The other possibility is he was an agent provocateur. We have used these extensively with domestic groups like neo-Nazis, the Klan, and most recently the militias during the Clinton years. Someone figured out that it saves time to have someone planted in an organization who not only watches but encourages groups to commit violence, so the feds can swoop in and catch them right before they act. The domestic version, COINTELPRO, was exposed by a Sen. Frank Church in the 70s.
This also happens today with peace groups, and even liberal discussion boards. Out of the blue, someone will start talking about blowing stuff up or killing people (they are always immediately barred from the board).
It is not a big leap of the imagination to incite people so you can catch them to inciting them and just letting them act if it serves your purpose. An Israeli paper reported that Mossad agents were caught recruiting an Al Qaeda cell in Gaza, not trying to infiltrate an existing one, but actually start one.
Our government has in fact commissioned terrorist acts in other countries. PBS' Frontline did a story on terrorism in the 80s and noted that after the Marine Corps barracks bombing, we contacted Saudi Prince Bandar to set up an "off the books" car bombing of a cleric outside his mosque. Money was funneled through Bandar's wife to the 9/11 hijackers.
Right now, Venezuela is trying to extradite a terrorist in the US who planted a bomb on a Cuban airliner that killed 73 civilians
You can see the supporting primary documents here:
Is it such a big step to go from doing this overseas to doing it here? Think about the Bush response to the hurricane in New Orleans. They didn't just fumble the response, they actively blocked help from coming in from other countries and even domestically.
I know this will sound nutty to a lot of people, but you have to think who has benefited from al Qaeda's attacks, and when else OUR government has known about these guys' activities and done nothing, like before 9/11. The FBI had an informant living with some of the hijackers.
Sibel Edmonds, an FBI translator, was going to testify in a lawsuit by 9/11 families about similar information when John Ashcroft retroactively classified her information. A judge has allowed Edmonds to speak, and this is part of what she had to say:
Over four years ago, more than four months prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks, in April 2001, a long-term FBI informant/asset who had been providing the bureau with information since 1990, provided two FBI agents and a translator with specific information regarding a terrorist attack being planned by Osama Bin Laden. This asset/informant was previously a high- level intelligence officer in Iran in charge of intelligence from Afghanistan. Through his contacts in Afghanistan he received information that:
1) Osama Bin Laden was planning a major terrorist attack in the United States targeting 4-5 major cities,
2) the attack was going to involve airplanes,
3) some of the individuals in charge of carrying out this attack were already in place in the United States,
4) the attack was going to be carried out soon, in a few months.
The agents who received this information reported it to their superior, Special Agent in Charge of Counterterrorism, Thomas Frields, at the FBI Washington Field Office, by filing “302” forms, and the translator, Mr. Behrooz Sarshar, translated and documented this information. No action was taken by the Special Agent in Charge, Thomas Frields, and after 9/11 the agents and the translators were told to ‘keep quiet’ regarding this issue.
Back in the 60s, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommending staging a terrorist attack on the US and blaming Cuba. This isn't an urban legend--the documents have been declassified through a Freedom of Information Act request.
I don't know what we can do about this, but it's something to keep in mind when the next terrorist attack comes.
March 25, 2004
Al-Qaeda cleric exposed as an MI5 double agent
By Daniel McGrory and Richard Ford
Allies say warnings were ignored
ONE of al-Qaeda’s most dangerous figures has been revealed as a double agent working for MI5, raising criticism from European governments, which repeatedly called for his arrest.
Britain ignored warnings — which began before the September 11 attacks — from half a dozen friendly governments about Abu Qatada’s links with terrorist groups and refused to arrest him. Intelligence chiefs hid from European allies their intention to use the cleric as a key informer against Islamic militants in Britain.
Abu Qatada boasted to MI5 that he could prevent terrorist attacks and offered to expose dangerous extremists, while all along he was setting up a haven for his terror organisation in Britain.
Among the scores of young militants who came to visit him in London was the chief suspect in the Madrid train bombings. His followers also included people who wanted to be suicide bombers for al-Qaeda, such as Richard Reid, the shoe bomber.
His continued liberty for years after international demands for his arrest was an embarrassment for Britain. When David Blunkett introduced his controversial Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act, 2001, which allowed him to detain foreign suspects without trial, Abu Qatada claimed that the law “was enacted with him particularly in mind”.
He disappeared from his family home in West London just before the law came into force.
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