Monday, September 04, 2006

UK Terror Suspects Met With 9/11 Paymaster

Several of those arrested this August in the UK for allegedly plotting to bomb multiple trans-Atlantic flights met with the alleged 9/11 paymaster, Omar Saeed Sheikh, according to a virtually unnoticed August 12, 2006 article by the Indian newspaper, The Hindu.

Prior to the 9/11 attacks, Omar wired $100,000 to Mohammed Atta, who subsequently distributed the funds to his fellow hijackers in the United States. General Mahmud Ahmed, then head of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, ordered the transfer, as confirmed by Dennis Lormel, director of the FBI's financial crimes unit. Gen. Mahmood was in Washington DC the week of 9/11 for "mysterious meetings" at the Pentagon and National Security Council.

Omar's connections to 9/11 have not been widely reported, but he made headlines in 2002 after being convicted for the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Omar was sentenced to death for Pearl's execution, however his appeal has been adjourned more than thirty times and he remains alive in Pakistani custody.

Several of the suspects now being held in Britain reportedly traveled to Pakistan as earthquake relief workers in 2005 and subsequently met with Omar at a jail in Sindh.

Bahukutumbi Raman, a former high-level counterterrorism official in India, has noted, "Since nobody can meet him (Omar) without the permission of the jail authorities, the latter must have been aware of their meeting with him and what was discussed."

The suspects traveled to Pakistan as members of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), the parent organization of the Lasktar-e-Toiba (LET), an organization with close ties to Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI.

As Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottawa has noted, "Lashkar e Taiba, which now operates clandestinely, is one of the main Kashmir rebel groups which had been supported and financed by the ISI, yet, at the same time, it is the ISI which has been entrusted in investigating Lashkar's role in the UK terror plot."

The Lashkar-e-Toiba, or LET, also has reported connections to Western intelligence, as does Omar Saeed Sheikh, the 9/11 paymaster.

According to a 2002 report by Raman, the LET, along with two other groups--the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-Al-Islami (HUJI)--were given the "leadership role" by the CIA during the Afghan jihad of the 1980s.

During the 1990s, some of the remaining HUM militants were sent to fight in Bosnia, while the CIA and the MI6 also began recruiting new jihadists in Britain. Omar, who was attending the London School of Economics at the time, was indoctrinated and became one these new recruits.

In addition to financing the 9/11 attacks, Omar is also believed to have trained the 9/11 terrorists in hijacking techniques.

According to his own account, Omar knew the plans for the 9/11 attacks and had fully informed his superiors at the ISI. As mentioned earlier, not only did the ISI do nothing to prevent the attacks, the head of the ISI, who was in Washington on 9/11, ordered Omar to wire $100,000 to the lead hijacker, Mohammed Atta.

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