Alleged Use of False Flag
Attacks by Intelligence Agencies

April 1950: Anti-Jewish
Bombings in Iraq Are Attributed to Israelis

A series of bombings targets Jews in Iraq. These
attacks are later attributed to Israeli agents to allegedly panic Jews into
emigrating to Israel, starting a long-standing controversy that continues
unresolved. (
Segev 6/4/2006) 

1954-1970: CIA and the Muslim Brotherhood Ally to Oppose Egyptian President

In 1954, Egyptian President Gamal Abddul
Nasser’s nationalist policies in Egypt come to be viewed as completely
unacceptable by Britain and the US. MI6 and the CIA jointly hatch plans for his
assassination. According to Miles Copeland, a CIA operative based in Egypt, the
opposition to Nasser is driven by the commercial community—the oil companies
and the banks. At the same time, the Muslim Brotherhood’s resentment of
Nasser’s secular government also comes to a head. In one incident, Islamist
militants attack pro-Nasser students at Cairo University. Following an attempt
on his own life by the Brotherhood, Nasser responds immediately by outlawing
the group, which he denounces as a tool of Britain. The following years see a
long and complex struggle pitting Nasser against the Muslim Brotherhood, the
US, and Britain. The CIA funnels support to the Muslim Brotherhood because of
“the Brotherhood’s commendable capability to overthrow Nasser.” (
Baer 2003, pp. 99Dreyfuss 2005, pp. 101-108) The Islamist regime in Saudi Arabia
becomes an ally of the United States in the conflict with Nasser. They offer
financial backing and sanctuary to Muslim Brotherhood militants during Nasser’s
crackdown. Nasser dies of natural causes in 1970. (
Dreyfuss 2005, pp. 90-91, 126-131, 150) 

July 1954: Israel Commits Bombing Attacks in Egypt, Tries to Blame Muslim

Bombs explode in British and American
cultural centers and libraries, and in post offices in Alexandria and Cairo.
The campaign ends when a bomb explodes prematurely in the pocket of an Israeli
agent who is about to plant it in a British-owned cinema. The plan is to damage
the relations between Egypt and the US and Britain by placing the blame for the
bombings on the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egyptian Islamic militant group. An
initial inquiry places blame on the Minister of Defense, Pinhas Lavon, but a subsequent
inquiry authorized by Sharett finds that Lavon was set up using forged
documents, and that the true author of the false-flag attack was none other
than David Ben Gurion, the “father of the Israeli State. (see 
March 2005)” (New York Times 12/11/1954Smith 3/30/1975Hirst 2003, pp. 290-296) These events, which later become known
as the Lavon Affair, will be documented in the diaries of Israeli Prime
Minister Moshe Sharett, who did not learn of the plot until after it was
completed. (
Rokach 1986) 

March 9, 1962: Proposed ‘Operation Northwoods’: US Military Would Conduct
Terrorist Attacks, Then Blame Them on Cuba to Build Support for War Against

In 2001, documents detailing a US
military plan called Operation Northwoods will be declassified (see 
April 24, 2001). The plan suggests conducting
terrorist attacks in the US and blame them on Castro’s government in order to
create public support for a war against Cuba. The documents are dated March 9,
1962 and are written by the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Representative on the Caribbean Survey Group for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The
papers suggest several possible events that the US could fabricate, including
the sinking of boats of Cuban refugees, hijacking planes, blowing up a US ship,
and even orchestrating violent terrorism in US cities. One of the document’s
authors notes, “casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of
national indignation.” (
US Department of Defense 3/13/1962 pdf fileRuppe 5/1/2001Bamford 2002) 

1967-2001: Israel Provides Support to Militant Islamic Groups in the West
Bank and Gaza

Following the Six-Day War in 1967,
Israel takes over the administration of the West Bank and Gaza. Whereas
Egyptian President Gamal Abddul Nasser had been tough on Islamist militants
1954-1970), Israel is much more permissive. One
of their first actions is to release Sheikh Ahmed Yassin from prison. Yassin, a
charismatic radical Islamist and the future founder of Hamas had been jailed in
1965 during one of Nasser’s crackdowns. (
Dreyfuss 2005, pp. 195) David Shipler, a former New York Times
reporter, later recounts that he was told by the military governor of the Gaza
Strip, Brigadier General Yitzhak Segev, that the Israeli government had
financed the Islamic movement to couteract the PLO and the communists.
According to Martha Kessler, a senior analyst for the CIA, “we saw Israel
cultivate Islam as a counterweight to Palestinian nationalism.” In the 1970s,
Yassin is able to form some Islamic organizations (see 
1973-1978). In the 1980s, he forms Hamas as the
military arm of his organizations (see 
1987). (Dreyfuss 2005, pp. 195, 197, 198) 

September 6-12, 1970 and After: ’Black September’ Triggers Global Islamist
Terrorism, Rise of PLO

Two of the airliners detonated by the hijackers at Dawson’s Field on September 12, 1970.

Two of the airliners detonated by the
hijackers at Dawson’s Field on September 12, 1970. [Source: Rolls Press
/ Popperfoto / Getty Images]
The first major act of Middle East terrorism on
a global scale plays out in Jordan. Militant Palestinian nationalists hijack
four Western commercial airliners and fly the planes and their passengers—now
hostages—to a desert airfield near Amman. After negotiations, they release the
hostages and blow up the empty airliners for the news cameras. Jordan’s King
Hussein responds by mobilizing his military for a showdown with the Palestinian
Liberation Organization (PLO), a guerrilla organization based in his country.
Hussein worries that Iraq or Syria might intervene on behalf of the PLO, and
lets the US know that he would like US support in that event. Instead,
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger makes the unlikely suggestion that Israel,
not the US, step in to help Jordan if need be. President Nixon uses the incident
to challenge the Soviet Union, warning the Soviets not to intervene if the US
moves to prevent Syrian tanks from entering Jordan. Nixon often lets the
Soviets and other adversaries think that he is capable of the most irrational
acts—the “madman theory,” both Nixon and his critics call it—but Kissinger
eventually convinces Nixon to support the idea of Israeli intervention. King
Hussein secretly cables the British government to request an Israeli air
strike, a cable routed to Washington via Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.
Nixon gives his approval and Israel moves in. 3,000 Palestinians and Jordanians
die in the subsequent conflict, dubbed “Black September” in the Arab world.
Hussein loses influence and prestige among his fellow Arab leaders, and the
PLO, energized by the conflict, moves into Lebanon. PLO leader Yasser Arafat
takes undisputed control of the organization. Oil-supplying nations rally
behind the Palestinian cause, and international terrorist incidents begin to
escalate. (
Werth 2006, pp. 90-91 

October 1970-1981: After Nasser’s Death, Egyptian President Sadat Brings
Back the Muslim Brotherhood and the CIA

After Egyptian President Gamal Abddul
Nasser dies in October 1970, he is succeded as president of Egypt by his former
Vice President, Anwar Sadat. Sadat is also a former member of the Muslim
Brotherhood, and he promptly reinstates the group as a legal organization and
welcomes them back into Egypt. Sadat also has a very close relationship with
the head of Saudi intelligence, Kamal Adham. Through Adham, Sadat also develops
close working relationships not only with the Saudis, but with the CIA and
Henry Kissinger. Sadat uses the power of the religious right, and the Muslim
Brothers in particular to contain the Nasserites and their resistance to the
radical changes he introduces. During Sadat’s tenure in the 1970’s Egypt
becomes a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism, and figures like Sheikh Omar
Abdul-Rahman and Ayman al-Zawahiri gain great power in Egypt during this
period. Ironically Sadat himself is assassinated in 1981 by Islamic Jihad, an
offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, in 1981, because of his accomodation with
Israel. (
Dreyfuss 2005, pp. 147-162, 165 

1973-1978: With Israel’s support, Ahmed Yassin Forms Islamist Organizations
in the West Bank and Gaza

In 1973 Israeli military authorities in
charge of the West Bank and Gaza allow Sheikh Ahmed Yassin to establish the
Islamic Center, an Islamic fundamentalist organization. With Israel’s support,
Yassin’s organization soon gains control of hundreds of mosques, charities, and
schools which serve as recruiting centers for militant Islamic fundamentalism.
In 1976 Yassin creates another organization called the Islamic Association that
forms hundreds of branches in Gaza. In 1978 the Islamic Association is licensed
by the government of Menachem Begin over the objections of moderate Palesinians
including the Commissioner of the Muslim Waqf in the Gaza Strip, Rafat Abu
Shaban. Yassin also recieves funding from business leaders in Saudi Arabia who
are also hostile to the secular PLO for religious reasons. The Saudi
government, however, steps in and attempts to halt the private funds going to
Yassin, because they view him as a tool of Israel. (
Sale 2/24/2001Hanania 1/18/2003Dreyfuss 2005, pp. 195 – 197) Yassin will go on to form Hamas in the
1980s, which is created with the help of Israeli intelligence (see 

1973-1982: Israel and Jordan Support Muslim Brotherhood Terrorism Against

In 1973 Hafez Assad approves a new,
secular constitution for Syria, and declares that the country is a “democratic,
popular, socialist state,” creating a backlash of violent Islamist demonstrations.
Beginning in 1976, the Muslim Brotherhood carries out hundreds of attacks in
Syria in an attempt to bring down the secular government. Israel and Jordan
provide generous support for these operations, for example establishing
training camps for the Muslim Brotherhood in Lebanon and Jordan near the Syrian
border. In one incident in 1979, a gang of Brotherhood militants murders 83
military cadets by locking them inside a buliding and attacking it with
automatic weapons and firebombs. Newsweek reports in 1981 that “over the past
five years the Brotherhood has assassinated hundreds of Alawite members of
Assad’s ruling Baath Parthy along with their relatives, Assad’s personal
doctor, and a number of Soviet advisers.” In 1982, the Syrian army brutally suppresses
the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters, massacring thousands in the city
of Hama, a strong center of support for the Brotherhood. This puts an end to
the wave of violence. (
Dreyfuss 2005, pp. 199-205) 

September 1980: Pro-American Military Coup Takes Place in Turkey

General Kenal Evren leads a military
coup in Turkey. Richard Perle, in a 1999 article, will justify the pro-American
coup as “a response by the Turkish armed forces to the breakdown of order and
security and the rise of terrorism and widespread random violence in Turkey.”
According to Perle, the wave of terrorism in Turkey “threatened to undermine
American support, both popular and official, for Turkey and for close
cooperation in security affairs between the United States and Turkey.” (
Perle 9/1999) Perle says Turkey’s civilian
government failed to maintain law and order. Conveniently, the clampdown that
follows the coup enables the new government to begin implementing the pro-US
strategic agenda that was laid out during the 1979 meeting arranged by Perle’s
mentor, Albert Wohlstetter (see 
1979). It is now known that the terrorism
that destabilized Turkey in the late 1970s was predominately the work of secret
groups run by the Turkish military in conjunction with the CIA and NATO. (
Komisar 4/1997Kurkcu 6/1997Ganser 12/17/2004) 

Early 1981: Mossad Initiates Bombing Campaign in Europe against A. Q. Khan

The Israeli intelligence service Mossad
begins a bombing and intimidation campaign in Europe targeting people linked to
A. Q. Khan’s nuclear proliferation network, which is helping Pakistan build a
nuclear weapon. After Israel bombs an Iraqi nuclear reactor in Osirak in June
1981, the campaign intensifies. Attacks are carried out and warnings given in
Europe against Khan’s suppliers and middlemen (see 
Early 1981February 20, 1981Early 1981November 1981, and 1981). The bombings are investigated by the
police forces in the countries in which they occur and are traced to a group of
apparent fronts for Mossad: the Group for Non-Proliferation in South Asia, the
Committee to Safeguard the Islamic Revolution, and the League for Protecting
the Sub-Continent. European police realize that a state-backed group is
probably behind the bombings and suspect Mossad, due to the problematic
relations between Israel and the Islamic world. Authors Adrian Levy and
Catherine Scott-Clark will also say that Mossad was behind the bombings, partly
based on interviews of “senior intelligence sources” in Israel in 2006. (
Levy and Scott-Clark 2007, pp. 87-8, 476) 

February 1982: Article in Israeli Journal Says Israel Should Exploit
Internal Tensions of Arab States

The winter issue of Kivunim, a “A
Journal for Judaism and Zionism,” publishes “A Strategy for Israel in the
Nineteen Eighties” by Oded Yinon. The paper, published in Hebrew, rejects the
idea that Israel should carry through with the Camp David accords and seek
peace. Instead, Yinon suggests that the Arab States should be destroyed from
within by exploiting their internal religious and ethnic tensions: “Lebanon’s
total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab
world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and the Arabian peninsula and is already
following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into
ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary
target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the
military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria
will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into
several states such as in present day Lebanon.” (
Shahak 2/1982) 

1984-1989: Israeli Intelligence Officer Supplies Arms to Iran; Some Profits
Allegedly Used to Fund False Flag Attacks

By his own account, Israeli intelligence
officer Ari Ben-Menashe runs a covert Israeli arms network, primarily supplying
weapons to the Islamic fundamentalist regime in Iran for use in the Iran-Iraq
War. Huge profits are made. “At various times the fund reached peaks of more
than $1 billion,” he later explains in his book, Profits of War.
“At its height it stood at $1.8 billion.… Between 1984 and 1989 no less than
$160 million was funneled to [Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak] Shamir’s [Likud]
faction.” He also says that the money helped finance the intelligence
community’s “black” operations including “Israeli-controlled ‘Palestinian
terrorists’ who would commit crimes in the name of the Palestinian revolution
but were actually pulling them off, usually unwittingly, as part of the Israeli
propaganda machine.” The Israeli government will later deny that Menashe had
any association with their intelligence services. But faced with evidence, the
government will change its story, alleging that he was only a low-level
translator who had taken to freelancing arms deals. However, Ben-Menashe is
able to produce strong evidence to support his version of events and his 1991
trial in New York will culminate in his acquittal on the grounds that the jury
disbelieves the Israeli government’s denials. (
Ben-Menashe 1992, pp. 120Parry 1997Coll 2004, pp. 120) 

April 17, 1984: Libyan Diplomats Allegedly Shoot and Kill British
Policewoman; Case Remains Unsolved and Controversial

Yvonne Fletcher.

Yvonne Fletcher. [Source: Public
Woman Police Constable Yvonne Fletcher is shot and killed in
London’s St James’s Square during a protest outside the Libyan embassy. Eleven
demonstrators protesting against Libyan ruler Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi are also
injured in the volley of gun fire. The shooting is followed by a siege of the
embassy, as well as the breakdown of diplomatic relations between Britain and
Libya. After ten days, thirty Libyan diplomats are allowed to leave Britain.
Because they are granted diplomatic immunity, there is effectively no police
investigation in Fletcher’s murder. (
BBC 3/25/2004) Not everyone, however, is convinced
that Libyans are to blame. In 1996, Channel Four shows a documentary
entitled Dispatches: Murder at St James’s, in which several
respected criminal and ballistic experts express doubts that the fatal shot
could have come from the embassy. The program is praised by Tam Dalyell, a veteran
Labour MP, who is also a critic of the governmental investigation of the
Lockerbie crash. These arguments are dismissed by British authorities. (
Guardian 7/23/1997) Later, the Libyan government, eager to
ease crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions, accepts “general
responsibility” for the death and allows British investigators to come to Libya
in search of the shooter, but Scotland Yard fails to find him. The case remains
unsolved. (
Townsend 6/24/2007) 

(1985): CIA Agent Proposes False Flag Attacks in Europe in Name of
Hezbollah; Modified Proposal Is Implemented

CIA agent Robert Baer proposes a series
of false flag attacks in Europe to drive a wedge between Syria and Iran, which
he hopes will lead to the freeing of Western hostages held in Lebanon. Although
his superiors ban the use of real explosives, the proposal is implemented in
altered form. Baer is aware that the current secular Syrian government is
nervous about the tendency of Iran, one of its allies, to support numerous
Islamic movements, including ones generally opposed to Syria. He plans to make
the Syrians think that Iran has turned against it by carrying out a series of
car bombings against Syrian diplomats in Europe and then claiming them in a
statement issued by the CIA pretending to be the Lebanon-based and Iran-backed
terror group Hezbollah. Baer thinks that Syria would then break with Hezbollah
and the hostages would be freed. Although the plan is for the bombs to misfire
and the diplomats not to be killed, his superior says that the use of any bombs
in Europe is beyond the pale for the CIA. Baer will later comment: “Eventually
we did get an operation through the bureaucracy. The CIA has asked me not to
describe it. I can say, though, that while it managed to irritate [Syrian
president] Hafiz al-Asad—sort of like a twenty-four hour diaper rash—it wasn’t
enough for him to shut down Hezbollah.” (
Baer 2002, pp. 140-2) 

April 5, 1986 and After: Berlin Discotheque Bombed by Islamic Militants; 3
Die in Blast

The La Belle discotheque after the bombing.

The La Belle discotheque after the
bombing. [Source: Associated Press]The La Belle disco in West
Berlin suffers a terrorist bombing when a two-kilogram bomb packed with plastic
explosive and shrapnel detonates near the dance floor. A Turkish woman and two
US soldiers are killed. Two hundred and thirty others are injured, including
more than 50 US soldiers. The attack is widely blamed on the Libyan government;
10 days later, the US orders air strikes on Libyan targets. The strikes are
widely perceived as an attempt to kill Libyan dictator Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi, who
is not injured in the strikes, but whose adopted baby daughter is killed along
with 15 civilians. Three employees at the Libyan embassy in Berlin are later
found guilty of attempted murder, and the wife of one of them is found guilty
of murder after she is proven to have planted the bomb. (
Malinarich 11/13/2001) In 1998, ZDF, the German television
network, will air a documentary that claims that Libya was not behind the
bombing. The program will claim that the main suspects worked for US and
Israeli intelligence. (
World Socialist Web Site 8/27/1998) However, files maintained by East
Germany’s intelligence agency, STASI, seem to prove that former embassy
employee Musbah Eter and his three colleagues are responsible for the attack.
The prosecution will not prove that al-Qadhafi or the Libyan government is
responsible for the bombing. (
Malinarich 11/13/2001) In 2004, Libya will agree to pay $35
million in reparations to the families of some of the victims, an implicit
admission of its involvement in the attack. (
Associated Press 8/10/2004) 

After Mid-April 1986: CIA Allegedly Sets Up Fake Bomb Plot to Influence
European Opinion

The La Belle disco in Berlin after it was bombed.

The La Belle disco in Berlin after it
was bombed. [Source: AFP]European public opinion begins to turn
after the US launches a deadly strike against Libya, in retaliation for the
bombing of a Berlin disco in which two American servicemen died (see 
April 5, 1986 and After). The CIA therefore works to spread the
idea that the Libyans intend to plant another bomb in Berlin, a propaganda
operation designed to reshape European public opinion. According to a CIA
officer involved in the operation, the first step is “to convince German
intelligence and police there was a terrorist cell.” To achieve this, a
Lebanese CIA asset named Jamal Hamdan, who helps the US in various ways around
this time, makes a series of phone calls from an apartment in Cyprus to
suspected terrorists in Germany. Hamdan also tells a relative living in West
Berlin that his brother Ali and a friend will enter the city carrying a
package, which, it is implied, is a bomb. Ali Hamdan and the friend then enter
West Berlin illegally from the east and are arrested by German police, who
wrongly believe that they actually have a bomb and the plot is real. Word of
the plot is leaked to the US press, enabling the Reagan administration to quell
criticism of the attack on Libya. The CIA then steps in and has the two men held
in Germany released. (
Trento and Trento 2006, pp. 89-90) 

1987: Hamas Forms with the Support of Israeli Intelligence

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin forms Hamas as the
military arm of his Islamic Association, which had been licensed by Israel ten
years earlier (see 
1973-1978). According to Charles Freeman, a
former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, “Israel started Hamas. It was a project
of Shin Bet, which had a feeling that they could use it to hem in the PLO.” (
Hanania 1/18/2003Dreyfuss 2005, pp. 191, 208) Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East
analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies, states that Israel “aided Hamas
directly—the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO.” A
former senior CIA official speaking to UPI describes Israel’s support for Hamas
as “a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by
using a competing religious alternative.” Further, according to an unnamed US
government official, “the thinking on the part of some of the right-wing
Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the other groups, if they gained
control, would refuse to have anything to do with the peace process and would
torpedo any agreements put in place.” Larry Johnson, a counterterrorism
official at the State Department, states: “The Israelis are their own worst
enemies when it comes to fighting terrorism. They are like a guy who sets fire
to his hair and then tries to put it out by hitting it with a hammer. They do
more to incite and sustain terrorism than curb it.” (
Sale 2/24/2001 Sources: Larry C. Johnson, Unnamed former CIA official 

September 14, 1987-March 2005: Arrested Militant Not Asked by US about
Various Crimes

Fawaz Younis, a Lebanese militant
associated with the Amal militia, a Shiite organization that is influential in
Lebanon at this time, is arrested in international waters near Cyprus on
September 14, 1987 during a joint FBI-CIA operation. However, US authorities
fail to ask him about activities in Lebanon, such as the murders of CIA
officers, kidnappings of US citizens who will later be part of an
arms-for-hostages deal with Iran (see 
Late May, 1986), and an attack on the US marine
barracks in Beirut, where over 200 people were killed (see 
April 18-October 23, 1983). Authors Joe and Susan Trento will
say, “The key to all these unasked questions may be that those in charge did
not want to know the answers.” For example, he is not asked about cooperation
between the Amal group, which had a covert relationship with the CIA, and
Hezbollah in the bombings. One possible reason for this is that Amal head Nabih
Berri has “full knowledge of the arms-for-hostages deal,” an aspect of the
Iran-Contra scandal. After Younis is released in 2005, the Trentos will
interview him and he will say that Amal was co-responsible for the attacks:
“Nothing happened in areas we controlled without Amal’s cooperation.” He will
also say that Berri ordered some of the hijackings and that he cannot
understand “why the United States allowed him to get away with it.” In
addition, he will comment, “Privately, people in our government will say we
cannot act [against Islamic militancy] in Lebanon because Nabih Berri is a
valuable US intelligence asset,” and, “That lack of action is seen by the
Hezbollah as evidence of America’s lack of seriousness and resolve in the War
on Terror.” Regarding 9/11, he will say, “I have no doubt that our experience
in breaking through airport security, developing sources and help among airport
staff, was information that Hezbollah passed on to al-Qaeda.” (
Trento and Trento 2006, pp. 213, 215-7) 

Early 1990s and After: Mysterious Links Seen between Right Wing Westerners
and Philippine Muslim Militants

In 2002, a Philippine newspaper article
will claim that “Philippine police have long been aware of operational ties
between local Islamic radicals and right-wing foreigners.” Apparently these
ties become first noticeable in the early 1990s. The article is mainly about a
1996 recorded testimonial by Edwin Angeles, a Philippine undercover agent who
had posed as a leader of the Philippine militant group Abu Sayyaf until 1995
1991-Early February 1995). In his testimony, he claimed to have
attended meetings between Muslim militants and Oklahoma City bomber Terry
Nichols, plus another right-wing American named John Lepney (see 
Late 1992-Early 1993 and Late 1994). The article notes that Philippine
officials believe such ties were not limited to these cases. “Why the strange
alliance exists remains a puzzle to police and military intelligence agents. A
senior counterterrorism expert says commerce and short-term goals could account
for the unusual ties. ‘Eventually, they’ll be killing each other. But for now,
they seem to be working together.’” Lepney had been seen in the rebellious
areas of the southern Philippines since 1990 and occasionally boasted of his
rebel ties. (
Zumel-Sicat 4/26/2002) Additionally, Michael Meiring, a US
citizen who may have been a CIA operative with ties to Muslim militant leaders
May 16, 2002) and December 2, 2004), periodically appeared in the same
region beginning in 1992 (see 
1992-1993). He sometimes stayed in Davao City,
the same city where Lepney was based. Meiring claims to be a treasure hunter,
but military officials note that there are “terrorists and intelligence
operatives of all stripes about among treasure hunters’ circles.” Meiring also
had ties to at least one neo-Nazi figure in the US. (
Zumel-Sicat and Andrade 5/30/2002Zumel-Sicat 5/31/2002) Philippine officials will later
identify a number of other suspicious right-wing Westerners living in the
rebellious southern region of the country in the early 1990s. For instance,
there is US citizen Nina North, whom acquaintances claim has CIA connections.
From 1990 to 1992, she was reportedly working on business deals with bin Laden
and other Middle East figures involving the transfer of gold bullion. In 2002,
Philippine officials will claim that ties between right-wing Westerners and
Muslim militants continue to the present day but they do not provide new
information because of ongoing investigations. (
Zumel-Sicat 5/31/2002) 

1991-Early February 1995: Al-Qaeda Linked Philippine Militant Group Deeply
Penetrated by Government Operative

Edwin Angeles.

Edwin Angeles. [Source: Robin
Edwin Angeles helps found the new Muslim militant group Abu Sayyaf in
the Philippines and becomes the group’s second in command and operations
officer. But Angeles is actually a deep cover operative for the Philippine
government and has already penetrated the Moro National Liberation Front
(MNLF), a much larger rebel group that Abu Sayyaf splintered from. Angeles is
the first to suggest that Abu Sayyaf take part in kidnappings, and plans the
group’s first kidnapping for ransom in 1992. He will be directly involved in
numerous violent acts committed by Abu Sayyaf until his cover is blown in early
1995 (see 
Late 1994-January 1995 and Early February 1995). (Philippine Daily Inquirer 7/10/2001) Colonel Rodolfo Mendoza, who will
later lead the Philippine investigation in the Bojinka plot, is his main
handler. Mendoza will later recall, “I received orders to handle him… I had the
impression he was also being handled by somebody higher.” (
Vitug and Gloria 2000) In 2002, one of Angeles’ wives will
claim in a deathbed confession that Angeles told her he was a “deep-penetration
agent” working for “some very powerful men in the DND (Department of National
Defense),” the Philippine national defense-intelligence agency. (
Timmerman 6/22/2002) During this time, Abu Sayyaf is very
active. Philippine intelligence will later estimate that from 1991 to 1995 the
group launches 67 kidnappings and violent attacks, killing around 136 people
and injuring hundreds more. (
Abuza 9/1/2005 pdf file) 

December 1991-October 27, 1994: Islamist Militants Stage Numerous Attacks
in Algeria

GIA logo.

GIA logo. [Source: Public
The Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA), established in 1991, allegedly is
an Islamist militant group linked to al-Qaeda, but there are allegations it was
manipulated by the Algerian government from its inception (see 
1991). Militants launch their first attack
in December 1991, shortly before an Algerian army coup (see 
January 11, 1992), striking a military base, killing
conscripts there and seizing weapons. The GIA competes with an existing
militant group, the Armed Islamic Movement (MIA), which changes its name to the
Islamic Salvation Army (AIS) in 1993 and becomes the armed wing of the banned
FIS party. After the army coup, the GIA and AIS stage many attacks in Algeria.
The GIA is more active, targeting many government employees, intellectuals, and
foreigners for assassination, and attacking factories, railroads, bridges,
banks, military garrisons, and much more. They generally try to minimize
civilian casualties, but hope to create a state of fear that will lead to
paralysis and the collapse of the government. The group goes through four
leaders during this time. But in October 1994 a new leader will take over,
dramatically changing the direction of the group (see 
October 27, 1994-July 16, 1996). (Crotty 2005, pp. 291) 

1992: Al-Qaeda Southeast Asian Affiliate Is Founded; Founding Member Is
Indonesian Government Mole

Fauzi Hasbi.

Fauzi Hasbi. [Source: SBS
In 1992, the Southeast Asian Islamist militant group Jemaah
Islamiyah (JI) is founded. It will eventually become known as al-Qaeda’s main
affiliate in the region. Actually, many of its alleged founders, such as Abu
Bakar Bashir, have been pressing Islamist militant causes for several decades,
but with the creation of JI their efforts become more violent. Also in contrast
to previous Islamist groups in the region, JI is deliberately set up as a
military organization. One of the founding members of JI is Fauzi Hasbi, who
has been an Indonesian government mole posing as a militant leader since the
late 1970s (see 
1979-February 22, 2003). Hasbi actually facilitates JI’s first
major meeting, held in Bogor, Indonesia. For many years, he also lives in the
same small Malaysian village as the top JI leaders, such as Bashir and Hambali
April 1991-Late 2000). The Australian television
program SBS Dateline will later comment: “The extraordinary
story of Fauzi Hasbi raises many important questions about JI and the
Indonesian authorities. Why didn’t they smash the terror group in its infancy?”
Umar Abduh, an Indonesian Islamist convicted of terrorism and jailed for ten
years, works with Hasbi. In 2005, he will claim that in retrospect he realizes
that he and other militants were completely manipulated by the government.
“[T]here is not a single Islamic group, either in the movement or the political
groups that is not controlled by [Indonesian intelligence]. Everyone does what
they say.” (
Bonner 8/27/2003SBS Dateline 10/12/2005) 

1992-1993: Suspected CIA Operative Has Ties to Philippine Militant Leaders

Michael Meiring, a suspected CIA
operative connected to Philippine militant groups (see 
May 16, 2002), first comes to the Philippines and
lives there for a year. According to a later report by the Manila Times,
Meiring lives in the capital of Manila and is frequently seen with two agents
of the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Yet at the same time
he is believed to have ties with the top leaders of the Moro National
Liberation Front (MNLF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which, together
with the Abu Sayyaf, are the main Muslim militant groups in the southern
Philippines. “Meiring’s connections with rebel leaders made the military wary
about him. He was under surveillance by more than one intelligence unit on more
than one occasion.” One close US friend later claims that in 1992 Meiring said
he had found and sold a box full of US Federal Reserve notes worth more than
$500 million. It is believed that he spends millions of dollars while in the
Philippines. (
Zumel-Sicat 5/29/2002) (There appear to have been frequent
scams in the Philippines involving millions and even billions of dollars of
fraudulent US Federal Reserve notes.) (
McGirk 2/26/2001) Meiring, a former citizen of South
Africa, fled to the US when he became the subject of an investigation toward
the end of South Africa’s apartheid regime. He then became a US citizen.
Meiring is connected to a group of treasure hunters led by James Rowe, an
American. Rowe connects with a group of right-wing white supremacists linked to
the US neo-Nazi party. In 1993, Meiring and Rowe travel to the Philippines
together. (
Zumel-Sicat and Andrade 5/30/2002) Meiring will come and go between the
US and the Philippines for the next ten years, claiming to be a treasure
hunter. In 2002 he will be severely injured by a bomb he is trying to make and
will be whisked out of the Philippines by US officials (see 
May 16, 2002) and December 2, 2004). Philippine officials have observed
other right-wing Americans with ties to Muslim militants starting in the early
1990s (see 
Early 1990s and After). (Zumel-Sicat 5/29/2002) 

March 17, 1992: Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires Is Bombed, Hezbollah and
Iran Accused Despite Lack of Evidence

Rescue workers in the wreckage of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires.

Rescue workers in the wreckage of the
Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. [Source: Reuters / Corbis]Twenty-nine
people are killed in the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires,
Argentina. The bombing levels the three-story building. Argentina, the US, and
Israel will later accuse Hezbollah and its backer Iran, but provide little
evidence. According to most media accounts and the US State Department’s annual
report on terrorism, the bombing was the work of a Hezbollah suicide bomber who
drove a truck into the building. (
Los Angeles Times 5/8/1992State 4/30/1993Fox News 10/5/2007) However, a technical report ordered by
Argentina’s Supreme Court will find that the bomb was placed inside the
building: “Court official Guillermo Lopez said that the investigation had
ascertained that the explosives had been located on the first floor of the
diplomatic headquarters. ‘The engineers established, with 99 percent certainty,
the exact location where the explosives were and the quantity that was used.’”
That conclusion is angrily rejected by Israel. (
NotiSur 8/16/1996) The case remains unsolved. (Ha’aretz 3/17/2008) 

Mid-September 1992: Bosnia Muslims Stage Attack from Sarajevo Hospital to
Discredit Serbians

Lord David Owen arrives in Sarajevo as
the new European Union peace negotiator. Owen is initially seen as anti-Serb
and had recently advocated Western air strikes against the Bosnian Serbs. He is
outraged that his arrival coincides with a Serb bombardment of the Kosevo
Hospital in Sarajevo, Bosnia. But within hours, he learns that the incident was
actually provoked by the Bosnian Muslims. He will later say, “The UN monitors
actually saw the Muslim troops enter the hospital and, from the hospital
grounds, firing at Serb positions. Then the mortar was packed up and removed as
the television crew showed up. A few minutes later a retaliatory fire of course
landed in or near the hospital and all was filmed for television.” UN Gen.
Philippe Morillon immediately writes a letter to Bosnian President Izetbegovic:
“I now have concrete evidence from witnesses of this cowardly and disreputable
act and I must point out the harm such blatant disregard for the Geneva
Convention does to your cause.” But the letter and information about the
incident is not made public and the Serbs are the only ones blamed for the
incident. Owen will later say, “I asked Morillon why didn’t he make this
public, and he shrugged his shoulders [and said], ‘We have to live here.’” (
Rothstein 1999, pp. 176, 188)

December 8, 1992: UN and Senior Western Military Officials Claim Bosnian
Muslims Are Attacking Their Own People to Gain International Sympathy

The Independent reports, “United Nations
officials and senior Western military officers believe some of the worst recent
killings in Sarajevo, including the massacre of at least 16 people in a bread
queue, were carried out by the city’s mainly Muslim defenders – not Serb
besiegers – as a propaganda ploy to win world sympathy and military
intervention. The view has been expressed in confidential reports circulating
at UN headquarters in New York, and in classified briefings to US policymakers
in Washington. All suggest that Sarajevo’s defenders, mainly Muslims but including
Croats and a number of Serb residents, staged several attacks on their own
people in the hope of dramatizing the city’s plight in the face of insuperable
Serbian odds. They emphasize, however, that these attacks, though bloody, were
a tiny minority among regular city bombardments by Serbian forces.” The reports
claim the following events were likely committed by the Bosnian Muslims: 

bullet The bombing of a
bread line in Sarajevo on May 27, 1992. 

bullet A mortar attack on
July 17, 1992, hitting a bunker where British minister Douglas Hurd was meeting
with Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic. Ten bystanders were killed or

bullet An August 4, 1992,
explosion at a cemetery while two orphans were being buried.

bullet The August 13,
1992, death of ABC News producer David Kaplan near Sarajevo. One UN military officer
says it would have been impossible the bullet that killed him was fired by a
sniper from distant Serbian positions. “That shot came in horizontal to the
ground. Somebody was down at ground level.”

bullet A Ukrainian soldier
killed in Sarajevo on December 3, 1992, was similarly shot by small arms fire
which would imply the Bosnian Muslims.

The UN officials behind these reports claim that are not trying to exonerate
the Serbs, who also have been killing many in sniper attacks, mortar rounds,
and so forth. “But they expressed fears that the ‘self-inflicted’ attacks may
not augur well for existing UN forces or for additional Western troops,
including Britons, who have to serve there.” (
Doyle 8/22/1992) 

July 18, 1994: Anti-Jewish Bombing in Buenos Aires Is Blamed on Hezbollah
and Iran Despite Lack of Proof

Wreckage of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina,

Wreckage of the AMIA Jewish community
center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, [Source: Reuters / Corbis]A
Jewish community center called AMIA in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is destroyed in
a blast. The seven-story building is reduced to rubble and eighty-five people
are killed. (
BBC 8/25/2003) Argentinean authorities, as well as
the United States and Israel, are quick to blame Hezbollah and its backer,
Iran. They accuse an Iranian diplomat of having provided a van packed with
explosives to a Hezbollah suicide bomber.

Problems with Investigation – But the investigation becomes the
subject of intense controversy. Argentine President Nestor Kirchner will later
call it “a national disgrace.” In 2003, it will be revealed that the
investigative judge offered an apparent bribe to the man accused of selling the
van used in the attack in exchange for his testimony against local police
officers charged with complicity in the bombing. That judge will later be
impeached and removed from office and the case will collapse. (
Gotkine 12/3/2003BBC 8/3/2005)

Forensic Evidence – Critics will also argue that the forensic
evidence suggests that the bomb exploded inside the building, rather than in
the street. This will be the conclusion reached by Charles Hunter, an
explosives expert with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) who
was part of the investigation. Hunter will quickly identify “major
discrepancies” between the car-bomb thesis and the blast pattern recorded in
photos. A report drafted two weeks later will note that, in the wake of the
bombing, merchandise in a store immediately to the right of AMIA was tightly
packed against its front windows and merchandise in another shop had been blown
out onto the street—suggesting that the blast came from inside rather than
outside. Hunter will also say he does not understand how the building across
the street could still be standing if the bomb had exploded in front of AMIA.
Investigators will find no conclusive evidence against any Iranian diplomat.
The US ambassador to Argentina at the time, James Cheek, will comment in a 2008
article: “To my knowledge, there was never any real evidence of [Iranian
responsibility]. They never came up with anything.” (
Porter 1/18/2008) Nevertheless, in November 2007,
Argentina, with strong support from the US and Israel, will successfully
persuade Interpol to issue arrest warrants against several Iranian officials
and one Lebanese Hezbollah militant. (
Solomon and Perez 1/15/2008) 

October 27, 1994-July 16, 1996: Government Mole Takes Over Algerian GIA,
Causes Group to Splinter and Lose Popularity

Djamel Zitouni.

Djamel Zitouni. [Source: Fides
Djamel Zitouni takes over the Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA). There
are allegations that the Algerian government manipulated the GIA from its
creation in 1991 (see 
1991). After going through several leaders,
it appears that the GIA’s new leader Zitouni is in fact an agent of the
Algerian intelligence agency. For instance, in 2005 the Guardian will report
that Algerian intelligence “managed to place Djamel Zitouni, one of the
Islamists it controlled, at the head of the GIA.” (
Bouteldja 9/8/2005) And journalist Jonathan Randal will
write in a 2005 book that according to Abdelkhader Tigha, a former Algerian
security officer, “army intelligence controlled overall GIA leader Djamel
Zitouni and used his men to massacre civilians to turn Algerian and French
public opinion against the jihadis.” (
Randal 2005, pp. 170-171) Indeed, prior to Zitouni taking over,
the GIA tried to limit civilian casualties in their many attacks (see 
December 1991-October 27, 1994). But Zitouni launches many attacks on
civilian targets. He also attacks other Islamist militant groups, such as the
rival Islamic Salvation Army (AIS). He also launches a series of attacks inside
France. (
Crotty 2005, pp. 291-292) Zitouni also kills many of the genuine
Islamists within the GIA. (
Campbell 2/14/2004) These controversial tactics cause the
GIA to slowly lose popular support and the group also splits into many
dissident factions. Some international militant leaders such as Ayman
al-Zawahiri and Abu Qatada continue to support the GIA. He will finally be
killed by a rival faction on July 16, 1996. (
Crotty 2005, pp. 291-292) 

January 13,1995: Algerian Government Responds to Peace Overtures by
Plotting False Flag Attacks in France

The Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) logo.


The Islamic Salvation Front (FIS)
logo. [Source: Public domain]The Italian government hosts a meeting
in Rome of Algerian political parties, including the Islamic Salvation Front
(FIS), whose probable election win was halted by an army coup in 1992
January 11, 1992). Eight political parties representing
80 percent of the vote in the last multi-party election agree on a common
platform brokered by the Catholic community of Sant’Egidio, Italy, known as the
Sant’Egidio Platform. The militant Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) is the only
significant opposition force not to participate in the agreement. The parties
agree to a national conference that would precede new multi-party elections.
They call for an inquiry into the violence in Algeria, a return to
constitutional rule, and the end of the army’s involvement in politics. The
Independent notes the agreement “[does] much to bridge the enmity between
religious and lay parties and, most significantly, pushe[s] the FIS for the
first time into an unequivocal declaration of democratic values.” French
President Francois Mitterrand soon proposes a European Union peace initiative
to end the fighting in Algeria, but the Algerian government responds by
recalling its ambassador to France. (
Gumbel 2/5/1995) The Washington Post notes that the
agreement “demonstrate[s] a growing alliance between the Islamic militants
[such as the GIA], waging a deadly underground war with government security
forces, and the National Liberation Front,” Algeria’s ruling party, as both are
opposed to peace with the FIS and other opposition parties. (
Drozdiak 1/14/1995) The Guardian will later report that
these peace overtures “left [Algeria’s] generals in an untenable position. In
their desperation, and with the help of the DRS [Algeria’s intelligence
agency], they hatched a plot to prevent French politicians from ever again
withdrawing support for the military junta.” The GIA is heavily infilrated by
Algerian government moles at this time and even the GIA’s top leader, Djamel
Zitouni, is apparently working for Algerian intelligence (see 
October 27, 1994-July 16, 1996). Some GIA moles are turned into agent
provocateurs. GIA leader Ali Touchent, who the Guardian will say is one of the
Algerian moles, begins planning attacks in France in order to turn French
public opinion against the Algerian opposition and in favor of the ruling
Algerian government (see 
July-October 1995). The GIA also plots against some of
the FIS’s leaders living in Europe. (
Bouteldja 9/8/2005) 

Early February 1995: Philippine Undercover Operative Exposed Shortly after
Bojinka Plot Was Foiled

Edwin Angeles, a Philippine government
operative so deeply embedded in the Muslim militant group Abu Sayyaf that he is
actually the group’s second in command (see 
1991-Early February 1995), surrenders to Philippine authorities.
Angeles will later tell a reporter that he was not supposed to surrender yet
and was surprised that his military handlers unmasked his cover. (
Philippine Daily Inquirer 7/10/2001) One report suggests a slightly
different account: “In early February, rumors began to circulate that Angeles…
was, in fact, a deep-penetration agent planted by the Philippine military;
Angeles heard the rumors and knew he would be killed,” so he turned himself in.
In any case, the timing may have something to do with the Bojinka plot, which
he was involved in and was foiled just the month before (see 
January 6, 1995 and Late 1994-January 1995). Angeles is debriefed for weeks and
reveals many details about the Bojinka plot and Abu Sayyaf generally. It is not
known what he may have told Philippine intelligence about the Bojinka plot
while the plot was still in motion, if anything. (
Murdoch 6/3/1995) Angeles leads the military in a number
of operations against Abu Sayyaf and helps capture several top leaders,
removing any doubt for the group that he was an undercover agent. Angeles then
becomes a Philippine intelligence agent but, soon he has a falling out over
what he believes are unethical methods and goes public with his complaints
later in the year. He is then charged with multiple counts of kidnapping and
murder for his actions when he was an Abu Sayyaf leader. However, he will be acquitted
after the judge announces Angeles proved the crimes were all done as part of
his job as an undercover operative. Hated by both the Philippine government and
Abu Sayyaf, Angeles will disappear into the jungle and try to start his own
rebel group. However, he will be shot and killed in early 1999. (
Philippine Daily Inquirer 7/10/2001) 

April 4, 1995: Philippine Militant Group Attacks Town; Government Alleged
to Support the Attack

Devastation after the raid on Ipil.

Devastation after the raid on
Ipil. [Source: Romeo Gacad / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images]The
Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim militant group, attacks the Christian town of Ipil in the
Southern Philippines. About 200 militants burn, loot, and shoot inside the town
for hours, killing 53 and withdrawing with 30 hostages. In 2001, the
Independent calls this the group’s “bloodiest and most shocking attack.” (
Richburg 5/25/1995Parry 3/4/2001) Edwin Angeles is an undercover
operative for the Philippine government while also serving as Abu Sayyaf’s
second in command (see 
1991-Early February 1995). Although Angeles’ undercover status
was exposed in February 1995 (see 
Early February 1995), he claims to still have been in the
group when the raid was planned. He says the raid was to test a new group of
recruits recently returned from training in Pakistan, and to rob several banks.
Richburg 5/25/1995) Aquilino Pimentel, president of the
Philippines Senate, will later allege that Angeles told him later in 1995 that
the Philippine government provided the Abu Sayyaf with military vehicles,
mortars, and assorted firearms to assist them with the raid. (
Pimentel 7/31/2000) At this time, the Philippine
government is unpopular due to a recent scandal and is attempting to pass an
anti-terrorism bill. The government has sometimes been accused of manipulating
the Abu Sayyaf for Machiavellian purposes (see 
1994July 31, 2000, and July 27-28, 2003). 

July-October 1995: Wave of Attacks in France Blamed on Algerian Islamist
Militants Were Likely Masterminded by Algerian Government

A Paris subway car bombed in 1995.

A Paris subway car bombed in 1995. [Source:
Associated Press]
Ten French citizens die and more than two hundred are
injured in a series of attacks in France from July to October 1995. Most of the
attacks are caused by the explosion of rudimentary bombs in the Paris subway.
The deaths are blamed on the Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) Algerian militant
group. Some members of the banned Algerian opposition Islamic Salvation Front
(FIS) living in exile in France are killed as well. For instance, high-level
FIS leader Abdelbaki Sahraoui is assassinated on July 11, 1995. The GIA takes
credit for these acts. The attacks mobilize French public opinion against the Islamic
opposition in Algerian and causes the French government to abandon its support
for recent Algerian peace plans put forth by a united opposition front
January 13,1995). (BBC 10/30/2002Randal 2005, pp. 171, 316-317Bouteldja 9/8/2005) However, in September 1995, French
Interior Minister Jean-Louis Debré says, “It cannot be excluded that Algerian
intelligence may have been implicated” in the first bombing, which hit the
Saint-Michel subway stop in Paris on July 25 and killed eight. (
BBC 10/31/2002Randal 2005, pp. 316-317) And as time goes on, Algerian
officials defect and blame Algerian intelligence for sponsoring all the
attacks. Ali Touchent is said to be the GIA leader organizing the attacks
January 13,1995). But Mohammed Samraoui, former deputy
chief of the Algerian army’s counterintelligence unit, will later claim that
Touchent was an Algerian intelligence “agent tasked with infiltrating Islamist
ranks abroad and the French knew it.” But he adds the French “probably did not
suspect their Algerian counterparts were prepared to go so far.” (
Randal 2005, pp. 316-317) A long-time Algerian secret agent
known only by the codename Yussuf-Joseph who defected to Britain will later
claim that the bombings in France were supported by Algerian intelligence in
order to turn French public opinion against the Islamic opposition in Algeria.
He says that intelligence agents went sent to France by General Smain Lamari,
head of the Algerian counterintelligence department, to directly organize at
least two of the French bombings. The operational leader was actually Colonel
Souames Mahmoud, head of the intelligence at the Algerian Embassy in Paris. (
Sweeney and Doyle 11/9/1997) In 2002, a French television station
will air a 90-minute documentary tying the bombings to Algerian intelligence.
In the wake of the broadcast, Alain Marsaud, French counterintelligence
coordinator in the 1980s, will say, “State terrorism uses screen organizations.
In this case, [the GIA was] a screen organization in the hands of the Algerian
security services… it was a screen to hold France hostage.” (
Campbell 2/14/2004) 

March 26-May 21, 1996: French Monks in Algeria Kidnapped and Killed by
Algerian Intelligence Working with Compromised Islamic Militants

A photo montage of the seven murdered monks from Tibhirine.

A photo montage of the seven murdered
monks from Tibhirine. [Source: Cistercian Order of the Strict
 (click image to enlarge)On March 26, 1996, a group of
armed men break into a Trappist monastery in the remote mountain region of
Tibhirine, Algeria, and kidnap seven of the nine monks living there. They are
held hostage for two months and then Djamel Zitouni, head of the Groupe
Islamique Armé (GIA), announces that they were all killed on May 21, 1996. The
French government and the Roman Catholic church state the GIA is to blame. But
years later, Abdelkhader Tigha, former head of Algeria’s military security,
will claim the kidnapping was planned by Algerian officials to get the monks
out of a highly contested area. He says government agents kidnapped the monks
and then handed them to a double agent in the GIA. But the plan went awry and
the militants assigned to carry it out killed the monks. Furthermore, it will
later be alleged that Zitouni was a mole for Algerian intelligence (see 
October 27, 1994-July 16, 1996). (Lichfield 12/24/2002United Press International 8/20/2004) In 2004, Algerian President Abdelaziz
Bouteflika will reopen the controversy when he says of the monks’ deaths, “Not
all truth is good to say when [the issue is still] hot.” (
United Press International 8/20/2004) He will also say, “Don’t forget that
the army saved Algeria. Whatever the deviations there may have been, and there
were some, just because you have some rotten tomatoes you do not throw all of
them away.” (
Wilkinson 4/7/2004) 

September, 1998: Kremlin Insider Predicts ‘Massive Unrest’ to Journalist

Elena Tregubova with <i>Tales of a Kremlin Digger.</i>” v_shapes=”Resim_x0020_55″></span></b></p>
<p class=Elena Tregubova with Tales of a
Kremlin Digger.
 [Source: Publicity photo]According to
journalist Elena Tregubova, Valentin Yumashev, the head of Russia’s
Presidential Administration, tells her that secret police reports indicate that
the country is on the verge of widespread unrest. In her 2003 book, Tales
of a Kremlin Digger
, which recounts her years as a member of the Kremlin
press pool with access to top officials, Yumashev says to her off-the-record:
“The fact is that we have received secret information from the special services
that the country finds itself on the eve of mass rebellions, in essence on the
verge of revolution… Believe me, the information concerns… secret reports that
have been made to the president!” But Tregubova says that when she later
discussed this information with Vladimir Putin, the then-head of the FSB
(Russia’s intelligence agency), he denies it. “Yumashev could not have imagined
that a mere three months later the existence of such ‘secret information’ would
be categorically denied in a confidential chat with me by future president of
Russia Putin, heading at that period of crisis the chief special service of the
country.” According to Russia scholar John Dunlop, Yumashev’s claims suggest
that he and other Kremlin figures were already thinking of a destabilization
plan. Yumashev’s warning “sounds like advanced advertising for the ‘Storm in
Moscow’ scenario”, writes Dunlop (see 
July 22, 1999). (Dunlop 10/5/2004, pp. 16 pdf file) Tregubova’s book, which has not been
translated in English, is notorious for a scene in which Putin seems to try to
seduce her during lunch at an expensive restaurant. (“I couldn’t tell whether
he was trying to recruit me, or chat me up.”) Trebugova will loose her job
shortly after the book is published. In 2004, a small bomb will explode near
her apartment building as she is about to take a taxi. Unhurt but frightened,
she will seek political asylum in Britain in 2007. (
Myers 2/3/2004Arnold 4/8/2008) 

January 16, 1999: US Diplomat Claims Massacre of Albanians; Foreign Press
Disputes Allegation

The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) invites
foreign journalists to the scene of an alleged Serb massacre of some 45
Albanians in Raqak, Kosovo. Later, at 12 noon, the Kosovo Verification Mission
leader, US diplomat William Walker, leads another group of news reporters to
the scene. The story makes international headlines and is later used to justify
NATO bombings. The New York Times will call this the “turning point” in NATO’s
decision to wage war on Yugoslavia. But the claim that a massacre occurred is
quickly called into question. It turns out that an Associated Press television
crew—at the invitation of Yugoslav authorities—had filmed a shootout the day
before between the Yugoslav police and fighters with the KLA at the location
where the alleged massacre took place. They say that upon arriving in Raqak
most of the villagers had already fled the expected gun battle between the KLA
and the police. They also report that they did not witness any executions or
massacres of civilians. Furthermore, after the firefight, at about 3:30 p.m.,
the Yugoslav police announced in a press conference that they had killed 15 KLA
“terrorists” in Raqak. And then about an hour later, at 4:40 p.m., and then
again at 6 p.m., a Le Monde reporter visited the scene and reported that he saw
no indications that a massacre of civilians had occurred. Finally, the foreign
journalists escorted to Raqak by the KLA found no shell casings lying around
the scene. “What is disturbing,” correspondent Renaud Girard remarks, “is that
the pictures filmed by the Associated Press journalists radically contradict
Walker’s accusations.” Belarussian and Finnish forensic experts later
investigate the claims but are unable to verify that a massacre actually took
place. (
Chatelot 1/21/1999Chatelot 1/21/1999Covert Action Quarterly 6/1999) 

March 19, 1999: Bombing in Russian Market Near Chechnya Kills Fifty

In the deadliest terrorist attack in
Russia since 1996, a powerful bombing in Vladikavkaz’s main outdoor market
kills at least fifty people and injures more than a hundred. Vladikavkaz is the
capital of North Ossetia, a region of Russia close to Chechnya. It is unclear
who is responsible, but in the following days Russian authorities distribute
composites of two individuals who left the market shortly before the
explosions. Some press reports say that authorities suspect “Wahabbi” rebels in
Chechnya, while others speculate on a possible connection to Osama Bin Laden
but offer no evidence. The Jamestown Foundation’s Monitor later explains that
“the term “Wahabbi” in the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] has become
a catch-all phrase for any Muslim extremist, whether or not that person is
actually an adherent of Wahabbi Islam. “Wahabbis” are now, generally without
evidence, blamed for any terrorist act in the Muslim regions of the CIS.” (
CNN 3/19/1999Haslett 3/19/1999Bohlen 3/20/1999New York Times 3/21/1999Monitor 3/22/1999Monitor 3/24/1999) Several months later, an Italian
journalist will claim this bombing was orchestrated by elements within the
Russian government (see 
June 16, 1999). 

May 16, 1999: Explosions Target Russian Military Housing near Chechnya;
Fourteen Injured and One Killed

Three explosions take place at a
military housing complex on the outskirts of Vladikavkaz, Russia. Vladikavkaz
is the capital of North Ossetia, a region close to Chechnya. Fifteen people are
injured, and one of them later dies. The blasts take place at dawn, around 6:00
am, apparently from the basements, destroying several apartment blocks. There
are no clear indications of responsibility. (
Monitor 6/30/ 2000) Two months earlier, a bombing in
Vladikavkaz killed fifty. The responsibility for that bombing also remains
unknown (see 
March 19, 1999). 

June 6, 1999: Kremlin False Flag Terror Plot Rumors Surface in Swedish

The Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet
publishes a report by its Moscow correspondent Jan Blomgren claiming that a
group of powerful Kremlin figures have drafted a plan to orchestrate bombings
in Moscow that would then be blamed on Chechens. This is the first such
predictive report in the media; two more will follow (see 
June 16, 1999 and July 22, 1999). (Cockburn 1/29/2000) 

June 16, 1999: Italian Journalist Publishes Warning Against
State-instigated Terrorism in Russia

Giulietto Chiesa.

Giulietto Chiesa. [Source:]
Giulietto Chiesa, the Moscow correspondent for the
Italian newspaper Stampa, publishes an article in the Literaturnaya Gazeta
weekly entitled “There Are Also Different Kinds of Terrorists” which tries to
alert the public to the possibility that state-sponsored terrorism can be a
tool of a “strategy of tension” pursued by secret services. The article
comments on recent bombings in Russia, in particular the Vladikavkaz bombing
that killed at least fifty in March 1999 (see 
March 19, 1999). “That criminal act,” he writes, “was
conceived and carried out not simply by a group of criminals. As a rule the
question here concerns broad-scale and multiple actions, the goal of which is
to sow panic and fear among citizens. […] Actions of this type have a very
powerful political and organizational base. Often, terrorist acts that stem
from a ‘strategy of building up tension,’ are the work of a secret service,
both foreign but also national […] Terrorism of this type (it is sometimes
called ‘state terrorism’ since it involves simultaneously both state interests
and structures acting in the secret labyrinths of contemporary states) is a
comparatively new phenomenon… With a high degree of certitude, one can say that
the explosions of bombs killing innocent people are always planned by people
with political minds. They are not fanatics, rather they are killers pursuing
political goals. One should look around and try to understand who is interested
in destabilizing the situation in a country. It could be foreigners… but it
could also be ‘our own people’ trying to frighten the country…” In the
book Roulette Rossa, published later in 1999, Chiesa will write
that he “received information concerning the preparation of a series of
terrorist acts in Russia which had the goal of canceling the future elections”
and had felt compelled to write the article containing “a somewhat veiled
warning.” (
Chiesa 1999Dunlop 10/5/2004, pp. 9 pdf file) 

June 28, 1999: Bombing at Russian Train Station near Chechnya Injures 11

The Vladikavkaz train station is bombed.
Vladikavkaz is the capital of North Ossetia, a Russian region close to
Chechnya. Eleven people are reported injured. The Kommersant newspaper writes
that “investigators are certain that the bombing was the work of Chechen rebel
field commander [Ibn] Khattab”, according to the Jamestown Foundation’s Monitor,
which summarizes Russian and East European publications. However, another major
Russian newspaper, Izvestia, expresses doubts about Khattab’s culpability. “The
paper asked why there have been no comments on the arrest of officers from the
58th army based in Vladikavkaz, who were caught with dozens of kilograms of
explosives. It also asked why the 58th army’s commanders and the heads of the
North Caucasus Military district reacted so harshly to indications that those
officers arrested with explosives belonged to the GRU—military intelligence. (
Monitor 6/30/1999) It is unclear from available sources
when this arrest was made or if any investigation was conducted. This is the
third bombing in Vladikavkaz since March 1999 (see 
March 19, 1999 and May 16, 1999). 

July 22, 1999: Russian Journalist Alleges Destabilization Plot by Kremlin

Aleksandr Zhilin, a prominent military
journalist and retired Air Force colonel, publishes an article entitled “Storm
in Moscow” in the Moskovskaya Pravda newspaper. According to unnamed sources,
Zhilin reports that a group of government figures in President Yelstin’s
administration are plotting to destabilize Russian politics by committing
spectacular acts of terrorism and other crimes. This alleged plan aims to
discredit Mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov, a possible candidate in the up-coming
presidential elections of 2000. “From trustworthy sources in the Kremlin the
following has become known. The administration of the president has drafted and
adopted (individual points have been reported to Yeltsin) a broad plan for
discrediting Luzhkov with the aid of provocations, intended to destabilize the
socio-psychological situation in Moscow. In circles close to Tatyana Dyachenko
[Yeltsin’s younger daughter], the given plan is being referred to as ‘Storm in
Moscow.’ […] As is confirmed by our sources, the city awaits great shocks. The
conducting of loud terrorist acts (or attempts at terrorist acts) is being
planned in relation to a number of government establishments: the buildings of
the FSB [the Russian intelligence agency], MVD [the Ministry of Internal
Affairs], Council of Federation, Moscow City Court, Moscow Arbitration Court,
and a number of editorial boards of anti-Luzhkov publications. Also foreseen is
the kidnapping of a number of well-known people and average citizens by
‘Chechen rebels’ who with great pomp will then be ‘freed’ and brought to Moscow
by Mr. [Vladimir] Rushailo [the newly appointed head of the Ministry of
Internal Affairs].” Actions employing the use of force “will be conducted
against structures and businessmen supporting Luzhkov.” Also, “a separate
program has been worked out directed at setting organized crime groups in
Moscow against one another and provoking a war among them.” The purpose of
these actions is to create “the conviction that Luzhkov had lost control over
the situation in the city.” In a subsequent article in Novaya Gazeta (November
18, 1999), Zhilin will report that the plan “Storm in Moscow” was dated June 29
and that he had obtained a copy on July 2. The article will go unnoticed
immediately after publication, but will be much-discussed two months later
after the September apartment bombings (see 
September 9, 1999September 13, 1999, and September 22-24, 1999). The BBC will report on September 30,
“Zhilin’s article is interesting because it was written before the bomb
explosions. At the very least it says a lot about the fevered political
atmosphere in Russia that some people take these theories [of a government
conspiracy] seriously.” (
de Waal 9/30/1999Dunlop 10/17/2001Whitmore 3/27/2002Satter 4/30/2002Dunlop 10/5/2004, pp. 11 pdf file) 

August 7-8, 1999: Chechen Militia Raids Neighboring Dagestan

Attack on Dagestan

Attack on Dagestan [Source: BBC]A
group of Chechen rebels led by Shamil Basayev and Ibn Khattab cross into
neighboring Russian region of Dagestan and seize two villages near the border
with Chechnya. According to most Russian and international news accounts, the
militia has about 2,000 fighters. They are Islamic militants aiming to unify
Chechnya and Dagestan into a single Islamic state under Sharia (strict Islamic
law). The Russian government reacts immediately by sending a large number of
troops to drive them back into Chechnya. (
BBC 8/8/1999New York Times 8/8/1999BBC 8/9/1999Gall 8/13/1999BBC 8/16/1999) Basayev and Khattab preceded the
attack by building fortified bases in Dagestan. Russian intelligence officer
Anton Surikov will later say that Russian officials had indications that
something was being planned at the Dagestan border. “It was not being hidden.
There was a certain panic here.” A senior Russian official will also say, “The
dates [of the assault] were definitely known several days before.” But “the
area is hilly and difficult to guard. There are hundreds of different paths,
plenty of canyons, mountain paths. There is no border, actually.… That is why
it is not possible just to line up soldiers to guard the border.” (
Hoffman 3/10/2000) 

August 9, 1999: Russian President Yeltsin Sacks Government, Nominates
Vladimir Putin Acting Prime Minister

Yeltsin and Putin

Yeltsin and Putin [Source: BBC]Russian
President Boris Yeltsin dismisses his prime minister, Sergei Stepashin, and the
entire Russian government, naming Vladimir Putin as acting prime minister.
Putin is the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), which is the new name
of the KGB. (
BBC 8/9/1999) For many observers, Stepashin was
dismissed because he had been unable to become a politically viable heir to
Yeltsin, who must step down in 2001. Putin, who is unknown to the public, seems
to have been hand-picked mainly for his loyalty. (
Bohlen 8/10/1999) The Russian news service
offers this fairly representative analysis: “Only a trusted person from one of
the ‘power ministries’ can ensure the safety of Yeltsin’s entourage after his
term in office, and the former FSB boss can prove indispensable.” (
BBC 8/9/1999 

August 18, 1999: Yeltsin Opponents Join Forces

Yevgeny Primakov.

Yevgeny Primakov. [Source: BBC
Yevgeny Primakov, who was Russian prime minister until he was
summarily dismissed by President Boris Yeltsin in May 1999, announces that he
will lead Yuri Luzhkov’s Fatherland-All Russia party for the upcoming Duma
elections in December. Polls indicate Primakov is the country’s most trusted
politician. He has demonstrated his willingness to investigate corruption. The
Primakov-Luzhkov alliance threatens the Kremlin’s plans for a political
succession that would protect Yeltsin’s entourage after the next presidential
elections, scheduled for June 2000. But in an attempt to re-assure the Kremlin,
Primakov proposes a new law guaranteeing “full security and a worthy life” to
presidents after they leave office. Reports the New York Times: “That last
proposal was an obvious olive branch to Mr. Yeltsin and his presidential
administration, whose increasingly desperate battle to influence the choice of
a presidential successor is widely thought to be driven by concern for their
own future.” (
Bohlen 8/18/1999) 

August 25-September 22, 1999: Russia Begins Bombing Chechnya in Advance of
Full-Scale Invasion

Following raids by Chechen forces into
the neighboring Russian region of Dagestan earlier in the month (see 
August 7-8, 1999), the Russian military pushes the
Chechens back into Chechnya. Then, on August 25, Russian planes bomb two
villages just inside Chechnya, near the Dagestan border. (
CNN 8/26/1999) There is intermittent fighting and
bombing for several weeks, and then, around September 22, a more intense
Russian bombing campaign begins. This is to soften up the opposition so a full
scale invasion can start at the end of September (see 
September 29, 1999). (CNN 9/29/1999)

August 31, 1999: Moscow Shopping Mall Is Bombed

In the first instance of what will later
become a series of bombings during the month of September 1999, the Manezh, a
luxury underground shopping mall in Moscow and within walking distance of the
Kremlin, is bombed. Forty people are injured; only one is killed. (
BBC 9/1/1999) 

Fall 1999: Explosives Were Kept Disguised As Sugar in Military Base Near
Ryazan, Soldier Later Says

In March 13, 2000, the Russian
independent weekly Novaya Gazeta publishes a bombshell that re-ignites the
Ryazan incident controversy (see 
September 22-24, 1999). A soldier named Alexei Pinyaev
describes how during the autumn of 1999 he was stationed near Ryazan, a city
about 100 miles south of Moscow, and given guard duty at a military warehouse.
He says it contained large sacks marked “sugar” but when he and another soldier
surreptitiously opened one of the bags to sweeten their tea, the powder tasted
vile. They showed the powder to their commander who then turned it over to a
bomb expert. The expert identified it as hexogen. Immediately afterwards, several
high-ranking FSB officers arrived from Moscow and accused the soldiers of
divulging state secrets. To the soldiers’ relief, they were not sent to prison
but simply told to forget the whole matter and they were later sent to
Chechnya. The story causes an uproar, finally forcing the government to respond
to the Ryazan controversy (see 
March 23, 2000). (Satter 2003, pp. 30) 

September 4, 1999: Bomb Targets Military Barracks in Dagestan, Next to

Buinaksk Blast

Buinaksk Blast [Source:]
A powerful bomb hits military housing for Russian soldiers in
Buinaksk, Dagestan, killing 64. A car bomb is also discovered near a military
hospital and defused. The attack is believed to have been committed by Chechen
rebels in retaliation for Russian operations in Chechnya and neighboring
Dagestan. (
BBC 9/5/1999Abdulayev 9/5/1999Gordon 9/6/1999Warren 9/6/1999 

September 9, 1999: Apartment Blast in Moscow Kills 94; Chechen Rebels

The Guryanov Street bombing.

The Guryanov Street bombing. [Source:
A powerful explosion levels the central portion of a
block-long Moscow apartment building shortly after midnight, killing 94 people.
The building is located on Guryanov Street in a working-class suburb, far from
the heart of Moscow. Yuri Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow, who has a degree in
chemistry, identifies the probable explosive as hexagen, also called RDX. He
says the attack was probably carried out by Chechen terrorists: “Visual signs
suggest that it was a terrorist act similar to the one carried out in Buinaksk”
September 4, 1999). Interfax reports that an anonymous
caller declared that the explosion is “our response to air strikes against
peaceful villages in Chechnya and Dagestan.” (
Wines 9/10/1999Yablokova, Saradzhyan, and Kor 9/10/1999BBC 8/10/2000) Another Moscow apartment building is
bombed on September 13, killing over 100 (see 
September 13, 1999). Later in the month, explosives will
be found in an apartment building in the nearby city of Ryazan. The Russian
government will initially declare it a foiled bombing until the suspects
arrested turn out to be FSB agents. The government will then claim it was
merely a training exercise (see 
September 22-24, 1999). This will lead some to suspect that
all three apartment bomb incidents this month were false flag attacks by the
FSB (see 
March 6, 2002December 30, 2003 and January 2004) 

September 13, 1999: Second Moscow Apartment Bombing Kills 118; Chechen
Rebels Blamed

The Kashirskoye Street bombing.

The Kashirskoye Street bombing. [Source:
A powerful early-morning blast levels an apartment building
on Kashirskoye Street, Moscow, killing 118 people. Russian Prime Minister
Vladimir Putin and Moscow’s mayor Yuri M. Luzhkov blame Chechen terrorists. (
Wines 9/13/1999BBC 9/13/1999) Another Moscow apartment building was
bombed on September 9, killing nearly 100 (see 
September 9, 1999). Later in the month, explosives will
be found in an apartment building in the nearby city of Ryazan. The Russian
government will initially declare it a foiled bombing until the suspects
arrested turn out to be FSB agents. The government will then claim it was
merely a training exercise (see 
September 22-24, 1999). This will lead some to suspect that
all three apartment bomb incidents this month were false flag attacks by the
FSB (see 
March 6, 2002December 30, 2003 and January 2004).

September 16, 1999: Truck Bomb in Southern Russia Kills 17

Apartment building in Volgondosk after blast

Apartment building in Volgondosk after
blast [Source: BBC]A huge truck bomb outside an apartment block in
Volgodonsk, Southern Russia, shears off the front of the building, killing 17
people. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin declares, “We must stamp out this
vermin.” Putin has blamed Chechen separatists for previous attacks. (
BBC 9/16/1999)

September 22-24, 1999: FSB Agents Plant Large Bomb in Ryazan: ‘Security Exercise’
or Terror Plot?

Ryazan bomb detonator.

Ryazan bomb detonator. [Source:]
On the evening of September 22, 1999, several residents of an
apartment block in Ryazan, a city about a hundred miles south of Moscow,
observe three strangers at the entrance of their building. The two young men
and a woman are carrying large sacks into the basement. The residents notice
that the car’s plate has been partially covered with paper, although they can
still see a Moscow license plate number underneath. They decide to call the
local police. After several bombings of apartment buildings in Moscow earlier
in the month (see 
September 9, 1999 and September 13, 1999), their vigilance is understandable.
When the police arrive, around 9:00 p.m., they uncover what appears to be huge
bomb: three sacks of sugar filled with a granular powder, connected to a
detonator and a timing device set for 5:30 a.m. The bomb squad uses a gas
testing device to confirm that it is explosive material: it appears to be
hexagen, the military explosive that is believed to have been used to blow up
two Moscow blocks. The residents are evacuated. Then the bomb carted away and
turned over to the FSB. (In an apparent oversight, the FSB fails to collect the
detonator, which is photographed by the local police.) The following morning,
September 23, the government announces that a terrorist attack has been
averted. They praise the vigilance of the local people and the Ryazan police.
Police comb the city and find the suspects’ car. A telephone operator for
long-distance calls reports that she overheard a suspicious conversation: the
caller said there were too many police to leave town undetected and was told,
“Split up and each of you make your own way out.” To the police’s astonishment,
the number called belongs to the FSB. Later this day, the massive manhunt
succeeds: the suspects are arrested. But the police are again stunned when the
suspects present FSB credentials. On Moscow’s orders, they are quietly
released. On September 24, the government reverses itself and now says the bomb
was a dummy and the whole operation an exercise to test local vigilance. The
official announcement is met with disbelief and anger. Ryazan residents,
thousands of whom have had to spend the previous night outdoors, are outraged;
local authorities protest that they were not informed. However, the suspicion
of a government provocation is not widely expressed and press coverage fades
after a few days. It is only several months later that an investigation by the
independent weekly Novaya Gazeta re-ignites the controversy (see 
February 20, 2000 and Fall 1999). The government’s explanations will
fail to convince skeptics (see 
March 23, 2000). The Ryazan incident later becomes the
main reason for suspecting the government of having orchestrated previous
bombings. The controversy is then widely reported in the international press. (
BBC 9/24/1999Saradzhyan 9/24/1999CNN 9/24/1999Englund 1/14/2000Reynolds 1/15/2000Reynolds 1/18/2000Womack 1/27/2000Sweeney 3/12/2000Matthews and Powell 4/3/2000Dettmer 4/17/2000Satter 4/30/2002Shihab 11/17/2002Satter 2003Medetsky 9/24/2004 

September 29, 1999: Russian Ground Invasion Begins Second Chechen War

By September 29, 1999, Russian ground
forces begin invading Chechnya. Chechnya has been a de facto independent
country since the end of the first Chechen war in 1996, but violence has been
escalating. In early August, some Chechen fighters attacked the neighboring
Russian region of Dagestan (see 
August 7-8, 1999). In late August, the Russian military
began bombing parts of Chechnya (see 
August 25-September 22, 1999), and by late September that turned
into a heavy aerial bombardment. (
CNN 9/29/1999) By October 5, Russia claims that its
forces control about one-third of Chechnya. But this is only the flat terrain
north of the capital of Grozny. (
CNN 10/5/1999) The battle for Grozny will take months
and securing the mountainous terrain in the southern third of Chechnya will
take years.

December 19, 1999: Pro-Kremlin Parties Win Parliamentary Elections

A coalition of pro-government parties
unexpectedly wins elections to the Duma, the Russian parliament. The Chechnya
War, according to all observers, was the main factor in turning the electorate
in the Kremlin’s favor. “The Chechen war—loudly criticized in the West for its
brutal bombardments of civilians—has galvanized Russian public opinion and,
according to most political experts, turned the national debate away from a
search for social stability toward an endorsement for a strong state, headed by
a strong leader. That shift in the national mood has been answered by [Russian
Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin”, says the New York Times. (
Bohlen 12/20/1999) In addition, during the campaign, the
opposition led by Yuri Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow, and Yevgeny Primakov, a
former prime minister removed from office by President Yeltsin in early 1999,
was pummeled by hostile media reports from pro-Kremlin news organizations, in
particular Boris Berezovsky’s ORT television network. (
Bohlen 12/15/1999) 

December 31, 1999: Yeltsin Resigns; Putin Now Acting President of Russia

In a New Year’s Eve televised speech
that stuns Russians, President Boris Yeltsin announces his resignation and
nominates Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as acting president. Yeltsin, who has
spent much of the previous months in hospital for a heart condition and
alcoholism, begs the Russian people for their forgiveness for his
administration’s failings. He also praises Putin as the best man to replace
him: “Why hold on to power for another six months, when the country has a
strong person, fit to be president, with whom practically all Russians link
their hopes for the future today? Why should I stand in his way? Why wait for
another six months?” Putin later promises: “There will be no power vacuum even
for a moment.” (
BBC 12/31/1999BBC 12/31/1999CNN 12/31/1999) The BBC’s correspondent later sums up
a widespread belief concerning the change-over: “The theory goes that the
Family [Yeltsin’s entourage] decided to push Mr. Yeltsin out of office early,
in order to make it easier for their chosen successor, Vladimir Putin to take
over. Some even believe the Family deliberately started the war in Chechnya, in
order to give Mr. Putin a platform, and a cause which would boost his
popularity. In return, Mr. Putin would guarantee that the Family has protection
from nosy Swiss and Russian investigators.” (
Harding 1/8/2000) In fact, one of Putin’s first acts
upon taking over is to sign a decree giving Yeltsin immunity from prosecution.
Bohlen 1/1/2000) 

February 6, 2000: Apparent Mossad Attempt to Infiltrate Al-Qaeda Thwarted

India’s largest Newsweekly reports that
it appears a recent Mossad attempt to infiltrate al-Qaeda failed when
undercover agents were stopped on their way to Bangladesh by Indian customs
officials. These 11 men appeared to be from Afghanistan, but had Israeli
passports. One expert states, “It is not unlikely for Mossad to recruit 11
Afghans in Iran and grant them Israeli citizenship to penetrate a network such
as bin Laden’s. They would begin by infiltrating them into an Islamic radical
group in an unlikely place like Bangladesh.” (
Bhaumik 2/6/2000) 

February 20, 2000: Ryazan Bomb Was Real, Local Police Tell Independent

Yuri Tkachenko

Yuri Tkachenko [Source:]
In its February 14-20, 2000, issue, the Russian newsweekly
Novaya Gazeta reports that Ryazan police officers insist that the bomb they
uncovered and defused was real. On September 22, 1999, a bomb was discovered in
the city of Ryazan, about 100 miles south of Moscow. After the chief bomb
suspects were discovered to be FSB agents, the government claimed the bomb was
a dummy and the incident was a training exercise (see 
September 22-24, 1999). But the bomb-squad officer, Yuri
Tkachenko, is adamant that it was a professionally-prepared, military-style
bomb. He defends the accuracy of his sophisticated gas-testing device which
identified the explosives as hexogen. The article provokes much comment in
Russia but is ignored by the government. (
Satter 2003, pp. 29) 

March 23, 2000: Broadcast on Ryazan Incident Fails to End Controversy

Alexander Zdanovich.

Alexander Zdanovich. [Source:]
A team of FSB officials, led by Alexander Zdanovich, agrees to
a televised meeting with angry and suspicious residents of Ryazan, hoping to
put down rumors of a government provocation and shore up the credibility of the
official account. In September 1999 a bomb was found in the basement of a
building in Ryazan and the people arrested for planting the bomb were
discovered to be FSB agents. The government then claimed the incident was
merely a training exercise, but residents suspect the FSB wanted to bomb the
building to create a fake terrorist incident (see 
September 22-24, 1999). Zdavonich apologizes for the
inconvenience suffered by Ryazan inhabitants but then suggests the renewed
interest in the event is a campaign ploy: “For months, there was no interest
and there were no publications. The theme was activated on the eve of the
presidential election with the most fantastic details in order to accuse the
FSB of planning a real explosion with the death of people. This is actively
used in the political struggle.” (The presidential election is only one week
away.) A soldier named Alexei Pinyaev has claimed that he worked at a nearby
base where hexogen was reportedly kept in sacks marked “sugar” (see 
Fall 1999). The commander of the base denies that
there was any soldier named Pinyaev, but the Novaya Gazeta reporter who had
found Pinyaev then shows pictures of him and plays a recording of his
interview. The FSB will not let its three agents appear in public or allow
journalists to interview them. The broadcast does not allow any discussion of a
possible connection between the Ryazan incident and the apartment bombings in
Moscow earlier that month (see 
September 9, 1999 and September 13, 1999). The FSB officials did not have good
explanations for the fact that local authorities, including its own FSB office
in Ryazan, were not informed of the supposed exercise, or for the lack of
medical resources for the thousands of people forced to spend the night
outdoors. According to David Satter, a long-time correspondent in Moscow for
the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times who believes the Ryazan incident
was a failed provocation, the broadcast only serves to increase the public’s
misgivings. (
Satter 2003, pp. 30, 261-264 

July 31, 2000: Politician Accuses Philippine Government and CIA of
Manipulating Muslim Militant Group

Aquilino Pimentel.

Aquilino Pimentel. [Source:
Publicity photo from Aquilino Pimentel website.]
Senator Aquilino Pimentel,
president of the Philippines Senate, accuses the Philippine government of
collusion with the Muslim militant group Abu Sayyaf. He cites research that
names two high police officers, Leandro Mendoza and Rodolfo Mendoza, as
handlers for Abu Sayyaf informants. He also names Brig. Gen. Guillermo Ruiz,
commanding general of the Filipino Marines in the early 1990s, as someone who
colluded with the group, even splitting profits from illegal logging with them.
Pimentel says, “My information is that the Abu Sayyaf partisans were given
military intelligence services IDs, safe-houses, safe-conduct passes, firearms,
cell phones and various sorts of financial support.” He accuses officials of
manipulating the Abu Sayyaf “in the game of divide and rule as far as the
Muslim insurgency is concerned.” He also accuses the CIA of helping to create
the Abu Sayyaf, saying, “For what the Abu Sayyaf has become, the CIA must merit
our people’s condemnation. The CIA has sired a monster that has caused a lot
problems for the country…” He says Abu Sayyaf’s handlers “passed on military
equipment and funds from the CIA and its support network…” He claims witnesses
have come to him with evidence but are afraid of speaking out publicly. He
concludes that “any Filipino who had a hand in the creation, training and
equipping of the Abu Sayyaf should be held to account for high treason and
other crimes.” (
Pimentel 7/31/2000) 

September 13, 2000: Indonesia Stock Exchange Bombing Blamed on Rebels
Appears Linked to Indonesian Military Instead

Smoke rising from the bombed Jakarta stock exchange.

Smoke rising from the bombed Jakarta
stock exchange. [Source: RTV]A bombing at the stock exchange in
Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, kills 15. It is the fourth bombing in
Jakarta since July, and the most deadly. Later the same month, two Indonesian
soldiers are arrested and the Indonesian government claims they were the ones
who planted the bomb. One of the soldiers belongs to Kopassus, Indonesia’s
notorious special forces unit, and the other belongs to a different elite unit.
The two men will later be sentenced to life in prison for their roles in the
bombing, but one will escape from prison before being sentenced. One of them
will say his next targets include the US embassy and a Jakarta department
store. The government says the two soldiers were rogues acting by themselves
and hints that Islamist rebels from the province of Aceh are behind the
bombing. However, little evidence of this is presented in court, and many
analysts suspect elements in the military were involved as part of high-level
political intrigues. The bombing takes place two days before the resumption of
the corruption trial of Suharto, president of Indonesia until 1998, and there
is strong speculation that the Suharto family is behind the bombing and the other
recent Jakarta bombings to pressure the current Indonesian government not to
act against Suharto. One of Suharto’s sons is arrested for an alleged role in a
bombing earlier that year, and then released. (
BBC 9/13/2000Asian Political News 8/27/2001) In 2002, the Age, a major Australian
newspaper, will comment about the stock exchange bombing, “Indonesian military
elements were prepared to cause massive casualties and huge economic disruption
in their own capital for the purposes of elite-level politics.” (
McDonald 10/17/2002) 

After October 12, 2000: Possible Links Between Cole Bombing
and Yemeni Government Hinder US Investigation

Author Lawrence Wright will later write
about the FBI’s investigation of the USS Cole bombing in Yemen
October 12, 2000): “The FBI was convinced that the [Cole]
bombers had been tipped off about the arrival of the Cole, and they
wanted to expand the investigation to include a member of the president’s own
family and a colonel in [the Yemeni equivalent of the FBI]. There was scant
interest on the part of the Yemen authorities in pursuing such leads.” Wright
will also point out: “Yemen was a particularly difficult place to start a
terrorist investigation, as it was filled with active al-Qaeda cells and with
sympathizers at very high levels of government. On television, Yemeni
politicians called for jihad against America. Just getting permission from the
Yemeni government to go to the crime scene—the wounded warship in the Aden
harbor—required lengthy negotiations with hostile officials.” Cooperation from
the Yemen government is erratic at best. For instance, the Yemenis eventually
show the FBI a videotape taken by a harborside security camera, but it appears
the moment of the explosion has been edited out. (
Wright 2006, pp. 325Wright 7/10/2006 pdf file) Later, when the FBI is finally allowed
to interview Fahad al-Quso, who the FBI believes is one of the main Cole
plotters, a Yemeni colonel enters the room and kisses Quso on both cheeks. This
is a recognized signal to everyone that al-Quso is protected. (
Wright 2006, pp. 330) Between Yemeni obstructions,
infighting between US officials (see 
October 14-Late November, 2000), and security concerns hindering
movement, there will never be the same kind of investigation and trial as there
was with the 1998 embassy bombings (see 
10:35-10:39 a.m., August 7, 1998 and February-July 2001). 

December 24-30, 2000: Al-Qaeda Linked Group Bombings Kill Dozens in
Indonesia and Philippines

Damaged cars from the Christmas Eve bombings.

Damaged cars from the Christmas Eve
bombings. [Source: SBS Dateline]Al-Qaeda affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah
(JI) sets off two series of bombs, first in Indonesia, then in the Philippines.
The Christmas Eve attacks in Indonesia comprise a series of 38 bombings in 11
cities and are directed against churches. Nineteen people are killed and over a
hundred injured. (
LaMoshi 10/8/2004) The attacks in the Philippines kill 22
and injure 120 in the country’s capital, Manila. The operation, involving
attacks on a train, a bus, an abandoned petrol station, an airport car park,
and a park, is apparently carried out by Indonesian JI operative Fathur Rohman
Al-Ghozi. (
BBC 2/27/2002) Many militants are arrested after the
attacks. The investigation leads to JI and al-Qaeda leader Hambali, a veteran
Islamic fighter who was involved in the Bojinka plot (see 
January 6, 1995), is tied to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh
Mohammed (see 
June 1994), and attended an al-Qaeda Malaysia
summit in 2000, which was monitored by Malaysia intelligence and the CIA
January 5-8, 2000). Although Hambali, an Indonesian, has
lived in Malaysia since the mid-1990s, the authorities cannot find him and say
that he has fled to Saudi Arabia (see 
January 2001 and after). (Jakarta Post 2/7/2001) JI’s spiritual leader, Abu Bakar
Bashir, is also arrested, but then released. (
CNN 2/26/2004) Hambali will finally be captured in
August 2003 in Thailand (see 
August 12, 2003). In February 2001, evidence will come
out suggesting links between some of the bombers and the Indonesian military
February 20, 2001). 

February 20, 2001: Evidence Suggests Indonesian Military Assisted Al-Qaeda
Affiliate with Christmas Eve Bombings

Location of the Indonesian cities hit in the Christmas Eve bombings.

Location of the Indonesian cities hit in
the Christmas Eve bombings. [Source: SBS Dateline]A series of 38
church bombings on Christmas Eve, 2000, killed 19 people in 11 Indonesian cities.
The al-Qaeda affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) is blamed (see 
December 24-30, 2000). However, in February 2001, the
respected Indonesian newsweekly Tempo publishes a cover story suggesting links
between the bombings and the Indonesian military, the TNI. The article points
out that Edi Sugiarto, who was quickly arrested and confessed to assembling 15
of the bombs used in the town of Medan, has long run a car repair shop in the
province of Aceh, where a separatist group named GAM has been fighting for many
years. Members of TNI and Indonesia’s special forces, Kopassus, regularly went
to his shop for repairs and just to hang out. As a result, GAM claimed he was a
TNI lackey and burned down his shop and house in 1997. Phone records also
indicate that Sugiarto called Fauzi Hasbi seven times before the bombings.
Hasbi is a leader of JI, but Tempo outs him as an Indonesian government mole.
In 2005, two years after Hasbi’s death, the Australian television program SBS
 will provide additional evidence of Hasbi’s long-time links
to the TNI (see 
1979-February 22, 2003). Fasbi also called Jacob Tanwijaya, a
businessman well connected with the TNI, 35 times. That businessman in turn
talked on the phone to Lt. Col. Iwan Prilianto, a Kopassus special forces
intelligence officer, over 70 times. However, these potential military links
are never investigated and only Sugiarto and other alleged JI figures are
arrested and later convicted for a role in the bombings. SBS Dateline will
later report that “reputable sources claim [Sugiarto] was so severely tortured
before his trial he would have admitted to anything.” (
Tempo 2/20/2001SBS Dateline 10/12/2005) Fasbi also made at least one call to
another key figure in the bombings. The International Crisis Group, an
international think tank, will later comment, “[I]t is hard to avoid the
suspicion that someone in the armed forces must have known that at least the
Medan part [of the bombings] was in the works…” (
International Crisis Group 12/11/2002) 

Between March 2001 and May 2001: Counterterrorism ‘Tsar’ Clarke: Bush
Officials Discuss Creating Casus Belli for War with Iraq

Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke
later says that sometime between March and May, Bush administration officials
discussed creating a casus belli for war with Iraq. In a 2007
interview with radio show host Jon Elliot, Clarke says: “Prior to 9/11 a number
of people in the White House were saying to me you know this—this administration,
particularly Cheney, but also Bush [and] people like Wolfowitz in the Pentagon,
are really intent on going to war with Iraq. And this was the whispered
conversations in the National Security Council staff.… Early, early on in the
administration people I knew and trusted in the administration were saying to
me, ‘You know. They’re really going to do it. They are going to go to war with
Iraq.’ And I was flabbergasted. Why would you want to do that of all the things
in the world that one could choose to do?… And how are we going to do it? How
are we going to cause that provocation? And there was some discussion of ‘Well
maybe [we’ll] keep flying aircraft over Iraq and maybe one day one of them will
be shot down.’… And some of the talk I was hearing—in the March, April, May
timeframe—‘Maybe we’ll do something that is so provocative and do it in such a
way that our aircraft will be shot down.’ And then we’ll have an excuse to go
to war with Iraq.” (
Clarke 1/11/2007 Sources: Richard A. Clarke)

April 24, 2001: Declassified Documents Reveal US Military Planned for
Attacks Against Americans in 1960s to Justify Attacking Cuba

The first lines of the declassified Northwoods document.

The first lines of the declassified
Northwoods document. [Source: Public domain] (click image to
enlarge)James Bamford’s book, Body of Secrets, reveals a
secret US government plan named Operation Northwoods. All details of the plan
come from declassified military documents. (
Associated Press 4/24/2001Shane and Bowman 4/24/2001Hartung 4/26/2001Ruppe 5/1/2001) The heads of the US military, all five
Joint Chiefs of Staff, proposed in a 1962 memo to stage attacks against
Americans and blame Cuba to create a pretext for invasion. Says one document,
“We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other
Florida cities and even in Washington.… We could blow up a US ship in
Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba. Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a
helpful wave of indignation.” In March 1962, Lyman L. Lemnitzer, Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented the Operation Northwoods plan to President
John Kennedy and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. The plan was rejected.
Lemnitzer then sought to destroy all evidence of the plan. (
Shane and Bowman 4/24/2001Ruppe 5/1/2001) Lemnitzer was replaced a few months
later, but the Joint Chiefs continued to plan “pretext” operations at least
through 1963. (
Ruppe 5/1/2001) One suggestion in the plan was to
create a remote-controlled drone duplicate of a real civilian aircraft. The
real aircraft would be loaded with “selected passengers, all boarded under
carefully prepared aliases,” and then take off with the drone duplicate
simultaneously taking off near by. The aircraft with passengers would secretly
land at a US military base while the drone continues along the other plane’s
flight path. The drone would then be destroyed over Cuba in a way that places
the blame on Cuban fighter aircraft. (
Harper’s 7/1/2001) Bamford says, “Here we are, 40 years
afterward, and it’s only now coming out. You just wonder what is going to be
exposed 40 years from now.” (
Insight 7/30/2001) Some 9/11 skeptics will claim that the
9/11 attacks could have been orchestrated by elements of the US government, and
see Northwoods as an example of how top US officials could hatch such a plot. (
Richman 3/27/2004 

Late August 2001: NORAD Commander Fights to Keep Air Defense Plan Alive;
Senior Officer Is Oblivious to Terror Threat

Major General Larry Arnold, the
commander of the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), struggles to
maintain funding for a plan to defend against a cruise missile attack by
terrorists. Arnold has long been worried by the US’s vulnerability to an
airborne attack by terrorists (see 
1999 and February 2000). But, as he will later recount, not
everyone shares his concern. He will say: “Just two weeks before September 11,
2001, I had met with Vice Admiral Martin Mayer, the deputy commander in chief
of Joint Forces Command located in Norfolk, Virginia. He had informed me that
he intended to kill all funding for a plan my command had been working on for
two years, that would defend against a cruise missile attack by terrorists.
While I convinced Admiral Mayer to continue his funding support, he told me in
front of my chief of staff, Colonel Alan Scott; Navy Captain David Stewart, the
lead on the project; and my executive officer, Lt. Col. Kelley Duckett, that
our concern about Osama bin Laden as a possible threat to America was unfounded
and that, to repeat, ‘If everyone would just turn off CNN, there wouldn’t be a
threat from Osama bin Laden.’” (
Spencer 2008, pp. 289)

September 10, 2001: Army School Peacekeeping Report Says Mossad Can Target
US Forces with False Flag Attacks

A group of second-year students at the
Army School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) produces a 68-page plan for
sending peacekeepers to Israel in the event that the Israelis and Palestinians
agree to a peace plan and the creation of a Palestinian state. Though the cover
of the report indicates that the report has been written for the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, Maj. Chris Garver, a Fort Leavenworth spokesman, says that it was
only an academic exercise. An article about the report appears in the
Washington Times on September 10, 2001. The report refers to Israel’s armed
forces as a “500-pound gorilla in Israel” that is “well armed and trained” and
is “known to disregard international law to accomplish mission.” Of the Mossad,
the report says: “Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target US
forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act.” It describes Palestinian
youths as “loose cannons; under no control, sometimes violent.” The SAMS
officers write that US goals for the first 30 days of such a mission would be
to “create conditions for development of Palestinian State and security of
Israel”; ensure “equal distribution of contract value or equivalent aid” that
would help legitimize the peacekeeping force and stimulate economic growth;
“promote US investment in Palestine”; “encourage reconciliation between
entities based on acceptance of new national identities”; and “build lasting
relationship based on new legal borders and not religious-territorial claims.”
Scarborough 9/10/2001 

September 12, 2001: Veteran CIA Operative Calls Exiled Iraqi General and
Tells Him, ‘It’s Showtime’

Veteran CIA operative John Maguire calls
long-time friend Mohammed Abdullah al-Shahwani, a former Iraqi general, and
tells him, “It’s showtime.” Maguire and al-Shahwani worked together in the ‘90s
on a covert plan to overthrow the Iraqi government, but the plan was never
approved by the Clinton White House. Maguire believes the 9/11 attacks have
provided the long awaited opportunity to remove Saddam Hussein. (
Isikoff and Corn 2006, pp. 154 

October 10, 2001: Two Israelis
Are Detained in Mexican Legislature Building after Behaving Suspiciously and
Found To Be Carrying Arms

Two Israelis, Salvador Gersson Smike, 34, and Sar Ben
Zui, 27, are arrested in the Mexican Congress Building in Mexico City. Smike is
carrying a plastic 9 mm sophisticated Glock 9 mm pistol tucked into his
underwear in his lower back. Glock pistols are made with a special plastic
material and are very easy to smuggle. (
Bello 10/11/2001El Heraldo de Mexico (Mexico City) 10/11/2001Paez and Mejia 10/12/2001) He also has with him a briefcase
reported to contain 58 bullets, bomb-making materials, three detonators, and
nine grenades. (
El Heraldo de Mexico (Mexico City)
) The two were apprehended after ex-sugarcane workers, who were waiting for
a congressional hearing, saw the two Israelis behaving strangely at around 4:00
p.m. They were reportedly photographing the workers below the belt. When the
workers demanded that the two men identify themselves, the Israelis said they
were press photographers. The workers dismissed their claims, overcame them,
and then discovered they were armed with pistols and other high caliber arms.
The two men had apparently also been seen the day before taking pictures. (
Paez and Mejia 10/12/2001) Security guards soon arrived, disarmed
the men, and took them to the security office. At around 6:00 p.m., it is
learned that the two men are Israelis and that one of them, Salvador Gersson,
is a former colonel of the Israeli Special Forces. (
Bello 10/11/2001Diario de Mexico (Mexico City)
pdf file
) Soon after, a man claiming to be a
supervisor from the company, Desarrollo de Sistemas de Seguridad Privada
(Private Security Systems Development), says the two men are employees at the
firm and that they were taking pictures because they are “vacationing.” The
journalists who are present scoff at the claim. (
Bello 10/11/2001El Heraldo de Mexico (Mexico City) 10/11/2001) After October 13, no additional
information is reported about the incident

October 11, 2001: Nuclear
Bomb Squad Sent to New York Following Intelligence Report of Possible Al-Qaeda

According to Graham Allison, a Harvard professor and
expert on national security issues, the Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST),
the agency that investigates nuclear threats (see 
(September 10-15, 2001)), is sent to New York City following an intelligence
report that al-Qaeda may have smuggled a nuclear device into that city. The CIA
has received a report from a source code-named Dragonfire that the terrorist
organization has obtained a 10-kiloton nuclear weapon from the former Soviet
Union. During the search for the weapon, Vice President Dick Cheney and several
hundred federal employees are relocated to a secure underground bunker. No
weapon is found. (
Allison 9/19/2004Allison 10/7/2004 

Late November 2001 or
December 2001: CIA Devises Covert Plan ‘Anabasis’ to Provide Pretext for
Full-Scale War with Iraq

At the request of CIA director George Tenet, veteran
CIA agents Luis (his full name has not been disclosed) and John Maguire devise
a covert plan to overthrow the government of Saddam Hussein. Under the plan,
code-named Anabasis, the CIA would send a team of paramilitary CIA officers to
recruit disloyal Iraqi officers by offering them large chunks of cash. The CIA
would conduct a disinformation campaign aimed at making Hussein believe that
there was growing internal dissent. Hussein would become increasingly paranoid
and eventually implement a repressive internal security policy, mostly likely
involving the executions of suspected disloyal officers. In addition, the plan
calls for “direct action operations” (understood to be a euphemism for the
assassinations of key regime officials); disrupting the government’s finances
and supply networks; and conducting sabotage operations, such as the blowing up
of railroads and communications towers. Finally, the plan includes creating
casus belli for an open military confrontation between the
US and Iraq. The US would transport a group of exiles to Iraq, where they would
take over an Iraqi base close to the Saudi border. When Hussein flies his
troops south to handle the insurrection, the US would shoot his aircraft down
under the guise of enforcing the US-imposed “no-fly” zone. The confrontation
would then be used as a pretext for full-scale war. “The idea was to create an
incident in which Saddam lashes out,” Maguire later recalls. If the plan worked
the US “would have a premise for war: we’ve been invited in.” Implementing the
plan would cost an estimated $400 million. (
Isikoff and Corn 2006, pp. 6-9, 154Borger 9/7/2006) The plan will be canceled at the last
minute by Gen. Tommy Franks (see 
After January 2003) 

December 2, 2001: British
Newspaper Reveals Secret US Plan to Invade Iraq after ‘Stage-Managed Uprising’

The Observer publishes an article entitled, “Secret US
Plan for Iraq War.” It states that the US is planning to remove Saddam Hussein
from power by giving armed support to Iraqi opposition forces. It also says
that President Bush has ordered the CIA and US military to prepare plans for a
military operation that could start “within months.” The plan calls for “a
combined operation with US bombers targeting key military installations while
US forces assist opposition groups in the north and south of the country in a
stage-managed uprising,” and one version of the plan would have US forces
fighting on the ground. The trigger for the attack would be Iraq refusing to
allow UN inspectors back in. The article notes that justification for a war
based on alleged Iraqi links to the 9/11 attacks is fading, but US officials
believe they can make a case based on Iraqi possession of WMDs instead. One
European military source who recently returned from General Tommy Franks’s
headquarters in Florida says: “The Americans are walking on water. They think
they can do anything at the moment.” (
Beaumont, Vulliamy, and Beaver 12/2/2001) The claim that the US is planning a
“stage-managed uprising” will later be borne out. Right around this time, some
CIA planners come up with a plan code-named Anabasis to create an uprising in
Iraq (see 
Late November 2001 or December 2001) 

2002-2003: Chertoff Advises
CIA Can Use Waterboarding and ‘False Flag’ Trickery on Detainees

The New York Times will later report that in 2002 and
2003, Michael Chertoff repeatedly advises the CIA about legality of some
aggressive interrogation procedures. Chertoff is head of the Justice
Department’s criminal division at the time, and will later become the homeland
security secretary. Chertoff advises that the CIA can use waterboarding. And
the Times will claim he approves techniques “that did not involve the
infliction of pain, like tricking a subject into believing he was being
questioned by a member of a security service from another country.” (
Johnston, Lewis, and Jehl 1/29/2005) It will later be reported that the CIA
tricked al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida into believing he was in the custody of the
Saudis when in fact several US officials were merely pretending to be Saudis
Early April 2002). Furthermore, Chertoff seems to have been advising on the legality of
techniques used against Zubaida, strengthening allegations that ‘false flag’
trickery was used on him. “In interviews, former senior intelligence officials
said CIA lawyers went to extraordinary lengths beginning in March 2002 to get a
clear answer from the Justice Department about which interrogation techniques
were permissible in questioning Abu Zubaida and other important detainees.
‘Nothing that was done was not explicitly authorized,’ a former senior
intelligence said. ‘These guys were extraordinarily careful.’” Chertoff also
opposed one technique that “appeared to violate a ban in the law against using
a ‘threat of imminent death.’” (
Johnston, Lewis, and Jehl 1/29/2005) This appears to match claims that the
CIA proposed but did not implement a plan to place Zubaida into a coffin to
convince him he was about to die (see 
Between Mid-April and Mid-May 2002) 

January 2002: Planners of
Covert Operation Against Iraq Told, ‘Be Ready to Turn This Thing On by January

The CIA leadership informs the two veteran CIA agents
working on Anabasis (see 
Late November 2001 or December 2001), CIA agents Luis (his full name has
not been disclosed) and John Maguire, that the plan needs to be ready for
implementation by January 2003. Maguire will later recall the message being:
“Be ready to turn this thing on by January 2003. Be ready to go in a year. You
got a year.” Maguire understands this to mean that the decision to invade Iraq
has been made. (
Isikoff and Corn 2006, pp. 12)

January 13, 2002: Former
German Minister Believes CIA Is Responsible for 9/11

Andreas von Buelow.

Andreas von Buelow. [Source: Public domain]Andreas
von Bülow, former German Minister for Research and Technology and a long-time
member of German parliament, suggests in an interview that the CIA could have
been behind the 9/11 attacks. He states: “Whoever wants to understand the CIA’s
methods, has to deal with its main task of covert operations: Below the level
of war, and outside international law, foreign states are to be influenced by
inciting insurrections or terrorist attacks, usually combined with drugs and
weapons trade, and money laundering.… Since, however, it must not under any
circumstances come out that there is an intelligence agency behind it, all
traces are erased, with tremendous deployment of resources. I have the
impression that this kind of intelligence agency spends 90 percent of its time
this way: creating false leads. So that if anyone suspects the collaboration of
the agencies, he is accused of paranoia. The truth often comes out only years
later.” (
Lebert and Thomma 1/13/2002) In an example of covering tracks, Ephraim Halevy,
head of Israel’s Mossad from 1998 until 2002, claims, “Not one big success of
the Mossad has ever been made public” (see 
February 5, 2003). (CBS News 2/5/2003 

February 16, 2002: Bush
Directs CIA to Conduct Operations in Iraq

Bush signs an intelligence finding directing the CIA
to conduct some of the operations that have been proposed in the Anabasis plan
devised by veteran CIA agents Luis (full-name not disclosed) and John Maguire
Late November 2001 or December 2001). The plan called for conducting covert
operations within Iraq as part of a larger effort to overthrow Hussein’s
government. (
Hamilton 4/17/2004Isikoff and Corn 2006, pp. 9 Sources: Top officials
interviewed by Washington Post editor Bob Woodward

March 2, 2002: Macedonian
Police Stage the Murder of Seven Men, Falsely Claim They Were Islamist
Militants Planning an Attack

Victims of the “Rastanski Lozja” action

Victims of the “Rastanski Lozja” action [Source:
New York Times]
Seven men are gunned down by Macedonian police near the
country’s capital, Skopje. Authorities initially claim they were jihadists who
took on the police in a gun battle. In an early report, “Interior Minister
Ljube Boskovski said the dead men were ‘probably Pakistanis’ and had been planning
attacks on vital installations and embassies.” (
BBC 3/2/2002) However, doubts quickly develop about
the official story. The BBC reports, “Sources inside the government have
briefed journalists saying they believe that the group were illegal immigrants
attempting to cross Macedonia on the well trodden path into Europe.” (
Wood 3/20/2002) The full truth will emerge in April
2004 after a new government launches an investigation: it is revealed that the
men, six from Pakistan and one from India, were innocent illegal immigrants who
were lured over from Bulgaria, housed in Skopje for several days, and then shot
in the middle of the night in an isolated spot. The conspiracy, which has
become known as the “Rastanski Lozja” action, involved Boskovski and other
politicians, as well as members of a special police unit. Their motive for the
plot was to gain US support, in particular against rebellious ethnic Albanians.
Associated Press 4/30/2004BBC 4/30/2004) According to the New York Times, “In
late 2001, after a six-month guerrilla war with ethnic Albanian rebels,
relations between Macedonia’s nationalist government and the outside world were
at a low ebb. Diplomats, government officials and investigators here have
suggested that the government hoped to use the post-Sept. 11 campaign against
terror to give the government a free hand in its conflict with the mostly
Muslim ethnic Albanians.” (
Wood 5/17/2004 

March 6, 2002: Russian
Billionaire Berezovsky Accuses FSB, Putin of Terror Plot

Boris Berezovsky.

Boris Berezovsky. [Source: BBC]At a
well-publicized press conference in London, where he now lives in self-imposed
exile, Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky accuses President Putin of
involvement in an alleged FSB plot behing the 1999 apartment bombings
September 22-24, 1999September 9, 1999 and September 13, 1999). After an overview of many well-known facts about
the bombings and the controversial Ryazan security exercise, as well as a
documentary called “The Assassination of Russia”, Berezovsky introduces the
testimony of Nikita Chekulin. According to Chekulin, an explosive expert who
says he was recruited by the FSB, large quantities of hexogen were purchased
through his research institute, the Russian Conversion Explosives Center
(Rosconversvzryvtsenter), and shipped under false labels in 1999-2000 out of
military bases to cover organizations linked to the FSB. Chekulin says the FSB
suppressed a governmental investigation into the scheme. “I am sure the
bombings were organized by the FSB,” Berezovsky declares. “The FSB thought that
[Russian President Vladimir] Putin would not be able to come to power through
lawful democratic means.” (
BBC 3/6/2002Steele and Traynor 3/6/2002Hoffman 3/6/2002Gevorkyan and Kara-Murza 3/6/2002Monitor (Jamestown Foundation) 3/6/2002SBS 5/21/2003)

April, 2002: Many Russians
Believe Terror Plot Allegations, Poll Shows

A poll shows that suspicions of secret services
involvement in the 1999 apartment bombings (see 
September 9, 1999 and September 13, 1999) are widespread in Russia. Following Russian
billionaire Boris Berezovsky’s allegations made in in recent weeks (see 
March 6, 2002), six percent of Russians questioned in the poll say they believe the
Russian FSB was behind the apartment bombings and another 37 percent believe it
is a possibility. Most respondents say they would like Russian television to
show a Berezovsky-sponsored documentary on the subject. (
Agence France-Presse 4/17/2002 

May 16, 2002: CIA Operative
Hurt While Posing as Terrorist Bomber in Philippines?

US citizen Michael Meiring is suspected of being a CIA
operative after injuring himself in an explosion in his own hotel room. Meiring
claimed a grenade was thrown into his room, but a Philippine government
investigation determined the center of the blast came from an assembled bomb
kept in a metal box owned by Meiring. Hotel employees said Meiring told them
for weeks not to touch the box while cleaning the room. Additionally, an ID
card with his picture on it found in his room lists him as an officer in the
Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), a Muslim rebel militant group. (
Greenblatt 12/2/2004) One hour after the bombing in his
room, a bomb explodes in a marketplace in the same region, injuring four
people. (
Agence France-Presse 5/16/2002) In the two months prior to this explosion in his
room, there were several other other explosions in the same region, killing 37
people and injuring 170 more. (
Arguillas 5/30/2003) In 2003, a group of Philippine
soldiers will mutiny, in part because they believe these bombings were done
with the secret approval of the Philippine government, and not done by rebel
groups as the government claims (see 
July 27-28, 2003). A number of Philippine officials speculate Meiring may have been a CIA
agent. Those who knew him said that he referred to himself as a CIA agent, but
said it stood for “Christ In Action.” He had frequently visited the Philippines
for at least ten years. (
Arguillas 5/30/2003) He claimed to be a treasure hunter,
and had a company called Parousia International Trading (in Christian theology,
Parousia is a term for the second coming of Christ). He also had ties to right
wing extremists in the US (see 
1992-1993). He was said to be very well connected in the Philippines, being visited
in his hotel room prior to the explosion by congressmen, a governor, and
military officials. He was also connected to militants in the MNLF, Abu Sayyaf,
and other groups. He was said to have met with top leaders of these militant
groups starting in 1992 (see 
1992-1993). One source who knew him said that earlier in the year he had predicted a
series of bombings and that his predictions “always came true.” (
Arguillas 5/31/2003) Meiring was already a major suspect in
the production and distribution of counterfeit US Treasury bills. Over the last
few years, billions of dollars worth of fake US Treasury bills were confiscated
in the region. (
McGirk 2/26/2001de Leon and Francisco 5/27/2002) Four days after the explosion, FBI
agents take him out of the hospital where he was recovering from severe burns
and amputations. According to the Philippine Immigration Deputy Commissioner,
agents of the US National Security Council then take him to the capital of
Manila. The Financial Times will later report that he returns to the US and is
handed over to the CIA. (
Zumel-Sicat and Andrade 5/30/2002Financial Times 7/12/2002Klein 8/15/2003) The Guardian will later comment, “Local
officials have demanded that Meiring return to face charges, to little effect.
BusinessWorld, a leading Philippine newspaper, has published articles openly
accusing Meiring of being a CIA agent involved in covert operations ‘to justify
the [recent] stationing of American troops and bases in Mindanao.’ The Meiring
affair has never been reported in the US press.” (
Klein 8/15/2003) In 2004, a Houston TV station will
trace Meiring back to the US, where he still lives, despite the Philippine
government wanting him to be extradited to face a variety of charges related to
the explosion (see 
December 2, 2004) 

Summer 2002: CIA Begins
Moving Iraqi Operatives into US to Train for Anabasis Plan

The CIA begins bringing exiled Iraqi fighters into the
US to begin training for the Anabasis project (see 
Late November 2001 or December 2001). Some of the Iraqis are flown in on
secret flights using the same planes that are involved in the CIA’s
extraordinary renditions (see 
After September 11, 2001) Other exiles enter the US with CIA-provided
passports. (
Isikoff and Corn 2006, pp. 155)

August 16, 2002: US
Military Plans New Strategies, Including Conducting Secret Operations Aimed at
‘Stimulating Reactions’ Among Terrorists and States

The Defense Science Board authors a report titled
“Special Operations and Joint Forces in Countering Terrorism” recommending an
increase of more than $7 billion in the Pentagon’s budget. It says the war on
terrorism is a “real war” and describes the enemy as “committed, resourceful
and globally dispersed… with strategic reach.” The US will have to wage “a
long, at times violent, and borderless war” that “requires new strategies,
postures and organization,” it adds. The report includes suggestions to develop
the capability to tag key terrorist figures with special chemicals so they can
be tracked by laser; a proposal to create a special SWAT team charged with
secretly seeking and destroying chemical, biological and nuclear weapons
anywhere in the world; and a plan to establish a “red team” known as the
Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group, (P2OG), which would conduct secret
operations aimed at “stimulating reactions” among terrorists and states
suspected of possessing weapons of mass destruction. (
Board 8/16/2002Hess 9/26/2002Arkin 10/27/2002Isenberg 11/5/2002)

Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group, (P2OG) – The unit would provoke
terrorist cells into action, perhaps by stealing their money or tricking them
with fake communications, in order to expose them. The exposed cells would then
be taken care of by “quick-response” teams. The US would use the revelation of
such cells as an opportunity to hold “states/sub-state actors accountable” and
“signal to harboring states that their sovereignty will be at risk.” The P2OG
would require at least $100 million and about 100 people, including specialists
in information operations, psychological operations, computer network attack,
covert activities, signal intelligence, human intelligence, special operations
forces and deception operations. According to the DSB, it should be headed by
the Special Operations Executive in the White House’s National Security
Council. But according to sources interviewed by United Press International
(UPI), people in the Defense Department want to see the group under the
Pentagon’s authority. (
Board 8/16/2002Hess 9/26/2002Arkin 10/27/2002Isenberg 11/5/2002)

Tagging terrorists – Intelligence operatives would penetrate
terrorist cells and tag leaders’ clothes with chemicals that would make them
trackable by a laser. The agents would also collect DNA samples from objects
and papers that are handled by the targets. Information about the terrorist’s
DNA would be kept in a database. The program would cost $1.7 billion over a
5-year period beginning in 2004. (
Board 8/16/2002Hess 9/26/2002)

Special SWAT team – The SWAT Team would consist of special forces
soldiers whose specialty would be searching and destroying nuclear, chemical or
biological weapons sites anywhere in the world. They would also be trained to
offer protection to US soldiers operating nearby and be responsible for
“consequence management,” like enacting quarantines. The program would cost
about $500 million a year and would be headed by US Special Operations Command.
To effectively detect the presence of such weapons, the DSB advocates
allocating about $1 billion a year on the research and development of new
sensor and “agent defeat” technologies. (
Board 8/16/2002Hess 9/26/2002)

Expanding US Special Forces – The panel recommends increasing the
size of US Special Forces by about 2 percent a year. It also proposes that more
special forces operations be conducted jointly with conventional forces. Its
budget should be increased by “billions,” the report also says. (
Board 8/16/2002Hess 9/26/2002)

Panel to speculate on possible terrorist attack scenarios – A panel
of roughly 24 creative, highly respected analysts would be convened to
speculate on the nature of future terrorists attacks against the US. The report
recommends allocating $20 million a year for the program. (
Board 8/16/2002Hess 9/26/2002)

Intelligence Reserve – A $100 million-a-year reserve program would
be established that would put former intelligence retirees on call to assist
with intelligence tasks and to participate in counterterrorism exercises when
needed. (
Board 8/16/2002Hess 9/26/2002Isenberg 11/5/2002)

Addition of 500 people who would focus on identifying characteristics of
potential adversaries
 – $800 million would be spent on the addition of
over 500 people to existing military and intelligence agencies who would “focus
on understanding effects of globalization, radicalism, cultures, religions,
economics, etc., to better characterize potential adversaries.” (
Board 8/16/2002Hess 9/26/2002)

Increase budget of Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC) and Joint Forces
Command’s net assessment center
 – $200 million more would be allocated
to the Joint Warfare Analysis Center and Joint Forces Command’s net assessment
center. JWAC is a cell of about 500 planners and target analysts who work in
Dahlgren, Va. (
Board 8/16/2002Hess 9/26/2002)

Increase surveillance and reconnaissance budgets – The panel
envisions infusing $1.6 billion per year into intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance budgets over the next six years. Spending would be focused on
tying together unmanned aerial vehicles, manned platforms, space-based sensors
and databases. A portion of the funds would also be used to develop “a rich set
of new ground sensor capabilities” aimed at the surveillance of small terrorist
cells. (
Board 8/16/2002Hess 9/26/2002)

Urban Training Center – A dedicated urban training range would be
constructed on the West Coast emphasizing “small unit action, leadership
initiative and flexibility.” Relatively low-level soldiers would also be
trained on how to determine the logistics of the back-up fire they need while
they are in battle. The program would need $300 million a year for the next six
years. (
Board 8/16/2002Hess 9/26/2002)

Database providing 3-d view of most of the cities of the world -
The report recommends developing a detailed database of most of the cities in
the world which would allow soldiers to view a three-dimensional display of the
cities including “buildings [doors and windows included],… streets and alleys
and underground passages, obstacles like power lines and key infrastructure
like water and communications lines,” the UPI reports. (
Board 8/16/2002Hess 9/26/2002) Critics warn that the changes proposed
by the report would allow the military to engage in covert activities currently
handled by the CIA. However unlike the CIA, the military would not be subject
to Congressional oversight. But William Schneider Jr, the DSB chairman,
downplays those concerns. “The CIA executes the plans but they use Department
of Defense assets,” Schneider says, adding that his board’s recommendations do
not advocate any changes to US policies banning assassinations, or requiring
presidents to approve US covert operations in advance. He also insists that
such changes would not preclude congressional oversight. (
Isenberg 11/5/2002)

August 31, 2002: Indonesian
Military Shoots US Teachers, Blames Attack on Rebel Group

Patsy Spier, an American teacher wounded in the attack. Her husband Rick Spier was killed.

Patsy Spier, an American teacher wounded in the
attack. Her husband Rick Spier was killed. [Source: US Department of
A group of US teachers traveling in the Indonesian province of
Papua (also known as Irian Jaya) are ambushed on a jungle road. Two American
teachers and one Indonesian teacher are killed, and eight American teachers are
injured. The ambush takes place on a road owned by the company
Freeport-McMoRan, which owns an extremely lucrative gold and copper mine
nearby. The road is tightly controlled by the Indonesian military, the TNI, and
a military check point is only 500 yards away. The TNI quickly blames the
killings on the Free Papua Movement (OPM), a separatist group in the province.
But a preliminary Indonesian police investigation finds that “there is a strong
possibility” the ambush was carried out by members of the Indonesian military.
Other classified reports presented to Congress by the CIA and FBI suggest the
TNI was behind the ambush. (
Priest 6/22/2003) The weeks later, a US intelligence report suggests that senior Indonesian
military officials discussed an operation against Freeport shortly before the
ambush (see 
Mid-September 2002). (Nakashima and Sipress 11/3/2002) Matthew P. Daley, deputy assistant
secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, later says: “The
preponderance of evidence indicates to us that members of the Indonesian army
were responsible for the murders in Papua. The question of what level and for
what motive did these murders take place is of deep interest to the United
States.” At the time, over 2,000 security personnel were guarding the Freeport
mine, and this has been a lucrative business for the TNI. However, Freeport had
made recent comments in the local media that they were planning on cutting the
security forces. The Washington Post will report in 2003 that the FBI is
investigating the possibility that the ambush was designed to make Freeport
increase its payments to the TNI. The Post will additionally report US
officials also believe that “elements of the military may have wanted to frame
the [OPM] in the hope of prompting the State Department to add the group to the
department’s terrorist list. If the separatists were listed as a terrorist
group, it would almost guarantee an increase in US counterterrorism aid to the
Indonesian military.” (
Priest 6/22/2003) In 2006, the New York Times will report that, despite all the evidence,
“Bush administration officials [have] consistently sought to absolve the
Indonesian military of any link to the killings.” In November 2005, the US
officially restores ties to the TNI despite the unresolved nature of the
killings. The ties had been cut for 12 years due to widespread human rights
abuses by the TNI. Also in 2006, Anthonius Wamang, the main suspect in the
killings who was recently arrested, will confess that he did shoot at the
teachers, but so did three men in Indonesian military uniforms. Furthermore, he
says he was given his bullets by a senior Indonesian soldier. Wamang is said to
belong to the OPM, but a human rights group connects him to the TNI. (
Bonner 1/14/2006) After the Bali bombings less than two
months later (see 
October 12, 2002), the Asia Times will point to the Papua ambush to suggest that elements
in the TNI could have had a role in the Bali bombings as well. (
Fawthrop 11/7/2002 

Fall 2002: CIA Operation in
Athens Frames Iraqi Security Officials in Arms Bust

In Athens, a number of Iraqi security officials get
snagged in an arms bust arranged by the CIA. The CIA made it appear as though
the Iraqis were buying guns for terrorists. The operation was part of an effort
by the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group to exacerbate the tension between the US and
Saddam Hussein in the lead-up to war with Iraq. (
Isikoff and Corn 2006, pp. 161)

September 2002: Anabasis
Team Begins Training in Nevada Desert

The CIA’s Anabasis operatives begin training in the
Nevada Desert at the Energy Department’s nuclear test site. About 80 Iraqis
take part in the training. They name their squad Scorpions 77 Alpha after a
special forces unit Saddam had disbanded. A second team comprised of about 15
Arab fighters, mostly Egyptians and Lebanese, also train at the site. (
Isikoff and Corn 2006, pp. 153-156)

Mid-September 2002: US and
Australian Intelligence Learn Indonesian Military Likely behind False Flag
Attack on US Teachers; No Action or Warnings Result

On August 31, 2002, a group mostly made up of American
teachers near a mine owned by the US company Freeport-McMoRan are ambushed in
the jungles of the Indonesian province of Papua; 3 teachers are killed and 12
injured (see 
August 31, 2002). According to a Washington Post article published on November 2, 2002, a
US intelligence report two weeks later strongly suggests the Indonesian
military is behind the killings. According to a US official and another US
source, shortly before the ambush, a discussion involving the top ranks of
Indonesia’s military (the TNI) take place. Influential commander-in-chief
Endriartono Sutarto is involved. Sutarto and the other military leaders discuss
discrediting a Papuan separatist group, the Free Papua Movement (OPM). This
information is based on a “highly reliable” source said to be knowledgeable
about the high-level military conversations, as well as communications
intercepts by the Australian government. The discussions do not detail a
specific attack nor do they call explicitly for the killing of foreigners, but
they clearly target the Freeport company. Subordinates could understand the
discussions as an implicit command to take violent action against Freeport. The
report suggest the Indonesian military may have wanted to blame an attack on
the OPM in order to prod the US to declare the OPM a terrorist group.

FBI Reaches Similar Conclusions – In early October, the FBI briefs
State Department and US embassy officials in Indonesia and reveal that their
investigation indicates the Indonesian military was behind the ambush, although
the determination is not conclusive.

Later Reactions in US – Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) will later say,
“It should surprise no one that the Indonesian army may have been involved in
this atrocity. It has a long history of human rights violations and obstruction
of justice. The fact that the perpetrators apparently believed they could
murder Americans without fear of being punished illustrates the extent of the
impunity.” Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz will say he is concerned about
the allegations, but suggests the US should nonetheless reestablish ties with
the Indonesian military, which had been suspended due to human rights
violations. The Indonesian military will later deny any involvement in the
killings. (
Nakashima and Sipress 11/3/2002)

Indonesian Police also Blame Military – However, the Washington
Post also reports around the same time that the Indonesian police have
concluded in a secret report that the Indonesian military is responsible. They
blame Kopassus, the military’s special forces unit, for carrying out the
ambush. (
Nakashima and Sipress 10/27/2002)

No Warnings before Bali Bombings – But neither the US nor
Australian governments give any kind of public warning that the Indonesian
military could be targeting and killing Westerners, and no known action is
taken against the Indonesian government. On October 12, 2002, over 200 people,
mostly Westerners, will be killed in bombings on the island of Bali (see 
October 12, 2002). While the al-Qaeda affiliate group Jemaah Islamiyah will be blamed for
the bombings, a retired Indonesian military officer will allegedly confess to
having a role but not be charged (see 
October 16, 2002), and several top Indonesian military generals will also be suspected in
media reports (see 
October 28, 2002).

September 27, 2002: French
Court Ruling Backs Allegations of Widespread False Flag Attacks in Algeria

Habib Souaidia.

Habib Souaidia. [Source: Public domain]Algerian
general Khaled Nezzar loses a libel suit in France against Habib Souaidia, a
former lieutenant in the Algerian army. Souaidia claimed in a 2001 book that in
the 1990s the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then
blamed Islamic militants for the killings. The French court rules that the
contents of Souaidia’s book are “legitimate.” The court declares that it could
not judge Algeria’s history but Souaidia had acted in good faith in making his
allegations. (
Agence France-Presse 9/27/2002Godoy 9/30/2002) Souaidia served in the Algerian army until 1996 and took part in
operations against Islamic militants. Nezzar is considered the real power in
Algeria, still ruling behind a facade of civilian rule ever since the early
1990s. Several former Algerian officers living in exile testified in court and
corroborated Souaidia’s statements. For instance:

bullet Souaidia told the
French court, “In the beginning we spoke about restoring order in the country.
But very soon the generals made of us an army of wild murderers.… We had
permission to kill whoever we wanted to for nothing at all.” He pointed to
Nezzar in the courtroom and said that “at the same time they were counting the
millions of dollars they had stolen from the people.”

bullet Former colonel
Mohammed Samraoui testified that “the Algerian army used all means to attack
the Islamic rebellion: blackmail, corruption, threats, killings…we used
terrorist methods to attack terrorism even before it had appeared.”

bullet Former officer
Ahmed Chouchene said that soldiers were told they could kill civilians as much
as they liked as long as they could “produce a false explanation for the
killings.” They were taught that “their role was not to apply law, but to
circumvent it.” (
Godoy 9/30/2002 

Late September 2002: CIA
Strikes Deal with Iraqi Religious Leader to Exploit High-Level Contacts in
Iraqi Government for Intelligence

The CIA flies the leader of Iraq’s Sufi movement
(Sufism is a mystic tradition of Islam) to Washington to discuss his possible
involvement in the Anabasis project. One night at Marrakesh, a popular Moroccan
restaurant, the Sufi asks Luis and John Maguire, the two CIA operatives who are
heading the project, if the US is certain that it will remove Saddam Hussein.
“You’re not just going to come to Iraq, poke Saddam in the eye, and leave, are
you?” Maguire assures him that the US is serious this time. The CIA agrees to
pay him $1 million a month in exchange for information from high-level Iraqi
officials. Soon after the agreement, CIA officers in Kurdish-controlled
northern Iraq begin receiving high-quality intelligence from Iraqi insiders,
including information on the movements of Saddam Hussein. The sources include
Iraqi military officials who are more loyal to the Sufi leader than to Hussein.
Isikoff and Corn 2006, pp. 157)

(October 2002): CIA Station
Chief in Jordan Refuses Order to Engage in Sabotage against Iraqi Vehicles

The Iraqi Operations Group, headed by Luis (his full
name has not been disclosed) and John Maguire, orders the CIA station chief in
Annan Jordan to conduct a sabotage operation against a fleet of cars used by
Iraqi officials in Jordan. They want the CIA in Annan to pour contaminants into
the fuel tanks of the vehicles so as to destroy their the engines. But the
station chief refuses, telling agency headquarters in a cable that he won’t
participate in “juvenile college pranks.” Maguire is livid with anger. “We have
a directive from the president of the United States to do this,” Maquire says.
“So shut the f_ck up and do this! We’re not interested in your grousing as to
whether or not this is a wise move or not. The president has made a decision!”
The operation never takes place. (
Isikoff and Corn 2006, pp. 160-161)

October 2-November 12,
2002: Mastermind of Series of Alleged Al-Qaeda Funded Bombings in Philippines
Appears to Be Government Mole

Abdulmukim Edris, standing with his head bowed in the back, and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, sitting in the front in purple.

Abdulmukim Edris, standing with his head bowed in the
back, and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, sitting in the front in
purple. [Source: Erik de Castro / Reuters / Corbis]Beginning on
October 2, 2002, a series of bombings take place in and around Zamboanga City
in the southern Philippines. This region is a center of Islamist militancy in a
majority Christian country. During the month of October, bombs explode outside
a restaurant near a military camp (killing four, including a US Green Beret
commando), at the entrance to a Catholic shrine, at a bus terminal (killing
seven), and inside two department stores (killing seven). A total of 21 are killed
and more than 200 are injured.

Arrest of Alleged Mastermind – On November 14, Abdulmukim Edris is
arrested and is said to have been the bomb-maker behind all the blasts. Edris
is an alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf, a militant group based in the region.
Two days after his arrest, he is paraded in front of cameras and stands in
handcuffs directly behind Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as she
calls him “the No. 1 bomber of the Abu Sayyaf.” He admits that he and his team
were already casing targets to be bombed later in the month, including the US
embassy in Manila. The head of the military says that Edris was trained by two
Yemeni “VIPs from al-Qaeda” in the southern Philippines in the month before the
9/11 attacks. It is later reported that another arrested Abu Sayyaf militant,
Khair Mundus, received around $90,000 from al-Qaeda militants in Saudi Arabia
to fund the bombings. (
Teves 11/14/2002Gomez 5/14/2004)

Mastermind Appears to Be Mole – But in July 2003, Edris will escape
from a high-security prison with two other militants (see 
July 14, 2003). One week after the escape, the Philippine Daily Inquirer will report
that Edris has long-time links to the Philippine military and police. A police
intelligence source says that he has been a government asset since 1994. (
Cruz 7/23/2003) Edris will be killed about two weeks after this report. He allegedly is
killed hours after he was arrested while trying to wrestle a gun from a
soldier. Some will allege that he was deliberately killed in order to prevent
him from revealing what he knew (see 
October 12, 2003).

Another Dubious Mastermind – Another alleged mastermind of the
Zamboanga bombings, Mohammed Amin al-Ghafari, is arrested on November 8, 2002,
and then quickly deported, despite allegations that he helped fund the 1995 Bojinka
plot and had major terrorist links. He is said to have links to Philippine
intelligence and high-level government protection (see 
October 8-November 8, 2002) 

October 16, 2002: Former Indonesian
Military Officer Reportedly Confesses Role in Bali Bombings

The Washington Post reports that a former Indonesian
military official has confessed to assembling the main bomb that blew up a
nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, several days earlier (see 
October 12, 2002). According to an unnamed Indonesian security official, former Air Force
Lieutenant Colonel Dedy Masrukhin says he regrets the loss of life, but will
not disclose who ordered him to make the bomb. He was discharged from the
military in September 2001 for involvement in a drug case. He received
explosives training in the US while he was still in the military. However, less
than 24 hours later, an Indonesian military spokesman acknowledges Masrukhin
was intensively interrogated but denies that he confessed. (
Jakarta Post 10/16/2002Nakashima and Sipress 10/16/2002) Several days later, the Jakarta Post,
an English language newspaper in Indonesia, reports that their sources say “the
police received orders to release [Masrukhin] although suspicions of his link
to the Bali blasts remain strong.” (
Siboro and Suryana 10/21/2002) Interestingly, the London Times
reports that the explosives used in the bombings were bought from the
Indonesian military (see 
September-October 2002). (Fielding, Campbell, and Rufford

November 2002: CIA
Officials Discuss Plans for Sabotage in Iraq at Secret Meeting in London

CIA station chiefs from all over the Middle East meet
at the United States Embassy in London for a secret conference. Deputy Director
for Operations James Pavitt has called the meeting because certain people in
the CIA are disappointed with a lack of action in the field on Iraq-related
tasks. John Maquire of the Iraqi Operations Group has repeatedly criticized
field operatives for being too timid (see, e.g., 
(October 2002)). (Isikoff and Corn 2006, pp. 161) “After several worldwide cables from
IOG [Iraqi Operations Group], the Near East front office, and the DDO’s office,
we found little movement in the field on the Iraq issue.… This lack of movement
on the Iraq target triggered the call by the ADDO [the assistant deputy
director of operations] for the London meeting,” an official from the CIA’s
Iraqi Operations Group (IOG) later tells author James Risen. The problem is
that many CIA officers, especially those in the Near East division, simply do
not support the administration’s plan to invade Iraq. So one of the meeting’s
objectives is to get everyone on board. The IOG official explains: “We kept
saying that the president has decided we are going to war, and if you don’t
like it, quit.” During the meeting, the officials say that the agency is
interested in developing a plan for sabotage that will undermine the Iraqi
regime. The chief of the IOG describes a plan to prevent the shipment of goods
to Saddam Hussein and his family with the hope that it might cause Hussein to
become paranoid and distrustful of those around him. One young station chief
suggests sinking a ferry that imports these goods into Iraq from neighboring
Arab countries. An IOG official present at the meeting will later tell Risen
that this plan is dismissed because the vessel also transports passengers. But
two station chiefs tell Risen that they left the meeting with the impression
that IOG officials were open to the plan. Risen also reports in his book that
another plan for sabotage was to equip “low-level Iraqi agents with special
spring-loaded darts that they could use to destroy the windshields of cars
owned by members of the Iraqi regime. Large supplies of the darts were later
delivered to forward CIA stations, but nothing was ever done with them.” (
Risen 2006, pp. 183-184 

December 11, 2002:
Indonesian Military Still Has Well-Connected Mole Inside Al-Qaeda Affiliate,
Raising Questions about Bali Bombings

Syafrie Syamsuddin.

Syafrie Syamsuddin. [Source:]The
International Crisis Group (ICG), an international think tank, publishes a
report that identifies a “curious link” between the al-Qaeda affiliate group
Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and the Indonesian military, the TNI. (
International Crisis Group 12/11/2002) PBS Frontline will later say that
Sidney Jones, the author of the report, “is widely considered to know more
about terrorism in Indonesia than anyone.” (
PBS Frontline 4/2007) The ICG says the connection is “strong
enough to raise the question of how much the TNI knew about Jemaah Islamiah”
before the October 2002 Bali bombings. The report outs Fauzi Hasbi, a long-time
JI leader, as an Indonesian government mole. It says that Hasbi has maintained
links with Major-General Syafrie Syamsuddin since the late 1970s. “Hasbi
maintains regular communication with Major-General Syafrie Syamsuddin to this
day and is known to be close to the National Intelligence Agency head
Hendropriyono.” Furthermore, an army intelligence officer interviewed by ICG
had Hasbi’s number programmed into his cell phone, and actually called Hasbi
and spoke to him while in the presence of the ICG investigator. And remarkably,
Hasbi himself has claimed that he has treated Hambali, a top JI and al-Qaeda
leader believed to have masterminded the 2002 Bali bombings, like a son. Hasbi
and Hambali lived next door to each other in a small Malaysian village until
late 2000 (see 
April 1991-Late 2000). (International Crisis Group 12/11/2002Munro 12/12/2002) Hasbi is killed in mysterious
circumstances two months later (see 
1979-February 22, 2003).

January 2003: CIA Moves
Anabasis Team to Jordan

The CIA’s Iraq Operations Group flies the Anabasis
team from their Nevada training site to Jordan to wait for a green light from
the White House. If the signal is given, the team—comprised of more than 100
members—will be flown to an isolated Iraqi military base near the Saudi border
where they will announce a coup on the radio and call on other military units
to join them. Then, when Hussein flies his troops south to quell the
insurrection, the US Air Force will shoot them down for violating the no-fly
zone. The confrontation will then be used as a pretext for full-scale war (see
Late November 2001 or December 2001). But the operation will be opposed by
General Franks, and the Anabasis team will never receive the signal (see 
After January 2003). (Isikoff and Corn 2006, pp. 166)

After January 2003: Gen.
Franks Rejects Anabasis Plan

Execution of the Anabasis project (see Late November 2001 or December 2001) is blocked by General Tommy Franks.
Journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn write in their book Hubris that
Franks “didn’t want a sideshow interfering with his carefully designed invasion
plans.” Instead the Anabasis team, which has been waiting in Jordan (see 
January 2003), will help US forces cut roads and establish ties with local mullahs when
the invasion begins. (
Isikoff and Corn 2006, pp. 211 Sources: John Maguire)

February 5, 2003: Recently Retired
Head of Mossad Says His Agency Has Had Many Secret Big Successes

Ephraim Halevy, head of the Mossad from 1998 to 2002,
is interviewed by 60 Minutes. He denies allegations that Israel was behind the
9/11 attacks, saying, “Needless to say, this is not just a big lie. I think
this is really also a travesty of any vestige of truth.” He also suggests that
some Arab governments may have been subtly promoting this allegation to hurt
Israel. But at the same time, he hints that the Mossad has had great secret
successes. He claims, “Not one big success of the Mossad has ever been made
public.” Equally cryptically, when asked what moment he is most proud of, he
replies, “This is something I can’t talk about unfortunately. I am sorry about
that.” (
CBS News 2/5/2003)

May 12, 2003: Suspicious
Circumstances in Riyadh Bombings Indicate Government Collusion with Al-Qaeda,
American Contractors Say

The May 12, 2003, Riyadh suicide bombings, which left
35 dead, targeted several housing compounds for Westerners, include one for
Vinnell Corporation employees (see 
May 12, 2003). (Vinnell had a large contract to train Saudi forces.) Some former
Vinnell employees, who are predominantly former American servicemen, will later
allege in interviews and court documents that the Saudi Arabian National Guard
(SANG), the elite force which protects the royal family, colluded with the
bombers to facilitate the attacks. They claim that an exercise organized by the
National Guard removed most security staff for the day of the bombing,
suggesting foreknowledge. They also claim that warnings were ignored and that
security was inexplicably lax. (
Hollingsworth 5/16/2004) They will then sue Vinnell and Saudi
Arabia for negligence. (
Hollingsworth 5/8/2005)

May 12, 2003: Saudi Arabia
Bombing Hardens Saudi Government’s Stance Toward Al-Qaeda

Reconstruction begins after the Riyadh bombings.

Reconstruction begins after the Riyadh bombings. [Source:
US Rewards for Justice]
 (click image to enlarge)Saudi Arabia is
attacked by three suicide bombings in the capital of Riyadh. At least 34 people
are killed. Some evidence suggests that elements within the Saudi government
were complicit with or behind the attacks (see 
May 12, 2003). The Saudi government had taken very little action against al-Qaeda prior
to this. However, it appears to more aggressively combat al-Qaeda afterward. (
Meyer 7/16/2004) In early 2006, it will be reported
that the Saudis aggressively combat al-Qaeda within Saudi Arabia, but do next
to nothing to stop al-Qaeda or its financing outside of the country (see 
January 15, 2006).

July 27-28, 2003:
Philippine Soldiers Hold Brief Mutiny, Fearing Their Government Is Staging
Terrorist Attacks

A group of Philippine soldiers mutiny, claiming they
are trying to prevent the Philippine government from staging terrorist attacks
on its own people. About 300 soldiers, many of them officers, rig a large
Manila shopping mall and luxury hotel with explosives, evacuate them, and then
threaten to blow up the buildings unless President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and
other top Philippine leaders resign. After a twenty hour siege, the soldiers
surrender and no one is hurt. Their leaders are jailed for mutiny. While Arroyo
remains in power, other top leaders resign, including the county’s defense
minister, police chief, and military intelligence chief. (
Aglionby 7/28/2003Klein 8/15/2003) The mutineers had a number of
grievances. They complain:

bullet Senior military
officials, in collusion with President Arroyo, are secretly behind recent bombings
that have been blamed on Muslim militant groups. They specifically claim that a
series of bombings in March and April 2002 in the southern city of Davao that
killed 38 people were actually false flag operations. (Their allegations could
be related to a May 2002 incident in which a US citizen staying in the area was
injured when a bomb he was making exploded in his hotel room; see 
May 16, 2002. The Philippines media suggested that he was a CIA operative taking part
in false flag operations.)

bullet The government is
selling weapons and ammunition to rebel groups such as Abu Sayyaf even as these
groups fight the government. The Guardian will later note that local newspaper
reports describe the military’s selling of weapons to rebels as ‘an open secret’
and “common knowledge.” (
Klein 8/15/2003) Gracia Burnham, an American missionary
who was kidnapped in 2001 and held hostage by Abu Sayyaf rebels for more than a
year, claims that her captors told her their weapons came from the Philippine
government. (
Neumann 7/29/2003)

bullet Islamic militants
are being allowed to escape from jail. Just two weeks before the mutiny, Fathur
Rohman al-Ghozi, a bomb maker with the al-Qaeda allied Jemaah Islamiyah group,
was inexplicably able to escape from a heavily guarded prison in Manila. There
are many dubious circumstances surrounding his escape (see 
July 14, 2003).

bullet The government is
on the verge of staging a new string of bombings to justify declaring martial
law so Arroyo can remain in office past the end of her term in 2004.

The Guardian will later note, “Though the soldiers’ tactics were widely
condemned in the Philippines, there was widespread recognition in the press,
and even inside the military, that their claims ‘were valid and legitimate’….
Days before the mutiny, a coalition of church groups, lawyers, and NGOs
launched a ‘fact-finding mission’ to investigate persistent rumors that the
state was involved in the Davao explosions. It is also investigating the
possible involvement of US intelligence agencies.” (
Klein 8/15/2003) CNN comments, “While the government
issued a statement calling the accusation ‘a lie,’ and saying the soldiers
themselves could be victims of propaganda, the soldiers’ accusation plays on
the fears of many Filipinos after the infamous 21-year term of President
Ferdinand Marcos, during which he did the same thing. Marcos instigated a
series of bombings and civil unrest in the late 1960s and early 1970s, using
that as an excuse to declare martial law in 1972. It took the People Power
Revolt of 1986 to end Marcos’ dictatorship.” (
Ressa 7/26/2003)

December 30,
2003: Book Shipment Claiming Russian False Flag Plot Seized by FSB

A truckload of about four thousand copies of the book
“The FSB Blows Up Moscow” is seized by the FSB in order to protect “state
secrets”. The book, by authors Alexander Litvinenko and Yuri Felshtinsky,
claims the FSB orchestrated the 1999 apartment bombings (see 
September 22-24, 1999September 9, 1999 and September 13, 1999). The bookseller calls it a “shock attack on freedom
of the press in Russia” and suggests that “the fact that they opened the case
under this part of the Criminal Code [on state secrets] is an indirect
admission that they participated in the explosions.” (
Agence France-Presse 12/30/2003McGregor 1/30/2004)

January 2004: Russian Presidential
Contender Calls for Investigation into Terrorist Attacks

Irina Khakamada.

Irina Khakamada. [Source: Associated Press]Irina
Khakamada, a leading liberal, pro-Western candidate for the Russian presidency,
accuses Putin’s government of possible involvement in terrorist attacks blamed
on Chechen rebels. The Los Angeles Times reports, “The implication of
Khakamada’s accusations was that in both the 2002 theater crisis and the 1999
apartment bombings, authorities backing Putin may have wanted to see Russian
citizens die and Chechen fighters painted as terrorists to boost support for
military action in Chechnya and enhance the get-tough leader’s popularity.”
Khakamada, a member of the anti-Putin Union of Right Forces party, says “there
are a lot of suspicious things” about the 1999 apartment bombings and calls for
an independent investigation. “This is a feature of real democracy, especially
when it comes to investigations connected with actions of officials and special
services,” she says. (She will earn 3.9 percent of the vote.) (
Holley 1/19/2004Walsh 3/11/2006)

March 24-May 11, 2004:
Al-Zarqawi Blamed for Beheading of US Citizen, but Video Raises Many Questions

A video still of Nick Berg being tormented by his captors in Iraq.

A video still of Nick Berg being tormented by his
captors in Iraq. [Source: Reuters]A video of US citizen Nick Berg
being beheaded in Iraq is made public and causes widespread horror and outrage
around the world. Berg had been working in Iraq with private companies
installing communications towers. On March 24, 2004, he is taken into custody.
Berg’s family is sent e-mails confirming that he is in US custody (however, US
officials will later claim they were erroneously notified and he was in Iraqi
government custody instead). The official reasons for his arrest are “lack of
documentation” and “suspicious activities.” Regardless of who is holding him, it
is not disputed that he is visited three times by the FBI while being held. On
April 5, the Berg family launches an action against the US military for false
imprisonment, and the next day Berg is released. Berg stays in a hotel in
Baghdad for the next few days, and tells a hotel guest that he had been held in
a jail with US soldiers as guards. His family last hears of him on April 9,
when he tells them he is going to try to leave Iraq. Then, nearly a month later
on May 8, his headless body is found dumped on a Baghdad roadside. Three days
after that, on May 11, the video of his beheading is broadcast. (
Neville 5/29/2004National Public Radio 8/14/2004) The video shows five masked men
taunting and then beheading Berg, and one of them claims to be Islamist
militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Two days later, a CIA official says,
“After the intelligence community conducted a technical analysis of the… video,
the CIA assesses with high probability that the speaker on the tape is Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi, and that person is shown decapitating American citizen
Nicholas Berg.” (
BBC 5/13/2004) However, many doubts about the video
and the identity of al-Zarqawi surface:

bullet Berg is seen
wearing an orange jumpsuit typically worn by detainees in US custody. At the
start of the video, he speaks directly to the camera in a relaxed way. The
Sydney Morning Herald will later comment, “It is highly likely that this
segment is edited from the interrogation of Berg during his 13 days of

bullet Then the video cuts
to scenes including the five masked men. But their Arabic is heavily accented
in Russian, Jordanian, and Egyptian. One says “do it quickly” in Russian. A
voice also seems to ask in English, “How will it be done?” Glimpses of their
skin look white. (
Neville 5/29/2004)

bullet The masked man
identified as al-Zarqawi does not speak with a Jordanian accent even though
al-Zarqawi is Jordanian. CNN staff familiar with al-Zarqawi’s voice claim the
voice does not sound like his. (
CNN 5/12/2004Neville 5/29/2004)

bullet Berg is then
decapitated, but there is very little blood. Dr John Simpson, executive
director for surgical affairs at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons,
says, “I would have thought that all the people in the vicinity would have been
covered in blood, in a matter of seconds… if it [the video] was genuine.”
Forensic death expert Jon Nordby of the American Board of Medicolegal Death
Investigators suggests that the beheading was staged and Berg was already dead.
He also suggests that Berg appears to be heavily drugged in earlier parts of
the video. (
Goldstein 5/22/2004) The Herald comments, “The scream is
wildly out of sync, sounds female, and is obviously dubbed.” (
Neville 5/29/2004)

bullet Al-Zarqawi is the
one shown cutting Berg’s throat with a knife, and uses his right hand to do so.
But people who spent time in prison with al-Zarqawi and knew him well claim
that he was left handed. (
Gettleman 7/13/2004)

bullet The timing of the
video also raises suspicions, as it is broadcast just two weeks after the Abu
Ghraib prison abuse scandal is exposed, and the shock of the beheadings cause
some to claim a moral relativism to justify the US military’s abusive behavior
towards detainees. (
Neville 5/29/2004)

bullet Strangely, Al-Qaeda
operative Zacarias Moussaoui somehow used Berg’s e-mail account years before in
Oklahoma (see 
Autumn 1999). US officials call this “a total coincidence.”

bullet The London Times
comments that “The CIA’s insistence that al-Zarqawi was responsible appears
based on the scantiest of evidence.… Sound experts have speculated that the
voice might have been dubbed on.” Further, “There are discrepancies in the
times on the video frames.” (
Allen-Mills and Fielding 5/23/2004)

bullet No autopsy is
performed on Berg’s body, nor is there any determination of the time of his
death. (
Neville 5/29/2004)

bullet No proper
investigation of the circumstances surrounding his death is ever conducted. For
instance, the US military will tell Berg’s family that they could find no
evidence of Berg’s last days in a Baghdad hotel and that no Westerner stayed in
that hotel for weeks. But the Washington Post was able to get a copy of the
hotel register with Berg’s name on it, along with the date of his checkout, a
list of the things he left in his room, and the exact words he said as he left
the hotel. (
National Public Radio 8/14/2004)

It will later be reported that the US military was conducting a propaganda
campaign to inflate the importance of al-Zarqawi (see 
April 10, 2006), but it is unknown if Berg’s death was somehow related to this campaign.

May 29-30, 2004: Gunmen
Kill Western Hostages and Escape; Collusion with Saudi Security Is Suspected

The Oasis compound, where hostages were held. Bullet holes from the siege can be seen around some windows.

The Oasis compound, where hostages were held. Bullet
holes from the siege can be seen around some windows. [Source:
Wikipedia/ Public domain]
Gunmen attack oil company compounds in Khobar,
Saudi Arabia, and then take hostages. The Khobar headquarters of APICORP (Arab
Petroleum Investments Corporation) is attacked and six people are killed. About
30 minutes later, gunmen storm the Petroleum Center headquarters about two
miles away and kill at least four people. Then the gunmen move less than a mile
away to the Oasis compound, a residential building full of Westerners, and take
hostages. After a 24-hour siege, all but one of attackers manage to escape even
though the building is surrounded by a cordon of hundreds of police. At least
30 people are killed in total, including nine hostages. Al-Qaeda reportedly
takes credit for the attacks. (
CNN 5/30/2004BBC 12/6/2004) There is widespread speculation that
the gunmen were allowed to walk free as part of a deal to ensure the safe
release of other hostages. The BBC reports that counterterrorism experts say
“they were surprised at the ease with which three of the four attackers were
able to escape… despite the overwhelming numerical superiority of the security
forces and the tactical and logistical advantages which they enjoyed. If true,
the existence of collusion between attackers and the people meant to catch them
would be most disturbing.” (
Asser 5/31/2004) The Scotsman adds, “Eyewitnesses said
they were highly skeptical of official accounts that there were only four
kidnappers, insisting others were seen during the earlier attacks on two oil
industry office buildings and entering the sprawling compound. It was also
reported that they arrived in three vehicles.” Further, the fact that “the
Khobar attackers wore military uniforms has raised fears of collusion between
militants and the security forces.” (
Theodoulou 6/1/2004)

December 2, 2004: Possible
CIA Operative Posing as Muslim Militant and Wanted Overseas Is Discovered
Living in US

A treasure hunter suspected of being a CIA operative
is discovered living in the US. In May 2002, US citizen Michael Meiring
accidentally blew himself up in a Philippines hotel room, and ended up losing
both of his legs. He was mysteriously whisked back to the US amidst media reports
suggesting he was a CIA operative posing as a Muslim militant bomber (see 
May 16, 2002). On June 19, 2002, the chief of the Philippines’ National Bureau of
Investigation vowed that Meiring would be brought back to the Philippines to
face charges since he appeared to have returned to the US, and the Philippines
and the US have an existing extradition treaty. (
Arguillas 6/1/2003) On December 2, 2004, a Houston TV
station will discover that Meiring is living in Houston, Texas. They examined
court documents about him and learned that earlier in 2004 he changed his last
name to Van De Meer. The Philippine government confirms that they issued an
arrest warrant for Meiring and are still looking for him and an associate of
his named Stephen Hughes, who is now said to be living in North Carolina.
Counterterrorism expert Ron Hatchett asks, “How is he able to walk around
freely within our society using the name that is on the arrest warrant for
him?” Meiring is reached by phone in California. His only on the record comment
to the reporter who discovered him is, “If this harms me in any way, you will
find my power then, and you’ll find out who I am. But I will come for you. You
harm me I will not let you off the hook.” (
Greenblatt 12/2/2004Filipino Reporter 12/30/2004) In early 2005, it will be reported
that Meiring may not get extradited back to the Philippines because the
Philippine government cannot produce a picture of him. (
Mindanao Times 3/23/2005) However, previous media reports
claimed that a picture ID of Meiring was found in his hotel room after the
explosion there. The ID lists him as an officer in the Moro National Liberation
Front (MNLF), a Muslim rebel militant group. (
Greenblatt 12/2/2004) He appears to have ties to leaders of
that group and other Philippine Muslim militant groups since 1992 (see 
1992-1993). Since 2004, there have been no reports of Meiring being successfully

March 2005:
Israel Honors People Involved in Lavon Affair

Israel officially honors the nine Egyptian Jews who
were involved in the “Lavon Affair” bombings in Egypt (see 
July 1954) Israeli President Moshe Katzav, presiding over the 2005 ceremony honoring
the bombers in Jerusalem, says that the Israeli government has “decided now to
express our respect for these heroes.” In 1954, in an effort to damage Egypt’s
relationship with the West, Israeli agents bombed sites frequented by
foreigners in Cairo and Alexandria with hopes that the attacks would be blamed
on the Muslim Brotherhood. But the operation unraveled when one of the bombs
being planted went off prematurely. (
Reuters 3/30/2005)

Early June 2005: US
Intelligence Find Evidence of Mossad or CIA Support For Insurgents in Iraq

US Intelligence officers report that some of the
insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 02 pistols that have no
serial numbers. The numbers have not been removed; the guns came off a
production line with no number. “Analysts suggest  the lack of serial numbers indicates that the
weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with
substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably
from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may
be using the untraceable weapons even as US authorities use insurgent attacks
against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.” (
United Press International 6/6/2005)

July 13, 2005: Former Bush
Administration Lawyer Suggests US Should Stage Fake Terror Attacks and Blame Them
on Al-Qaeda

John Yoo, a law professor at UC Berkeley who worked in
the Justice Department and provided legal justification for some of Bush’s
policies after 9/11 ( see 
September 25, 2001), suggests some provocative ideas in a Los Angeles
Times editorial. He argues the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda,
having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It
could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and
fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim
credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s
ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the
validity of communications.” (
Yoo 7/13/2005)

October 12, 2005: Bali Bombings
May Have Been Orchestrated the Military, Says Former President of Indonesia

Abdurrahman Wahid.

Abdurrahman Wahid. [Source: Indonesian Embassy
in the Netherlands]
In an interview with the Australian public television
station SBS, Abdurrahman Wahid, president of Indonesia from 1999 to 2001,
suggests that the country’s military or police may have been behind the 2002
Bali bombings (see 
October 12, 2002). The Australian reports: “Wahid told SBS’s Dateline program that he had
grave concerns about links between Indonesian authorities and terrorist groups
and believed that authorities may have organized the larger of the two 2002
Bali bombings which hit the Sari Club, killing the bulk of the 202 people who
died.… Asked who he thought planted the Sari Club bomb, Mr Wahid said: ‘Maybe
the police… or the armed forces. The orders to do this or that came from within
our armed forces, not from the fundamentalist people.’” Wahid believes the
smaller bomb was indeed planted by Islamist militants. (
SBS Dateline 10/12/2005Stewart and Powell 10/13/2005) Counterterrorism expert John Mempi
also comments, “Why this endless violence [in Indonesia]? Why are there acts of
terrorism year in, year out? Regimes change, governments change, but violence
continues. Why? Because there is a sort of shadow state in this country. A
state within a state ruling this country.” (
SBS Dateline 10/12/2005) In 2008, Imam Samudra, imprisoned and
sentenced to death for being one of the Bali bombings masterminds, will make
comments similar to Wahid’s. While he admits being involved in the bombings, he
claims that they never meant to kill so many people. He says the second
explosion was much bigger than they had expected and suggests that “the CIA or
KGB or Mossad” had somehow tampered with the bomb. (
Sheridan 3/2/2008)

November 9, 2005: Three Simultaneous
Suicide Bombings in Jordan; Israeli Tourists Evacuated in Advance

Saijida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi confesses on Jordanian television to attempting to be one of the suicide bombers. Her bomb belt is also shown.

Saijida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi confesses on
Jordanian television to attempting to be one of the suicide bombers. Her bomb
belt is also shown. [Source: BBC / Jordanian Televison]Three hotels
in Amman, Jordan are simultaneously bombed. Sixty people, including three
bombers, are killed and 115 others are injured. The explosions take place at
the Grand Hyatt Hotel, the Radisson SAS Hotel, and the Days Inn, which are
hotels often frequented by Western military contractors and diplomats. The bomb
at the Radisson explodes in a ballroom where a wedding reception is taking
place. The Jordanian government soon announces that the group Al-Qaeda in Iraq,
which is supposedly led by the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, took credit for
the attack in an Internet statement. (
CNN 11/12/2005) Within days, an Iraqi woman accused of
being a failed fourth suicide bomber confesses to participating in the attack
on Jordanian television. CNN notes that “Many people were expressing doubt
[whether the woman] really was involved…” (
CNN 11/14/2005) Two leading Palestinian security
officials – West Bank military intelligence chief Maj Gen. Bashir Nafeh and his
aide Col. Abel Allun – are among those killed. (
BBC 11/10/2005) The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports,
“The Radisson is known to be popular with Israeli tourists,” yet no Israelis
were killed in the bombings. “Hours before the bombings, many Israelis were
evacuated from the Radisson… apparently due to a specific security alert.” (The
Haaretz report about this is retracted and then later reinstated.) (
Stern and Blumenkrantz 10/11/2005) The Los Angeles Times also notes that
Haaretz report and adds that Amos N. Guiora, a former leader of the Israel
Defense Forces, told the Times that “sources in Israel had also told him about
the pre-attack evacuations. “It means there was excellent intelligence that
this thing was going to happen.… The question that needs to be answered is why
weren’t the Jordanians working at the hotel similarly removed?” (
Khalil, Kadri, and Meyer 11/10/2005) The deaths of the Palestinian
intelligence officials and warning to Israeli tourists cause some, especially
in the Muslim world, to claim that the attacks were an Israeli false flag
operation. (
Morley 11/15/2005)

September 15, 2006:
Al-Qaeda-Linked Attack on Oil Facilities in Yemen Is Foiled

Two simultaneous suicide attacks on oil and gas
installations in Yemen fail. The Safer refinery in Marib and the al-Dhabba
terminal in Hadramout are attacked by four suicide bombers with car bombs, but
Yemeni security forces blow the cars up just before they reach their targets.
The four suicide bombers and one security guard are killed. The attacks come
just a few days after al-Qaeda number two leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called for
attacks on oil facilities in the Persian Gulf region. A Yemeni court later
sentences 32 men to between two and 15 years in jail for their roles in the
attacks. Three of them are alleged al-Qaeda operatives tried in absentia who
escaped from prison earlier in 2006 (see 
February 3, 2006). (BBC 11/7/2007) Anwar al-Awlaki, an imam for several
of the 9/11 hijackers while they lived in the US, was arrested in Yemen earlier
in the month (see 
Early September 2006-December 2007). He allegedly also has a role
preparing for the foiled attacks. (
Chulov and Stewart 11/3/2006Stewart and Chulov 11/4/2006) The attempted attacks also come just
days before Yemen’s presidential elections. Yemeni President Ali Abdallah
Saleh, in power since 1978, quickly uses the attacks to criticize his opponent,
because one of the opponents’ guards was accused of being involved. The guard
is later acquitted. Saleh wins reelection. (
Worth 3/1/2008) In 2008, one anonymous senior Yemeni
official will tell the Washington Post that some important al-Qaeda members
have had a long relationship with Yemen’s intelligence agencies and have
targeted political opponents in the past. (
Whitlock 5/4/2008)

August 4, 2008: Sixteen
Police Killed in Xinjiang Attack; Uighur Militants Blamed but Official Account

The Kashgar attack: a policeman holding a machete.

The Kashgar attack: a policeman holding a
machete. [Source: New York Times]Sixteen policemen are killed in an
attack by separatist Uighur militants in Kashgar, a border town in China’s western
province of Xinjiang. According to the official account, two men drive a dump
truck into a group of border police on their morning jog, then attack them with
grenades and machetes. The attackers may belong to the East Turkestan Islamic
Movement (ETIM), a separatist group classified as a terrorist organization by
China and the United States. (
Jacobs 8/5/2008) However, several Westeners who witness
the attack and take photographs from a nearby hotel will dispute the official
account. They will say that, immediately after a truck had plowed into a large
group of paramilitary border police, several men wearing the same green uniform
were seen attacking other officers on the ground with machetes. (
Wong 9/25/2008) 

February 19, 2011 – March
25, 2011: Republican Prosecutor Suggests that Wisconsin Governor Fake Physical
Attack on Himself to Discredit Unions Protesting Legislation

Carlos F. Lam, during a video conference. [Source:
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism]
Carlos F. Lam, a Republican
deputy prosecutor and party activist from Johnson County, Indiana, sends an
email to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) suggesting that Walker and an
aide set up what Lam calls a “‘false flag’ operation” to fake a physical attack
on Walker by a union member. Teachers, union members, and thousands of others
are protesting Walker’s attempts to strip most collective bargaining rights
from public employees. Lam writes that the situation presents “a good
opportunity for what’s called a ‘false flag’ operation. If you could employ an
associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically
attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the
unions.” Lam continues: “Currently, the media is painting the union protest as
a democratic uprising and failing to mention the role of the DNC [Democratic
National Committee] and umbrella union organizations in the protest. Employing
a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media
may be creating in favor of the unions.” Lam will eventually admit to writing
the email and resign his position with Johnson County. (
Golden 3/24/2011Ryckaert and O’Neal 3/25/2011

Contents of Lam’s Email – Lam’s entire email to Walker reads: “This
Hoosier public employee is asking that you stay strong and NOT cave in to union
demands! The way that government works has to change, and—by all
appearances—that must begin in WI [Wisconsin]. We cannot have public unions
hold the taxpayer hostage with their outrageous demands. As an aside, I’ve been
involved in GOP politics here in Indiana for 18 years, and I think that the
situation in WI presents a good opportunity for what’s called a ‘false flag’
operation. If you could employ an associate who pretends to be the unions’
cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could
discredit the public unions. Currently, the media is painting the union protest
as a democratic uprising and failing to mention the role of the DNC and umbrella
union organizations in the protest. Employing a false flag operation would
assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of
the unions. God bless, Carlos F. Lam.” (
Wisconsin Watch 2/19/2011)

Initial Denials, Claims that Email Account Hacked – Walker’s office
denies ever receiving the email, though the email is turned over from the
governor’s office. Cullen Werwie, Walker’s press secretary, issues a statement
reading: “Certainly we do not support the actions suggested in [the] email.
Governor Walker has said time and again that the protesters have every right to
have their voice heard, and for the most part the protests have been peaceful.
We are hopeful that the tradition will continue.” Lam initially denies sending
the email, saying he was shopping with his family when the email was sent, and
claims his Hotmail email account has been hacked. Subsequent examination of the
email’s headers conclude that the email was sent from Indianapolis. “I am
flabbergasted and would never advocate for something like this,” Lam tells
reporters, “and would like everyone to be sure that that’s just not me.” Of Walker,
Lam says: “I think he’s trying to do what he has to do to get his budget
balanced. But jeez, that’s taking it a little bit to the extreme. Jeez!” Lam
tells reporters he intends to file a police report later in the week. Walker’s
email is released to the press as part of an open-records lawsuit settlement.

Madison, Wisconsin police chief Noble Wray says that
both he and Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz are troubled by the email. “I find it
very unsettling and troubling that anyone would consider creating safety risks
for our citizens and law enforcement officers,” Wray says. Lam’s boss, Johnson
County prosecutor Brad Cooper, defends Lam, saying, “Whether there’s rules of
professional conduct that apply or not is irrelevant, because he didn’t send
it.” (
Golden 3/24/2011

Lam Admits to Sending Email, Resigns – After the Wisconsin Center
for Investigative Journalism publishes a story about the email, and Lam issues
his denials, he calls Cooper and tells him he will resign. According to Cooper,
Lam told him he had been up all night thinking about it: “He wanted to come
clean, I guess, and said he is the one who sent that email,” says Cooper. Lam
comes into the office that morning and delivers his resignation verbally. After
reviewing Lam’s email, criminal defense lawyer Erik Guenther says that if Lam
was actively involved in devising such a scheme, he could be held accountable
for conspiracy to obstruct justice, “but an unsolicited and idiotic suggestion
itself probably is not a crime.” Madison criminal defense lawyer Michael Short
says that if Lam wrote the email, he should be investigated for a possible breach
of the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct, for “suggesting that officials in
the Walker administration commit a felony,” namely, misconduct in public
office. Those rules state that “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or
misrepresentation” amount to professional misconduct. They are the rules to
which lawyers are held accountable by the Indiana lawyer discipline system.
However, Cooper says he has no intentions of launching any investigation into
Lam’s conduct. Cooper issues a brief statement announcing Lam’s resignation
over what the statement calls a “foolish suggestion.” (
Golden 3/24/2011Brad Cooper 3/24/2011 pdf fileRyckaert and O’Neal 3/25/2011

Lam Disparaged Unions in Previous Postings – Lam, who shuts his
Facebook and other social media accounts down after the email is revealed to
the public, made one Web posting that called Indiana “an unsustainable public
worker gravy train bubble.” In another posting, Lam wrote that “unions &
companies that feed at the gov’t trough will fight tooth & nail against
anything that un-feathers their nests.” His Facebook profile reads that he
believes in “guns, gold and gasoline.” (
Golden 3/24/2011)