Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Friend of a Friend

From Wikipedia's article about Khalid bin Mahfouz (numbers in brackets are footnotes; see original):



Bin Mahfouz was a non-executive director of Bank of Credit and Commerce International, a huge financial conglomerate later convicted of money laundering, bribery, support of terrorism, arms trafficking, and many other crimes.[5] Mahfouz personally owned a 20% stake in BCCI. He was indicted by a New York state grand jury for fraud but denied any culpability. The fraud charges were dropped after Mahfouz agreed to pay $225 million in lieu of fines.[2]

Donations to Osama bin Laden in 1988

Craig Unger's book House of Bush, House of Saud claims that bin Mahfouz donated over $270,000 to Osama bin Laden's Islamist organization at the request of Osama's brother Salem bin Laden. Bin Mahfouz's lawyer stated: "This donation was to assist the US-sponsored resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and was never intended nor, to the best of Sheikh Khalid's knowledge, ever used to fund any 'extension' of that resistance movement in other countries."[6]

Alleged familial relationship with Osama bin Laden

In US Senate testimony in 1998, CIA Director James Woolsey stated that bin Mahfouz's sister is a wife of Osama bin Laden, making the two brothers-in-law. Bin Mahfouz has consistently denied this. Many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, Fortune Magazine, the Washington Post, and USA Today, reported that the two were brothers-in-law. Each publication has since issued a retraction, sometimes after lengthy litigation.

In the libel trial against Wall Street Journal, Woolsey testified that bin Mahfouz had been misidentified. Woolsey later stated, "I don't know what to say other than there was some confusion, but I never meant to refer to Bin Mahfouz's sister."[7]

Alleged NCB funding of al-Qaeda

Khalid bin Mahfouz has denied that NCB, his bank, was involved in funding an al-Qaeda group. According to reports, high-placed Saudi businessmen transferred millions of dollars through NCB to charities operating as fronts for al-Qaeda. Mahfouz states that he could not have been aware of every wire transfer moving through the bank, and that he would not have allowed such transactions had he known they were taking place. There is no evidence that Mahfouz was personally involved in any of these transactions.

Additionally, Forbes reports:

[I]n 1999 the [Saudi] government stepped in, buying a controlling 50% stake of NCB from Khalid for at least $1 billion, partly used to wipe Khalid's debt from the books. Khalid and his family retained 34% ownership, but he again surrendered his management positions. . . The extent of Khalid's mismanagement at NCB remains shrouded. NCB has not issued audited numbers since 1998, but it did acknowledge last year that provisions for bad loans in 1999 and 2000 reached $934 million, covering 86% of its doubtful debt.[2]

NCB senior officials vehemently deny the existence of this audit.[8]

Muwafaq Foundation

Khalid bin Mahfouz helped set up a charity organization called the Muwafaq Foundation, Muwafaq being Arabic for "blessed relief". He funded this charity with $30 million, and put his eldest son, Abdulrahman bin Mahfouz, on the board of directors. In October of 2001, the U.S. Treasury Department named Muwafaq an al-Qaeda front organization. Neither Khalid nor Abdulrahman were accused of funding terrorism by the United States; however Yasin al-Qadi, a Saudi national hired to run the charity, was named a supporter of terrorism by and had his assets frozen by the U.S. Treasury Department.[2]

Khalid bin Mahfouz claims that he was not aware of the charity being used to fund terrorists. He claims further that he has initiated an investigation of his own into Muwafaq's activities.[citation needed]

UN designation

There have been numerous allegations that Khalid bin Mahfouz was named a terrorist financier by the United Nations. The controversy springs from a report prepared by French investigator Jean-Charles Brisard and his research agency, the JCB Consulting Group, for the President of the Security Council of the United Nations in December of 2002. In this report Khalid was listed as one of seven "main individual Saudi sponsors of al Qaeda."[9] JCB Consulting claimed that the report was issued at the request of the UN, but Alfonso Valdivieso, then president of the UN Security Council, denied commissioning the report in a letter sent to representatives of Mahfouz.[10] Valdivieso went on to state that the report was unsolicited and that "Mr Brisard's conduct and attitude is totally deceitful and marked by the intention to mislead."[10] JCB Consulting is a paid investigator for a group of 9/11 victims who are suing hundreds of defendants, including Khalid bin Mahfouz, for allegedly financing al Qaeda.[9] In 2001 Brisard and another investigator, Guillaume Dasquié published in 2001 a French book entitled "Ben Laden: La vérité interdite" (Forbidden Truth) (ISBN 2-07-042377-8). In November 2006 they retracted their findings and issued an unreserved apology to Khalid bin Mahfouz and his son Abdulrahman, undertaking never to repeat their allegations.[11]

An article at WorldNetDaily:

The royal families

Posted: May 19, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern

WASHINGTON – In a rare admission, Adel al-Jubeir, the smug, bug-eyed flack for the Saudi royal government, conceded that the kingdom ignored repeated requests by an American diplomat to beef up security at the Riyadh compounds where several Americans last week were slaughtered in another massive al-Qaida attack.

But he actually had the gall to defend his government's inaction in part by saying that, in hindsight, the increased security requested would not have stopped the multiple bombings.

Anyway, there was nothing sinister about the oversight; it was just a bureaucratic snafu, he claimed, noting that many Saudis who worked at the compounds also were killed. Al-Qaida is "coming after us," too, an almost teary-eyed al-Jubeir said, so we are all in this together.

Yeah, we'll believe that the day Osama bin Laden sends a jumbo jet crashing into the crown prince's palace. You can bet Prince Abdullah wouldn't need but one warning from American intelligence to beef up security at his own house if it were an al-Qaida target, which it isn't – not now, not ever.

The Saudis know full well that Americans, and American installations, are bin Laden's real target in Saudi. Just like they were in 1995 when he ordered at least four Saudis – all conveniently beheaded by the royal government before the FBI could get a chance to interrogate them – to blow up a U.S.-run military training facility in Riyadh, killing 5 Americans. And just like in 1996 when he ordered more Saudis to blast the Khobar Towers apartment compound in Dhahran, where hundreds of U.S. Air Force personnel were stationed.

The Saudi government still suggests the barracks attack, which killed 19 American airmen, was the work of Iran. And our government has gone along with the spin – even though a secret CIA document uncovered by Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz implicates bin Laden.

If bin Laden attacked the House of Saud, he'd be destroying the source of much of the funding for his terrorist network. Prince Sultan, the long-time Saudi defense minister, for one, has donated millions of dollars to bin Laden's favorite charity, the International Islamic Relief Organization, or IIRO. He is the same royal family member who blamed the "Zionist" lobby for the 9-11 attacks.

Another royal pain, Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., joined the ever-unctuous al-Jubeir on U.S. airwaves last week to help control the damage to U.S. relations (read: business contracts) from the latest Saudi affront.

Brandishing his trademark smirk, Bandar tried to claim that the reason three-fourths of the 9-11 hijackers were Saudi is because bin Laden purposely stacked the mission with Saudis to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Saudi. Never mind that most of the al-Qaida prisoners captured in Afghanistan also are Saudi.

Bandar, who lives here, would also have us believe that his wife, Princess Haifa, didn't mean for her own charitable checks of some $3,500 a month to wind up in the hands of two of the 9-11 hijackers. Or that he wasn't trying to protect bin Laden's relatives from FBI questioning when he helped spirit them out of the country right after the attacks on New York and Washington.

By any objective measure, Saudi Arabia falls under the Bush Doctrine of a country that harbors, supports and finances terrorism.

Yet President Bush and members of his Cabinet, along with his ever-trusting father, continue to give the Saudi royal family the benefit of the doubt, insisting it is still America's "friend," even after it refused to help protect Americans living under its care in the face of credible and specific terrorist threats, essentially leaving bin Laden a key under the mat at those fire-bombed American apartments.

Our friend? No, it's your friend, Mr. President.

The Bushes are on a first-name basis with the Saudi elite. They've done business together, they've dined together, they've even vacationed together in places like Spain. Prince Bandar, for instance, is so close to the family, he's nicknamed "Bandar Bush." His wife, the hijackers' silent sugarmama, attended Barbara Bush's 75th birthday bash in Kennebunkport a few years back. Bandar and ailing Saudi King Fahd have given more than $1 million in cash and gold to former President Bush's library at Texas A&M University.

As principals at the Carlyle Group, a powerful investment firm here, both the former president and long-time family crony James Baker III have made business pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia in recent years to visit members of the royal family – and also members of the wealthy bin Laden family. Baker has even flown on Saudi Binladen Group jets.

Baker's Houston-based law firm is now representing Prince Sultan, the big IIRO donor, who is being sued by 9-11 families. Moreover, George W. Bush's former business partner, James Bath, was in bed with the billionaire bin Mahfouz family of Saudi Arabia, which helped create bin Laden's favorite charity. Dubya, a one-time director of a Carlyle subsidiary, made a killing in Harken Energy stock after a Saudi investor took a big stake in the company and threw a lucrative Middle East oil contract its way. That same investor is a business partner of ex-Saudi banker Khalid bin Mahfouz, a principal donor to the Muwafaq (Blessed Relief) Foundation, a Saudi charity the U.S. Treasury Department labeled an "al-Qaida front" in October 2001.

These are just some of the personal ties that bind the current administration to this phony "ally" in the war on terrorism.

When it comes to fighting al-Qaida, the Saudi royal family is playing a double game with America, but our own royal family is playing along.

Do an internet search on the keywords "Bush" and "Mahfouz".

One other name that often comes out is Bath. Another name that inevitably comes out is bin Laden.

George W. Bush's buddy James Bath has organized financing for Bush's business deals. The source of that financing has been Khalid bin Mahfouz. Khalid bin Mahfouz is in tight with the Saudi royal family; Bush's family is also in tight with the Saudi royal family.

The Saudi Royal family is also in tight with the bin Laden family -- supposedly, neither of these families condones terror, and Osama is the black sheep.

Khalid bin Mahfouz finances terrorists, including bin Laden.

Whether it's the Jihad or the Counterjihad, when you get high enough up the ladder, it's the same small circle of guys.

At the bottom of the ladders, 1) economically poor Iraqis are paid to do the dirty work of planting roadside bombs to kill our troops, 2) Saudi mujahideen and our troops kill each other in Afghanistan and Iraq, and 3) suicide bombers kill everyone, including themselves, and their families get paid for it.

But at the top of the respective ladders, what are George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden to each other, really?

I respect Osama bin Laden. When he tells us he's planning to kill us, at least he's telling us the truth.

Do an internet search, and see what you come up with.

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