Saturday, November 18, 2006

Al-Qaeda leader key informant

An Associated Press article Friday identified Abu Zubaydah, the one-time al-Qaeda leader turned secret CIA detainee, as a “key informant” in the Jose Padilla trial.

“A senior member of al-Qaida held for years at an undisclosed overseas CIA prison was a key source of information that led investigators to alleged terror operative Jose Padilla, federal prosecutors have disclosed,” the Associated Press reported.

“The informant, known previously only as "CS-1" in government court filings, was Abu Zubaydah, who was among a group of 14 top al-Qaida operatives and leaders who were transferred in September from the secret foreign prisons to the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.”

Abu Zubaydah has been useful to the US for a long time.

Zubaydah, as The Seattle Times has noted, originally “fought the Soviets in Afghanistan alongside Osama bin Laden. At 25, he was the emir of bin Laden's training camps, serving as gatekeeper and placement director. He set up cells, doled out money and helped coordinate al-Qaida's operations around the world.” These operations were carried out with the full support of the United States.

But even following the CIA-supported anti-Soviet jihad of the 1980s, Zubaydah continued exporting militants from Afghanistan.

“By this time,” according to The Seattle Times, “al-Qaida training was formalized. There was even a textbook, available in Arabic, French and other languages. The training incorporated methods American advisers had introduced to the Afghans in the 1980s in the war with the Soviets.”

This was more than blowback.

According to GlobalSecurity.org, Abu Zubaydah “arranged for fighters to travel from Afghanistan to Chechnya and Bosnia in the late 1990s and oversaw the "Khalden group" of training camps in Afghanistan between 1995 and 2000.” The CIA’s support for such elements of the ‘al-Qaeda’ network in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Bosnia has been well documented.

Alleged attendees of the infamous “Khalden group” include 9/11 hijackers Mohammed Atta, Majed Moqed, and Satam al-Suqami, the so-called ‘20th hijacker’ Zacarias Moussaoui, and several of the alleged conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing plot, including the ‘mastermind’ Ramzi Yousef.

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