Has someone been sitting on the FBI?


Code named Operation Northwoods

The names below are mentioned on the listed pages with the name

This transcript is produced from the teletext
subtitles that are generated live for
Newsnight. It has been checked against the
programme as broadcast, however Newsnight
can accept no responsibility for any factual
inaccuracies. We will be happy to correct
serious errors.

Has someone been sitting on the FBI?
Fri Jan 25 16:25:49 2002

Has someone been sitting on the FBI?

The CIA and Saudi Arabia, the Bushes and the
Bin Ladens. Did their connections cause
America to turn a blind eye to terrorism?

There is a hidden agenda at the very highest
levels of our government.

The sad thing is that thousands of Americans
had to die needlessly.

How can it be that the former President of the
US and the current President of the US have
business dealings with characters that need to
be investigated?

In the eight weeks since the attacks, over
1,000 suspects and potential witnesses have
been detained. Yet, just days after the
hijackers took off from Boston aiming for the
Twin Towers, a special charter flight out of the
same airport whisked 11 members of Osama Bin
Laden's family off to Saudi Arabia. That did not
concern the White House.

Their official line is that the Bin Ladens are
above suspicion - apart from Osama, the black
sheep, who they say hijacked the family name.
That's fortunate for the Bush family and the
Saudi royal household, whose links with the Bin
Ladens could otherwise prove embarrassing.
But Newsnight has obtained evidence that the
FBI was on the trail of other members of the]
Bin Laden family for links to terrorist
organisations before and after September

This document is marked "Secret". Case ID -
199-Eye WF 213 589. 199 is FBI code for case
type. 9 would be murder. 65 would be
espionage. 199 means national security. WF
indicates Washington field office special agents
were investigating ABL - because of it's
relationship with the World Assembly of Muslim
Youth, WAMY - a suspected terrorist
organisation. ABL is Abdullah Bin Laden,
president and treasurer of WAMY.

This is the sleepy Washington suburb of Falls
Church, Virginia where almost every home
displays the Stars and Stripes. On this
unremarkable street, at 3411 Silver Maple
Place, we located the former home of Abdullah
and another brother, Omar, also an FBI
suspect. It's conveniently close to WAMY. The
World Assembly of Muslim Youth is in this
building, in a little room in the basement at
5613 Leesburg Pike. And here, just a couple
blocks down the road at 5913 Leesburg, is
where four of the hijackers that attacked New
York and Washington are listed as having lived.

The US Treasury has not frozen WAMY's
assets, and when we talked to them, they
insisted they are a charity. Yet, just weeks
ago, Pakistan expelled WAMY operatives. And
India claimed that WAMY was funding an
organisation linked to bombings in Kashmir. And
the Philippines military has accused WAMY of
funding Muslim insurgency. The FBI did look
into WAMY, but, for some reason, agents were
pulled off the trail.

The FBI wanted to investigate these guys.
This is not something that they didn't want to
do - they wanted to, they weren't permitted

The secret file fell into the hands of national
security expert, Joe Trento. The Washington
spook-tracker has been looking into the FBI's
allegations about WAMY.

They've had connections to Osama Bin Laden's
people. They've had connections to Muslim
cultural and financial aid groups that have
terrorist connections. They fit the pattern of
groups that the Saudi royal family and Saudi
community of princes - the 20,000 princes -
have funded who've engaged in terrorist

Now, do I know that WAMY has done anything
that's illegal? No, I don't know that. Do I know
that as far back as 1996 the FBI was very
concerned about this organisation? I do.

Newsnight has uncovered a long history of
shadowy connections between the State
Department, the CIA and the Saudis. The
former head of the American visa bureau in
Jeddah is 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.

By now, Bush Sr, once CIA director, was in the
White House. Springman was shocked to find
this wasn't visa fraud. Rather, State and CIA
were playing "the Great Game".

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.

The attack on the World Trade Center in 1993
did not shake the State Department's faith in
the Saudis, nor did the attack on American
barracks at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia
three years later, in which 19 Americans died.
FBI agents began to feel their investigation
was being obstructed. Would you be surprised
to find out that FBI agents are a bit frustrated
that they can't be looking into some Saudi

I would never be surprised with that. They're
cut off at the hip sometimes by supervisors or
given shots that are being called from
Washington at the highest levels.

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.

"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.

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

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 - it's unconscionable.

State wanted to keep the pro-American Saudi
royal family in control of the world's biggest oil
spigot, even at the price of turning a blind eye
to any terrorist connection so long as America
was safe. In recent years, CIA operatives had
other reasons for not exposing Saudi-backed

If you recruited somebody who is a member of
a terrorist organisation, who happens to make
his way here to the US, and even though
you're not in touch with that person anymore
but you have used him in the past, it would be
unseemly if he were arrested by the FBI and
word got back that he'd once been on the
payroll of the CIA. What we're talking about is
blow-back. What we're talking about is
embarrassing, career-destroying blow-back for
intelligence officials.

Does the Bush family also have to worry about
political blow-back? The younger Bush made
his first million 20 years ago with an oil
company partly funded by Salem Bin Laden's
chief US representative. Young George also
received fees as director of a subsidiary of
Carlyle Corporation, a little known private
company which has, in just a few years of its
founding, become one of Americas biggest
defence contractors. His father, Bush Senior,
is also a paid advisor. And what became
embarrassing was the revelation that the Bin
Ladens held a stake in Carlyle, sold just after
September 11.

You have a key relationship between the
Saudis and the former President of the US who
happens to be the father of the current
President of the US. And you have all sorts of
questions about where does policy begin and
where does good business and good profits for
the company, Carlyle, end?

I received a phone call from a high-placed
member of a US intelligence agency. He tells
me that while there's always been constraints
on investigating Saudis, under George Bush it's
gotten much worse. After the elections, the
agencies were told to "back off" investigating
the Bin Ladens and Saudi royals, and that
angered agents. I'm told that since September
11th the policy has been reversed. FBI
headquarters told us they could not comment
on our findings. A spokesman said: "There are
lots of things that only the intelligence
community knows and that no-one else ought
to know.


Press Office




(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that an active FBI Special Agent filed a complaint last week concerning FBI/Justice Department interference in and mishandling of terrorist investigations. The FBI Special Agent, who wishes to remain anonymous at this time, alleges that he was retaliated against when he continued to push for and pursue certain terrorist investigations over the objections of his FBI and Justice Department supervisors. The FBI Special Agent, who is represented by Judicial Watch and David Schippers, Esq., filed the complaint last week with the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (IG) and Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

Based on the evidence, the FBI Special Agent believes that if certain investigations had been allowed to run their courses, Osama bin Laden’s network might have been prevented from committing the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 5,000 innocents.

Judicial Watch is requesting a full scale, independent investigation into its client’s concerns and seeks to hold accountable those responsible for preventing the full investigation of terrorist activity here in the United States and abroad.

###info@judicialwatch.org  • 1-888-JW-ETHIC

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