By: ABID ULLAH JAN
However, there is plenty of evidence to connect Israel, in form or another, to the 9/11 operation. The ISI, Saeed Sheikh, and Khalid Sheikh are the missing links, who simply complete the missing pieces of the 9/11 saga. Prior to 9/11, the FBI discovered the presence of a massive spy ring inside the United States run by the government of Israel. Israel has established government-subsidized telecommunications companies in the United States.
MANY facts and theories connecting Israel to the 9/11 attacks exist. One important missing link in all these theories is the connection between the ISI and Mossad, the Israeli Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations. First, some facts: there is ample evidence that the ISI and bin Laden worked together; the ISI was the prime backer of the Taliban; the CIA and U.S. government were behind the rise of the Taliban initially; the ISI is still protecting some Afghan intelligence assets; the ISI’s assets transferred funds to the hijackers (as discussed in Chapter 3); and ISI agents predicted the attacks on the World Trade Center and the collapse of the towers well in advance.
The ISI was not solely responsible for the organization, planning, and execution of Operation 9/11, but it was (knowingly or unknowingly) part of the set-up for apportioning the blame on Osama bin Laden. It has been confirmed that the ISI was controlling Khalid Sheikh, Saeed Sheikh, and other assets. The question remains, however: who was pulling the ISI’s strings?
Of course, the CIA has been the main force behind the ISI’s actions since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. What many of us could hardly imagine is the direct connection from Israel to the ISI. In the wake of Pakistan’s refusal to recognize the state of Israel, and Israel’s anti-Pakistan alliance and activities with India, it seems highly unlikely that there could be a direct connection between the ISI and Israel, and that Mossad could infiltrate the ISI and directly control it for Israel’s strategic objectives.
Those who doubt the links between Israel and ISI should refer to journalist and author George Crile’s book, Charlie Wilson’s War (Grove Press, NY, 2003). George Crile, of the ‘Sixty Minutes’ program, presents the story of a congressman who became the foremost champion of the CIA campaign against the Soviets in Afghanistan. A closer reading tells of how Mossad actually used Charlie Wilson to penetrate the CIA’s Afghan campaign, and thereby the ISI and the Pakistani government at all levels.
Charles “Nesbitt” Wilson is a 1956 Annapolis graduate who worshipped Winston Churchill and entered politics in 1961 at the age of 27 as the Texas State Representative. Wilson won a seat to Congress in 1973 as a Liberal. He regularly voted against Vietnam and eventually became of strong defender of Israel. Wilson’s appointment to the House Appropriations Committee and a strategic alliance with CIA veteran Gust Avrakotos ignited the covert actions that gave Mossad the opportunity to infiltrate the ISI.
Charlie Wilson was famous for moving large sums of money, both legally and illegally, as subsidies and to purchase weapons and equipment for groups fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan.
Wilson was had a close relationship with the Israeli embassy’s congressional liaison officer, Zvi Rafiah. According to George Crile, “Rafiah is a short, very smart Israeli who Wilson always believed was a highly placed Mossad agent… [he, Rafiah] had always acted as if he owned Wilson’s office. One of the staffers kept a list of people he needed to lobby. He would use the phones, give projects to the staff, and call on Charlie to intervene whenever he needed him.” 159 Crile’s account suggests that Rafiah was the dominant figure in this partnership.
The relationship between Congressman Charlie Wilson and Zvi Rafiah started in 1973 when Wilson worked as an Israeli congressional liaison officer. A close working relationship developed between the two legislators, which lasted many years. Over the years this bond continued, even after Rafiah left his diplomatic post and joined Israeli Military Industries (IMI), Israel’s largest defense company.160
To understand Zvi Rafiah in detail, it must be noted that he was involved in spying and collecting strategic information from the U.S. for Israel. In A close associate of Richard Perle offered classified material to Zvi Rafiah.161 The incident was instantly reported to the Justice Department, which quickly launched an FBI investigation. The investigation found that Stephen Bryen, a Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer and a close associate of Richard Perle, had illegally obtained classified documents of military and scientific importance, and that he had been seeking material that “could prove to be a major embarrassment to the U.S. government.”162 The FBI ultimately assembled “a good circumstantial case” that Rafiah “routinely issued orders to Bryen” and recommended that the case be brought before an investigative grand jury for espionage. However, the case was quietly closed after Bryen resigned at the insistence of Philip Heymann, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and from senators Clifford Case (Bryen’s boss) and Henry Jackson (Richard Perle’s boss). Heymann happened to be a close personal friend and associate of Dr. Bryen’s attorney.163
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Charlie Wilson developed an interest in Israel at the same time as being appointed to some key Congressional committees that controlled funding for all major intelligence and military projects. His appointments to those positions were made possible with the help of his Israeli connections, which Crile termed his “Jewish friends.”164
His Jewish friends had helped get him onto the committee; once there, Charlie learned from these master politicians how to influence budgets and policies. When he won a seat on the Foreign Operations subcommittee, which allocates all U.S. military and economic assistance, he was suddenly positioned to champion Israel’s annual $3 billion foreign-aid package.165
It was therefore not surprising to see Wilson traveling not only to Israel, but also Lebanon after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. After witnessing evidence of Israeli carnage and an elaborate campaign of terror, Wilson proclaimed: “The biggest surprise I had was the enthusiasm, the universal enthusiasm, with which the Lebanese welcomed the Israeli army. In every instance their voices were of relief and appreciation of the Israelis. That’s just the way it is. It ain’t no other way.” After making this statement, Wilson personally met with Prime Minister Menachem Begin in Jerusalem.166 “By the time he returned to Washington, Wilson had become, in his own words, ‘an Israeli commando’ in the U.S. Congress.”167
It can be said that events unfolding before our eyes today usually have roots deep in the past. Wilson’s loyalty to Israel and his association with Mossad made him closer to the sympathizers of Israel in the United States. Dick Cheney, who stands accused by a growing number of analysts for his involvement in the 9/11 attacks, played a key role in having Wilson appointed to the White House Select Committee on Intelligence. This fact may suggest that Cheney was also an important player in the pro-Israeli network.168
After gaining access to the key Congressional positions, the “Israeli commando” became obsessed with funding and controlling the CIA’s Afghan jihad against the Soviets, not for the sake of Jihad, but for the purpose of infiltrating the ISI and reaching the inner-most power circles in Pakistan. At this point, Wilson’s Israeli sympathies had not been widely publicized. He promised the then Pakistani President, General Zia, that he would deliver the latest radar systems for Pakistan’s F-16 fighter planes—a crucial weapons system that they had thus been denied by the United States. Wilson also met with the CIA Station Chief Howard Hart and urged him to expand the program, stressing that vast amounts of money should be made available.169
In addition to infiltrating the ISI, Wilson’s other objective was the promotion and sale of Israeli weapons. For example, the famous anti-helicopter missile system Wilson had specially built for the Mujahideen was designed by the Israelis. Crile notes:
Charlie Wilson was marching himself into a true forbidden zone. Congressmen are not allowed to commission a foreign power to design and construct a weapons system. Nor do they have the authority to commit the Pentagon to pay for such a weapon. But these were minor outrages compared to Wilson’s potentially explosive attempt to bring the Israelis into the Muslim jihad that the CIA was funding against the Soviets in Afghanistan.170
General Zia and his close associates were perfectly happy with the sale of the missile system that the Israelis sold, in addition to tanks and other weapons systems, to Pakistan for use in the Afghan war.171 Charlie Wilson remained an intermediary in all these deals. “The Israelis were hoping this deal [involving T-55 tanks] would serve as the beginning of a range of under-the-table understandings with Pakistan that the congressman would continue to quietly negotiate for them.”172
These deals were bitterly opposed by the CIA. Howard Hart, CIA Station Chief in Islamabad at the time, stated: “It was bad enough for [Pakistani President] Zia to be dealing with the Americans, even secretly. But the Israelis were so beyond the pale that it would have been impossible … It’s beyond comprehension to have tried to bring the Israelis into it.”173 Gust Avrakotos, the CIA’s acting Chief of South Asia Operations was also “adamantly opposed” to “bringing the Israelis into the CIA’s Muslim Jihad.”174 The power of Israel’s lobby is evident from the fact that, in Crile’s words, “…right under Hart’s nose, Wilson had proposed just such an arrangement, and Zia and his high command had signed on to implement it.”175
Due to the pressure from Charlie Wilson, the CIA’s budget for Afghan covert operations was tripled in a matter of a few weeks. The CIA initially resisted accepting the funds, but according to William Casey’s executive assistant Robert Gates, “Wilson just steamrolled [CIA Near East Division Chief Charles]—and the CIA for that matter.”176 The budget grew from $35 million in 1982 to $600 million in 1987. Both the United States and Pakistan played into Israeli hands as effectively then as they did in the 21st century, both before and after 9/11. They just kept getting steamrolled.
In the period between 1992 and 1995, Israeli and Pakistani diplomats met secretly in Washington on many occasions. These undisclosed diplomatic meetings were arranged by the Turkish ambassador to Washington, Baki Ilkin. Charlie Wilson, who ten years earlier had brokered arms deals between Israel and Pakistan for the Afghan War, was involved.177
Sliding into Mossad’s trap was so easy that General Zia even agreed to keep details of the arms deals with Israel hidden from the United States. When Zia visited the U.S. in November 1982 to meet with President Reagan, he first met with Charlie Wilson in Houston. According to Crile, Wilson then broached the subject of Pakistan secretly purchasing arms from Israel for the Afghan War. General Zia agreed to this in principle— his only caveat being that “the Star of David be removed from them.”178
In summary, the Israelis became major players in the exchange of information and commodities with Afghanistan and Pakistan, not by interfacing with the CIA, which opposed their involvement, but via Mossad, the Israeli lobby in the United States—using Congressional delegations to establish their own direct connections—and by direct interaction with the ISI in Pakistan. The Israeli/Pakistan connection was crucial for infiltrating the ISI and providing Israeli intelligence with a very secure footing inside Pakistan’s intelligence agency.
In her second term in power, Benazir Bhutto also intensified the ISI’s liaison with Mossad in 1993, and she too began to cultivate the American Jewish lobby. Bhutto is said to have had a secret meeting in New York with a senior Israeli emissary, who flew to the U.S. during her visit to Washington, DC in 1995. Since his days as Bhutto’s Director-General of Military Operations, Pervez Musharraf has been a keen advocate of Pakistan establishing diplomatic relations with the state of Israel.
After Musharraf overthrew Nawaz Sharif’s government, the ISI-Mossad relationship deepened. This close interaction set the tone for Israeli-Pakistani relations until 2001, regardless of who was the incumbent in Israel, or whether a civilian or military regime ruled Pakistan. The most important contacts were between Mossad and the ISI, and the traffic was two-way. Pakistan passed intelligence about the Gulf States and the nuclear ambitions of Iran and Libya, whose programs Pakistani scientists had helped to build. Israel provided everything, from training for Pakistani leaders’ security guards, to intelligence on India, with whom it has enjoyed full diplomatic relations since 1992.179
The consequences of the ISI-Mossad cooperation are gradually beginning to surface. The deepening relationship has not only paved the way for Musharraf’s approval of his foreign minister’s handshake with Israel, his “chance” encounter with Ariel Sharon on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September, and an address to the American Jewish Congress, but also to what transpired between the two agencies prior to the 9/11 attacks.
The ISI was closely working with Saeed Sheikh and Khalid Sheikh and Mossad was closely involved with Mohammed Atta and company. It appears that Mossad had been following and observing Atta since 2000, but there is more to that story, which is as yet unknown.
According to some documents shown to the Sunday Express newspaper in the U.K., Mossad was running a round-the-clock surveillance operation on some of the September 11 hijackers. This is highly unfeasible without some collaboration, similar to Khalid Sheikh and Saeed Sheikh working with the ISI. The details, contained in classified papers, reveal that a senior Mossad agent tipped off his counterpart in the CIA that a massive terrorist hit was being planned in the US. Other documents leaked to the Sunday Express from several intelligence agencies, including the DEA, show that two Mossad cells of six Egyptian and Yemeni born Jews trained at a secret base in Israel’s Negev Desert with the intention of penetrating the Al-Qaeda network.
Even U.S. agencies expressed doubt over the Mossad claims. CIA chief George Tenet is understood to have described the warning from Mossad as “too non-specific.” A senior U.S. intelligence source said: “Anyone can be wise after the event but it was extremely difficult to act on a non-specific threat given in a couple of tips from Israeli intelligence. It would be interesting to know if they could have been more specific with their information. Their surveillance teams must have observed Atta and his accomplices going to flying schools. I guess we might never know the real truth.”180 The real truth would do nothing more than confirm that Atta and associates were closely working with the U.S. and Israeli agencies.
Israel certainly had motive to perpetrate an outrage like the 9/11 attacks, provided that the blame could be placed on Arab terrorists. Previous incidents, such as the Lavon Affair, amongst other things, suggest that they have the capacity to perpetrate such “false flag” attacks. Given the depth of Mossad’s infiltration in the United States, the following account demonstrates that it had the motive, means, resources, moles, and opportunity to coordinate the 9/11 attacks, using connections both in the United States, the CIA and the ISI. Mossad needed the ISI for its intelligence assets. General Mahmood was more than happy to provide Mossad-assets with money via the ISI-assets. This we know from information available in the public domain. Unfortunately, it would take years of research and some courageous investigation before the world could know the full depth of the CIA, ISI, and Mossad’s joint planning in Operation 9/11.
However, there is plenty of evidence to connect Israel, in form or another, to the 9/11 operation. The ISI, Saeed Sheikh, and Khalid Sheikh are the missing links, who simply complete the missing pieces of the 9/11 saga. Prior to 9/11, the FBI discovered the presence of a massive spy ring inside the United States run by the government of Israel. Israel has established government-subsidized telecommunications companies in the United States. These companies, such as Comverse Infosy and Amdocs, provide billing and directory assistance for 90 percent of the phone companies in the United States. Amdocs’ main computer center for billing is actually in Israel and allows those with access to do what intelligence agencies call “traffic analysis”; provide a picture of an individual’s activities based on a pattern of who they are calling and when.
Similarly, Comverse Infosys subcontracts the installation of automatic tapping equipment now built into every phone system in America. Comverse has been named as the most likely source of leaked information from telephone calls by law enforcement resulting in the derailment of several investigations, not only into espionage, but into drug running as well.
According to a Fox News Report:
Adding to the suspicions is the fact that in Israel Comverse works closely with the Israeli government, and under special programs gets reimbursed for up to 50 percent of its research and development costs by the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade. But investigators within the DEA, INS, and FBI have all told Fox News that to pursue or even suggest Israeli spying through Comverse is considered career suicide.181
Another prominent Israeli telecom company called Odigo, provides the core message-passing system for all “Instant Message” services. Two hours before the 9/11 attacks on commenced, Odigo employees received a warning.182 Odigo, like many Israeli software companies, is based in Herzliya, Israel, a small town north of Tel Aviv, which happens to be where Mossad’s headquarters are located.183
The information gleaned from these companies is being used to coerce the behavior of key individuals in the U.S. Government and media. This claim is supported by the manner in which the government and the media have handled these scandals—they are downplaying them. Perhaps “burying” is a better word.
Fox News ran the story as a four-part broadcast, and placed the story on their web site. Suddenly, without explanation, Fox News erased the story from their web site184, and have never mentioned it again. CNN followed by removing their report of the two hour advance warning of the WTC attacks sent to Odigo employees. Far more telling is the admission made by a U.S. Official in part one of the Fox News report that hard evidence existed linking the 9/11 attacks to some of the 200-plus Israeli spies who were arrested both before and after 9/11. This evidence has now been classified.
Since then, any and all mention of the Israeli spy ring and phone tapping scandal has resulted in a hail of anti-Semitic accusations—an overused device to try to silence discussion on any topic unfavorable to the nation which instigated the spy ring in question.