enemies-2846
 
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