More weird stuff to go with all the other weird stuff regarding US govt actions and policy prior to and after the USS Cole bombing. The story here is that starting in 1999 Polish intel gave the CIA information for nearly a year on an impending al Qaeda attack on a US warship. The CIA investigated and didn’t find any corroborating evidence, and downplayed the likelihood of an attack to the Poles. Then al Qaeda blew up the USS Cole in the port of Aden. So what happened, the CIA missed it, despite the Polish intel and NSA’s constant surveillance of the Yemen hub? And then in the aftermath, the CIA withheld info on the suspects including two in the US who turned out to be 9/11 highjackers. The more you look at the Cole, the less it makes sense.
Makowski—who spent 20 years in the Polish espionage service and rose to the rank of colonel—also blames the CIA for the suicide bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000, which claimed the lives of 17 American sailors.
“Beginning in 1999, for almost a year, we started giving information that bin Laden had made a decision to prepare an operation to attack U.S. warships in the Gulf,” Makowski told McClatchy. “There was a 27-person team… We told them who its leader was, his passport number [and] his Dubai identity card.”
About three months before the attack, according to Makowski, the CIA said they thought “such an attack is impossible.”
Gutman notes that Makowski’s former colleague Gromoslaw Czempinski—a legend at the CIA for leading the rescue of six U.S. intelligence officers from Iraq in 1990—vouched for his story.
Its a fact that the CIA knew that two individuals that Soufan was seeking (in connection with the al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole) were in the US, and its a fact that the CIA withheld the info from Soufan and the FBI until 9/12 when the pair were identified as two of the 19 highjackers.
But what about the CIA and NSA failing to act or share information before the USS Cole attack, considering the Yemen hub was wired since 1998? There was a satellite trained on the front door 24/7. It strains credulity that neither agency had any inkling of the plot, considering they were recording every phone call and the Cole bombing was coordinated in and via that house and that phone. The best explanation is what, incompetence? They didn’t want to blow their surveillance?
And what about the CIA withholding information (including photos of Fahd al Quso and Walid bin Attash) about the al Qaeda summit in Malaysia in January 2000 where both the Cole and 9/11 were planned?
The facts Soufan reported in his excellent and heavily redacted book (which apparently just went on sale in the UK) are entirely separate from the egregious chain of events detailed by Lt. Col. Anthony Shaeffer, ie- that Able Danger’s urgent warnings of an impending terror attack in Port Aden were shut down and never forwarded to the Cole. Not to mention Kie Fallis, the DIA analyst who independently and strenuously tried to raise a red flag with an official warning. But Commander Lippold never got that message either.
Despite NSA’s constant electronic and satellite surveillance, CIA’s physical surveillance and other intel, Able Danger’s data mining and the DIA analyst who also picked it up, al Qaeda blew up a US warship in Port Aden, Ocotober 2000, killing 17 US service members. Many of the same core group of terrorists and their associates were later involved in 9/11.
While Soufan gives a fascinating and detailed first hand account of his investigation, the CIA’s “huge mistakes with devastating consequences” were already well documented open source. For the most coherent treatment, see the 9/11 Timeline at History Commons.
The CIA withholding info about the Cole attack and associated terrorists (before and after the bombing) was obviously a contributing factor in the US being caught flat footed as planes started crashing into buildings. They should issue a mea culpa and stop hassling Soufan. It would be refreshing.
Former FBI agent Ali Soufan sat down with the BBC last year to talk about his belief the CIA failed to pass along critical information about two of the 9/11 hijackers before the attacks.
Soufan was working for the FBI in Yemen at the time of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. He was looking for two of the hijackers in the Middle East but they were already in America, something Soufan claims the CIA knew and failed to report.
And now, Soufan says the government is trying to keep him quiet.
“They are trying to stop me and others from telling the world what really happened over there,” he told the BBC.
But the CIA is calling his allegations “baseless,” adding that Soufan’s suggestions the agency is censoring him is “ridiculous.”
Another interesting facet of the USS Cole story is that top officials in the Saleh regime and family knew of, directed and otherwise abetted the terrorist plot. Nashiri’s defense team made the point that most of the good information the US got immediately following the bombing came from Saleh personally. A few years later, Saleh released all the convicted Cole bombers from jail early and gave them money.
For example, Fahd al Quso was released from jail in May 2007 and killed by a drone in 2012. In the intervening years, he was instrumental in preparing new plots to mass murder Americans including the Nigerian’s underwear bomb and the toner cartridge bomb among others.
That the US was tied at the hip to an al Qaeda appeasing war criminal is most often explained away by hard minded people as the easiest and most effective policy for the US, and one that arises from a lack of alternatives. Others find US policy in Yemen (currently and over the last decade) illogical, dangerous and short sighted. Either way, the US’s long support of Saleh, kowtowing to him during the revolution and protecting him after, becomes more comprehensible in the light of the aforementioned relationships and events.
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, former DIA analyst in the Able Danger data mining operation, says in a current interview that Anwar Al Awlaki was a US double or triple agent before 9/11.
That may account for the US closing its investigation of Anwar’s connections to the “blind sheik” Omar Abdel Rahman in 1999. Once Awlaki’s many ties to the 9/11 highjackers became clear, a JTTF San Diego investigation was reopened. But in 2002, US Attorney Gaouette rescinded an arrest warrant against Anwar for passport fraud, a day before he re-entered the US.
Anwar as a double agent for and a triple agent against the US might explain the utter communication breakdown between JTTF’s DC and San Diego offices on Awlaki’s email correspondence with the soon to be jihaddist murderer Nidal Hassan.
It might also explain why Awlaki was never charged with anything–not incitement, not conspiracy to murder, even after the Nigerian Abdumutallab said he met with Awlaki regarding the Dec 2009 airplane bombing plot hatched in Yemen. On the other hand, it could all be a string of incompetence and bad luck. I don’t know which would be worse.
News Rescue “In video, Lt.Col. Anthony Shaffer describes how Anwar al-Awlaki Was a triple agent, and an FBI Asset Before 9/11 on infowars. Anthony Shaffer is a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who gained fame for his claims about mishandled intelligence before the September 11 attacks and for the censoring of his book, Operation Dark Heart.
Shaffer and the Able Danger team also uncovered intelligence of an impending al Qaeda terror plot in the Gulf of Aden in the weeks immediately prior to the bombing of the USS Cole on Oct 12, 2000 in Yemen. Able Danger tried strenuously to issue a warning that, like DIA analyst Kye Fallis’ was thwarted.
Despite the NSA’s constant and years long monitoring of the Yemen hub and the CIA’s surveillance of the 2000 Malaysia meeting where both the Cole attack and 9/11 were planned, no intelligence warning on the Cole bombing was generated or forwarded from those agencies either. (The CIA later withheld info on the Malaysia meeting from the FBI as it was investigating the Cole, leaving connections to the impending 9/11 attack unexplored.)
Lt. Shaffer was black balled by DIA after he went public with the 9/11 Commission’s failure to include his testimony regarding the presence of Atta in the US. Commander Lippold was essentially forced to retire by DOD. Fallis quit DIA on the day of the Cole bombing.
The Malaysia meeting was attended by current AQAP leader Fahd al Quso and top AQ operatives from several nations. As I’ve been saying for nearly a decade, al Quso’s unique threat level comes from his operational experience (blowing up a warship) coupled with his international connections and credibility.
Al Quso was indicted on over 50 counts of terrorism in NY’s Southern District in 2003 following his 2002 escape from Aden jail. The Sanaa regime secretly released al Quso in May 2007 despite a ten year sentence handed down after his 2004 “recapture,” the Washington Post reported. Al Quso finally made it to the MWT list in Nov 2009 and was designated Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US State Department in Dec 2010.
The US began its drone campaign in Yemen with strikes in Dec 2009, where Awlaki and other AQAP leaders were supposedly meeting at Fahd al Quso’s farm. Al Quso gave several media interviews recently, noting how lovely things are in the AQ occupied towns in Yemen, when they are not crucifying spies, beheading soldiers, looting banks and dehanding teen-agers. Yesterday, AG Holder, the bastion of flex-fit jurisprudence, gave the Obama administration’s rationale for targeting US citizens with drones.
Update: Gah! Must be something in the air. Fox: Mueller grilled on FBI’s release of al-Awlaki in 2002 (3/7/12)
The warrant was pulled by a judge in Colorado, after the cleric entered the U.S. A U.S. attorney in Colorado who oversaw the warrant and the Justice Department claimed the cleric’s earlier lies to the Social Security Administration, the basis of the charge, had been corrected. But new documents obtained by Fox News through the Freedom of Information Act show otherwise.
After al-Awlaki re-entered the U.S. in the fall of 2002 with the FBI’s help, the cleric then appeared in a high-profile investigation, in which Agent Ammerman was a lead investigator. The FBI has not made the agent available to Fox News to interview, nor has the Department of Justice made the U.S. attorney on the case available. Former FBI agents say Ammerman would have needed permission from higher up in the bureau to let al-Awlaki go.
The House Homeland Security Committee launched an official investigation into the cleric and his 9/11 connections last year, but sources tell Fox News that committee staffers have been frustrated by the FBI’s resistance to providing documents and witnesses, citing “ongoing investigations.”
Wolf urged the FBI director to brief other lawmakers, including the head of the house intelligence committee, so that a similar scenario “never happens again.”
Fox News confirmed that the October 2002 incident and the arrest warrant for al-Awlaki was never disclosed to the 9/11 Commission or to Congress.
Former FBI agents, familiar with al-Awlaki’s re-entry in October 2002, say only two scenarios seem to explain what happened. The FBI was tracking the cleric for intelligence or the FBI was working with the cleric and saw him as a “friendly contact.”
Committee to Protect JournalistsAccess to U.S. journalist Jane Novak’s Web site, Armiesofliberation, which is frequently critical of the Yemeni government, was repeatedly blocked inside Yemen.
Yemen Observer The security source said that the captured elements’ confessions disclosed that they used to write reports about public opinion trends and sent them together with some photographs to Abdulmalik al-Huthi and external journalists, particularly to the American journalist Jane Novak.
The New York Times Ms. Novak’s perpetual harping on these themes appears to infuriate the Yemeni authorities.
Yemen Times Jane Novak, an American researcher, interviewed Hashid, addressing issues related to human rights, freedom, prisons, and inmates in Yemen. The interview was downloaded onto many news websites, enraging a lot of people.
Aden News Agency Jane Novak is a name that has become coupled with Yemen, not Yemen that is known as it is known by those who doesn't know it, but Yemen as it known by its people.
Gary Swenchonis Sr. Jane was instrumental in helping my wife and myself in many of our successes that we have had since attempting to hold our own government responsible for the promises that they all made to the murdered sailors and the surviving crew of the USS Cole. She helped us achieve a small measure of justice.
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Original work: copyright 2012 by Jane Novak