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An Ex FBI chief narrates his memories in Newsweek about Yousef Ramzi’s arrest. When he was flown from Dera Ismail Khan to America and was taken to FBI headquarters from JFK Airport, the Chief showed him twin towers from the helicopter,“Look at the pride of America in the shape of World Trade Centre and Pentagon. You can never destroy them.” Yousef Ramzi looked at his face with a strange expression and replied,“If I had enough ammunition and dollars, I would have proved where your pride stands”.
Prince Bandar Bin Sultan (ex-ambassador of Saudi Arabia for USA from 1983 to 2005, ex Saudi Intelligence Chief from 2012-14), claims the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented if the US had consulted the kingdom in a “credible” way. The claim mirrored remarks by late King Abdullah that the Saudis could have helped the British stop the September 2005 train bombings in London, too. “If U.S. security authorities had engaged their Saudi counterparts in a serious and credible manner,” the prince said in a documentary, “we would have avoided what happened.” All but four of the 9/11 perpetrators were Saudi nationals. An American official said his comments should be taken “with a grain of salt.”
I do not remember 9/11 as an Intelligence Failure but a direct result of lack of wisdom and understanding of Middle Eastern affairs on part of the American Government as they have been blindly rather religiously supporting Israeli interests in the Middle East. This blind support along withthe pride of being the sole super power resulted in the hell that broke at 8:45 am in New York on 11th September 2001.On its final approach towards the Trade Centre, the second aircraft started descending from a distance and hit the tower after leaving 15 to 20 top floors. Flying at a speed of 600 miles an hour, keeping in a straight direction requires exceptional flying skills. One must not forget that in order to land on the runway the aircraft starts todescend from a distance, with empty space, open run way and control tower as an aid. In addition it has Autopilot to control height and direction. The pilot of hijacked plane had nothing from the above mentioned aids and must have taken controls in his own hands. But to hit the tower while descending by 300 feet and 100 percent accuracy is no job of an ordinary pilot but it was a demonstration of exceptional skills which may not be displayed in an Air Show. The whole incident must have been a cut outin intelligence community terms. Let’sdelve into some significant events that took place days before 9/11.On 23rd August 2001Israeli tanks penetrated in West Bank more than they ever did and President Bush paid lip service on the violence in Gaza.Rather he issued an aggravating statement,“Israelis would not negotiate under any terrorist threat and Arafat should put 100 percent effort in stopping the terrorist activity”. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who was already enraged with an image shown on TV with an Israeli soldier holding an elderly Palestinian woman to the ground by putting his boot on her head, just went bananas on this statement in words of a Saudi official (House of Saud, House of Bush by Craig Unger). High level Saudis had not been terribly impressed by Bush due to his inclination towards Israeli Likud Party and also blamed Condoleezza Rice’s lack of familiarity with Middle East. Prince Bandar bin Sultan in America received a phone call from King Abdullah and delivered his historic and hardest message to Condoleezza Rice for Bush,” I reject this extra ordinary, un-American bias whereby the blood of an Israeli child is more expensive and holy than the blood of a Palestinian child; you Americans go your way, I, Saudi Arabia, go my way. From now on we will protect our own national interests, regardless of where America’s interests lie in the region.” When Bush received the 25 pages long document, he was stunned by the Saudi threat and within 36 hours sent a personal ground-breaking and historic written message to King Abdullah through Prince Bandar,” I am troubled and feel deeply the suffering of ordinary Palestinians and want their sufferings to end. I firmly believe that the Palestinians have the right to live peacefully and securely in their own state in their homeland”. For the first time Bush publically supported a Palestinian state, and he had done it in writing which was shown by King Abdullah to Arab leaders in Syria, Egypt and Jordan as trophies. He invited Arafat all the way from South Africa to Riyadh to read the letter. Prince Bandar bin Sultan held a meeting with Bush on Friday, September 7, 2001 to pursue new peace initiatives.Bandar Bin Sultan was feeling as the happiest man in the world as he told the Washington Post and went on a long weekend in his lavish Mclean residence till Tuesday, September 11, 2001 – when the hell broke.The start of that Tuesday marked the ending of the dream of an independent Palestinian state. The peace process was over. The darkest and coldest of all wars had just begun.
For the next few days American airspace was going to be blocked except few secret flights that took Saudi Royals and Osama bin Laden’s families out of American soil.Who Now I would like to share the account of interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, who was arrested on March 28, 2002 by Pakistani commando units accompanied by American Special Forces and FBI SWAT teams in the suburbs of Faisalabad, in Western Pakistan. He was chief of operations of Al Qaeda and a very close and reliable associate of Osama bin Laden. His interrogators comprised of two teams; undisguised Americans and Arab Americans posing as Saudi security agents who were known for their brutal interrogation techniques. The thinking of CIA was that Zubaydah would be so scared of being turned over to Saudis, ever infamous for their public executions, that he would tell everything to them under extreme fear and threat.But, to the surprise of CIA and interrogators, exactly the opposite happened. Gerald Posner writes in his famous book “Why America Slept” that upon seeing Saudi interrogators, Zubaydah’s reaction was relief and not fear. He had been reluctant to confirm his identity to American interrogators but now upon seeing Saudis started talking animatedly. To the greatest shock of their lives, he asked them to call a senior member of the ruling Saudi family. He also gave them a home number and cell phone number from memory. “Call him. He will tell you what to do. Don’t worry”, he told interrogators. It seemed as if interrogators and not Zubaydah was in trouble. Prince Ahmad bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz was the name he took, owner of many legendary race horses and one of the most westernized members of the royal family. Zubaydah told Saudis that several years earlier the royal family had made a deal with Al Qaeda in which House of Saud would aid Taliban as long as Al Qaeda kept terrorism out of Saudi Arabia. As part of this deal Zubaydah dealt with Prince Ahmad, Prince Sultan bin Faisal bin Turki Al Saud and Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al Kabir. The interrogators responded that 9/11 has changed everything and House of Saud would not stand behind him anymore. It was then when Zubaydah dropped his real bombshell, 9/11 changed nothing as Ahmad knew beforehand that an attack was scheduled for American soil that day. They didn’t know what it would be nor did they want to know more than that. Bin Laden knew that the Saudis could not stop it without knowing the specifics but later they would be hard pressed to turn on him if he could disclose their foreknowledge.”
Two weeks later Abu Zubaydah was moved to an undisclosed location where he finally figured out that the interrogators were not really Saudis but Americans. He recanted his entire tale but CIA shared all accounts with Saudi Intelligence quietly. Saudis assured them that it wasnot the case.On 22nd July 2002, Prince Ahmad died of a heart attack while sleeping. The next day, on July 23rd, Prince Sultan Bin Faisal bin Turki Al Saud was killed in a car crash while en route to Ahmad’s funeral. On 30th July 2002, Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al Kabir was found dead in the desert, apparently died of thirst.But the three mysterious looking deaths did not confirm the accounts of Abu Zubaydah. Zubeydah also took name of Air Chief of a Muslim country who apparently knew about the attacks beforehand.
Intelligence agencies all over the world have different versions and accounts of what really happened on Tuesday 9/11.But the fact remains that it was one of the greatest catastrophes of human history and shall be condemned in its all forms and manifestations. There is no difference between the blood of an innocent American, Arab, Palestinian, Afghan or a European. The western world needs to seek a peaceful solution to the Middle Eastern problem. Wars cannot stop organizations like Al Qaeda but only peace can transform their ideology.