THE ROVING EYE: Mr Blowback rising in Benghazi

By Pepe Escobar. Asia Times online

“Daddy, what is blowback?”
Here’s a fable to tell our children, by the fire, in a not so-distant post-apocalyptic, dystopian future.
Once upon a time, during George “Dubya” Bush’s “war on terra”, the Forces of Good in Afghanistan captured – and duly tortured – one evil terrorist, Abu Yahya al-Libi.
Abu Yahya al-Libi was, of course, Libyan. He slaved three years in the bowels of Bagram prison near Kabul, but somehow managed to escape that supposedly impregnable fortress in July 2005. Continue reading “THE ROVING EYE: Mr Blowback rising in Benghazi”

SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY: London Bombings & Tony Blair's 'Ludicrous Diversion'

by rahnuma ahmed

It was seven years ago this July 7th, but deep suspicions still remain.  That, the public have not been told as to what really occurred on that day when 56 people were killed and several hundred injured in four bombings, three on London underground trains before 9 am, and the fourth, an hour later, on a bus.
Initial media reports, as Tom Secker — British writer, researcher and filmmaker who specialises in terrorism, the security services and declassified history — points out, were “extremely confused.” Eight explosions had occurred on the underground, these were blamed on electrical power surges. Another three explosions were reported to have occurred, on buses. These initial reports later evolved “somehow” into a story of four explosions caused by suicide bombers (see Secker’s seven minute documentary released this July, “7/7 in 7 Minutes: Unanswered Questions“, available on YouTube).
Other skeptics point fingers at the government’s reluctance to conduct a public inquiry into the events. Strange, they say, given that disasters such as train accidents are investigated (as they should be), while the bombings, despite having been one of the “worst terrorist attacks” in Britain’s history, was not considered to be worthy of a public inquiry. Continue reading “SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY: London Bombings & Tony Blair's 'Ludicrous Diversion'”

Resurrecting bin Laden, for the final kill


by rahnuma ahmed

[Today’s special piece is dedicated to two professors of international relations, Dhaka university, whom I had the pleasure of watching on private TV channels, responding to news of Osama bin Laden’s death. One of them, while replying to its expected impact on Muslim extremists, spoke (only) of the latter’s `distorted mindset’ while the other, more forthcoming, spoke of how the world was still a better place because of US leadership. Political naivete, I guess, has a certain overarching appeal. I will write exclusively on this some other day].

CAPTION The fake Osama bin Laden photo, the result of photo-shop, where a much younger Laden's lower face has been `joined' to the upper face of an unknown corpse.?

LiveLeak: AP retracts death photo of Bin Laden.

Justice has been done, declared US president Barack Obama, in a televised address to the nation on May 1 night. Osama bin Laden, leader of al Qaeda, has been killed. Years of painstaking work by the US intelligence community had led to a possible lead last August, which indicated that the “mass murderer”?whose organisation had carried out the “9/11 attacks,” who had “openly declared war on the United States”?was hiding away in Abbottabad, deep inside Pakistan. A small team of Americans had conducted the targeted operation. Bin Laden had been killed in the ensuing firefight. No Americans were harmed. No civilian casualties either. Senior administration officials offered more details in a subsequent press briefing: 3 adult males (Laden’s adult son, 2 male couriers) were also killed. As was a woman, who was used as a human shield by a combatant.
Continue reading “Resurrecting bin Laden, for the final kill”

9/11 Suicide Hijackers. Risen from the dead

by Rahnuma Ahmed

?Curiouser and curiouser!? Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).

— Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland (1865)

It’s old news. So, why bother writing about it? Because recent research has come up with interesting explanations about why 9/11 `suicide’ hijackers could still be alive, even after all else in the World Trade Centre?concrete, glass and gypsum?had been pulverised into fine dust. The question of live suicide hijackers is one that the US government has refused to address. According to new research findings, all crucial government evidence which aims at proving that Islamic terrorist hijackers were responsible for 9/11 either lacks authentication, or, when placed alongside other evidence, are very clearly fabrications or forgeries.
The FBI’s list of nineteen 9/11 hijackers?complete with photos?a list which CNN had within? 24 hours of the attack, was contested soon enough. By none other than the `suicided’ hijackers themselves. The very least they could have done was die in the plane crash (before burning in hell till eternity). But no. Some of them had the audacity to turn up. To claim that they were not hijackers. That they lived elsewhere. That they had not been on any of those domestic flights, had neither armed themselves with box-cutters, nor flown hijacked aeroplanes headlong into tall buildings. One of them even had the nerve to say that he had never been to the United States.
Did news reports such as these?’Suicide hijacker’ is an airline pilot alive and well in Jeddah’ (The Independent, 17 September 2001), `Hijack suspects alive and well’ (BBC World, 23 September 2001), `Revealed: the men with stolen identities’ (The Telegraph, 23 September 2001)?cause the FBI to alter its list? No. Its director Robert Mueller however, did admit that? the FBI case against these 19 named hijackers would never stand up in a court of law
The 9/11 Commission Report insists that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by “19 young Arabs acting at the behest of Islamist extremists headquartered in distant Afghanistan”
armed with small knives, box cutters, and cans of Mace or pepper spray. So does the US government, and all other western governments. The 19 young Arabs, we have been repeatedly told, were “al-Qaeda terrorists” who had hijacked four commercial passenger jet? airliners, had intentionally crashed two into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City, the third into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the fourth into a field near Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania. None of the passengers, or crew members, or hijackers, survived the disaster.
?If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it,” said Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister for propaganda. For propaganda to be successful, he added, it must be confined to a few points, which must be repeated over and over again. As one reads comments such as these on the internet: `facts about the known hijackers and the video taped confession of Osama Bin Laden makes it clear beyond reasonable doubt that Al Qaeda planned and committed the crime.’ `Whether we know their correct names or not, all of those who were on the planes doing the actual hijacking are dead.’ `There is a strain of Islam that is bent on mass murder and they carried it out on 9/11...’one can easily see how America’s `war on terror’ propaganda campaign has been scripted on Goebbels’ lessons: al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden. Arabs. Islam. Extremists. Terrorists. Repeated ad nauseum. So what if Osama is, in all likelihood, dead? Has been so, probably for the last nearly-eight years. So what if those accused of hijacking and crashing planes, of causing untold misery, suffering and death to many thousands, were probably not on the planes? Have these mind-boggling discrepancies, of dead people not being dead, forced the US government to agree to a new investigation of what actually happened on 9/11, an investigation which is independent, impartial and thorough? No. Neither Bush, nor Obama, whose rationale for extending the war beyond the borders of Afghanistan is to hunt down al-Qaeda, its extremist allies, and its leadership, namely, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri (March 27, 2009) .
The advantage of having al-Qaeda as the enemy, says independent researcher Jay Kolar, who has conducted research on the 9/11 hijackers, is that it lacks a `specific national identity.’? This enables the US military to extend its wars beyond national boundaries, to hunt its supra-national enemy in `multiple countries’ (`What we now know about the alleged 9-11 hijackers,’ in The Hidden History of 9-11-2001). Afghanistan. Iraq. Now Pakistan. Infinite wars. Endless profit for the US war machine. Never-ending cycles of death and destruction.


Abdulaziz Alomari
Abdulaziz Alomari

Ahmed Alnami

Khalid Almihdhar
Khalid Almihdhar

Mohamed Ata
Mohamed Ata

Saeed Alghamdi
Saeed Alghamdi

Wail Alshehri
Wail Alshehri

Waleed Alshehri
Waleed Alshehri

Abdulrahman al-Omari, a Saudi Airlines pilot, who was “very much alive and living in Jeddah” was astonished to find himself accused not only of hijacking, but also, of being dead. Named by the US Department of Justice as a suicide hijacker of American Airlines flight 11, the first airliner to smash into the World Trade Centre, Al-Omari was reportedly “furious” and visited the US consulate in Jeddah demanding an explanation.
This made the FBI delete his name, to replace it with another name: Abdul Aziz al-Omari. But inconsiderately, Omari no 2 turned up too. Alive, and “furious.”? An engineer with Saudi Telecoms, he said he had been at his desk at the Saudi Telecommunications authority in Riyadh when the attacks took place. “The name [listed by the FBI] is my name and the birth date is the same as mine, but I am not the one who bombed the World Trade Center in New York” (Asharq Al-Awsat). Omari no 2 said his passport had been stolen while he was an electrical engineering student at Denver university in 1995, a theft which he had reported to the police. “I couldn’t believe it when the FBI put me on their list. They gave my name and my date of birth, but I am not a suicide bomber. I am here. I am alive. I have no idea how to fly a plane. I had nothing to do with this.”
Another hijacker from the FBI list, Captain Saeed Hussain Al-Ghamdi, turned up alive and `worried’ on September 18 after seeing his picture on CNN (Arab News). A Saudi citizen living in Tunisia for the last nine months, al-Ghamdi was a co-captain on Tunis Air. He had studied in Florida from 1998 to 1999 and suspected that his picture had been taken from the file of the aviation school in Florida.
Other `discrepancies’ turned up?Adnan Bukhari, Amer Kamfar. Also, Ameer Bukhari, who it turned out, had died a year earlier (2000). FBI then replaced these hijackers with new names, interestingly enough, with more `Arab’ names, ones which had not been on the 9/11 airline flight manifests confiscated by the FBI after the 9/11 attacks (nor on the list of deceased passengers released later by the government):
Adnan Bukhari was replaced by Waleed al-Shehri
Ameer Bukhari was replaced by Wail al-Shehri
Amer Kamfar was replaced by Satam al-Suqami
But even the newly-replaced dead, all except Satam al-Suqami, kept rising. Waleed Al-Shehri, a Saudi national. In Casablanca. Ahmed al-Nami. In Riyadh. An administrative supervisor with Saudi Arabian Airlines, al-Nami said he had been “shocked” to see his name mentioned by the American Justice Department. “I had never even heard of Pennsylvania where the plane I was supposed to have hijacked.” Khalid Almihdhar was reported to be alive as well.
Eleven of the FBI-named finalists could not have been on those planes, says Kolar. Ten were still alive, another’s identity had been improvised by a double. Could it be that none of the alleged hijackers were on these planes? Kolar’s close scrutiny of government evidence leads him to conclude that most of the hijackers had doubles, not only that, pairs of them were doubled, their car rentals and itineraries were doubled. As was the 9/11 attack itself through the military war-game exercise (Vigilant Warrior, Vigilant Guardian), scheduled for, and held on September 9. Part of the exercise was the simulation of live-fly hijacking and this confused military officers. This pattern of doubling, writes Kolar, “together with evidence of patsies, cut-outs, national security overrides, protected hijacker activities, and of the hands of controller-moles pulling the strings from inside the government, all suggest the entire scenario was a covert US intelligence operation.” One that was “disguised as an outside enemy attack.”
Outside enemy attack? I guess, it’s true. The US is its own enemy.

The West's Immortal `Terrorist'

By Rahnuma Ahmed

Who else…, but Osama bin Laden?
He’s alive. Not only in the western imagination which needs an unlimited supply of bogeymen as its alter. To create and re-create myths of its innocence which serve to justify the waves of death and destruction that it wreaks on the `rest.’ In earlier times, to civilise savages and barbarians. And later, in the last couple of decades, to spread progress and democracy. As the Berlin wall tumbled down, the earlier bogeyman ? the communist ? was soon enough replaced by `blood-thirsty’ Islam, and its `jihadis’. The `rest’ of the world knows this.
But surely not only in the western imagination, surely he’s alive in a real-time sense too? After all, we see videos cropping up now and then showing us the bogeyman threatening vengeance on the west for killing `our people.’ The battle will continue until victory is acheived. Till then, believers will die for the cause.
Actually, ahem there is reason to believe that he’s ahem dead. Yes. For the last nearly-eight years.

Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?

At least that’s what David Ray Griffin, professor of theology, political analyst and foremost in the 9/11 truth movement, thinks. In his Osama bin Laden; Dead or Alive, a little book that was published recently, he puts forth two types of evidence, objective evidence, and that based on testimonies.
Five objective facts are laid out to convince readers. First, the CIA had regularly intercepted messages between bin Laden and his people, but this stopped on December 13, 2001. No messages, no CIA interception. Second, a Pakistani daily published a report on December 26, 2001 which said, “A prominent official in the Afghan Taleban movement…stated…that he had himself attended the funeral of bin Laden and saw his face prior to burial.” Third, he suffered from kidney disease. In July 2001, he had been treated in the American Hospital in Dubai, and had later ordered two dialysis machines. According to a CBS news report, the night before 9/11, he was receiving kidney dialysis treatment in a hospital in Pakistan. Dr Griffin writes, on the basis of a video of bin Laden made in either late November or early December of 2001, Dr? Sanjay Gupta thinks that he was probably in the last stages of kidney failure.
The details of what Dr Gupta (CNN’s medical correspondent and a brain surgeon) said can be? found on the CNN website’s Health section. Pictures of bin Laden show a “sort of a frosting over of his features — his sort of grayness of beard, his paleness of skin, very gaunt sort of features.” Symptoms that are associated with chronic kidney failure, renal failure. Through the entire length of the video, says Dr Gupta, bin Laden did not move his arms. Not once his left arm; his right side, only a little. These speak of a stroke. If he was not receiving proper medical treatment, and this means not being separated from his dialysis machine (which requires electricity, clean water, a sterile environment), a kidney specialist, and a technician, “it’s unlikely that you’d survive beyond several days or a week at the most.”
According to a July 2002 CNN report, bin Laden’s bodyguards had been captured in February that year. If the bodyguards were captured “away from bin Laden,” argues Dr Griffin, it was very likely that the man himself was dead. The fifth reason is the $25 million reward announced by the US government since 2001, for any information that will lead to the capture or killing of bin Laden. It has produced no results “even though Pakistan has many desperately poor people.” As I read this I cannot help thinking, Enron, American economy in tatters, surely not because of poor people…? Anyway, to get back to the bin Laden story, the testimonial evidence which Dr Griffin advances is from people who are in a “position to know,” people like president Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, president Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, Iran-Contra figure Col Oliver North. It includes sources within Israeli intelligence who say that any new messages from bin Laden are “probably fabrications.” Whereas sources within Pakistani intelligence “confirm the death of…Osama bin Laden” and go on to add, “the reasons behind Washington’s hiding news on the death of Osama bin Laden to the desire of hawks of the American administration to use the issue of al-Qaida and international terrorism to invade Iraq.”

The `Fatty’ bin Laden Tape, and others

Some of the videos are obvious fakes. One of these is known as the Confession tape, in which bin Laden contradicts what he had said earlier, on four separate occassions, that he was not responsible for 9/11. In this, reportedly found by US troops in a house in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, while talking to a visiting sheikh bin Laden says that he had not only known about the 9/11 attacks but had personally overseen every detail.


1) Fatty bin Laden/Jalalabad video (being dated November 9 and released December 13).

2) Gaunt, tired and thin bin Laden, tape made?between November 16 (on which occurred an event mentioned on the tape) and December 27 (the date on which the tape was released).

Osama has a much taller and narrower nose.

Osama has a less rounded brow ridge.
Osama is less well nourished.
Osama has lower and less full cheeks.
Osama’s forehead slopes back more.
Osama’s face is wider at the level of his eyes.
Dr Griffin lists even more differences, a black beard, not a grey one. A darker skin, and not bin Laden’s pale self. His slim, pianist fingers had turned short, stubby. More like those of a boxer. Although left-handed, he is seen writing a note with his right hand. Most telling however, are these words, “‘Due to my experience in this field, I was thinking that the explosion from the gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only. That is all we had hoped for.” But the real bin Laden, who has a civil engineering degree, would have known that a building fire cannot melt steel.
Did the American ruling class bother with such trivial details? But of course, not. Quoting US officials Washington Post said, the video “offers the most convincing evidence of a connection between Bin Laden and the September 11 attacks.” Whereas president Bush ecstatically crowed, “For those who see this tape, they realise that not only is he guilty of incredible murder, but he has no conscience and no soul.”
Another video, known as the “October Surprise” video appeared in end-October 2004, timed to help George Bush win the presidential election. This bin Laden, had turned secular. Where bin Laden’s own messages had been full of references to Allah and the Prophet Mohammad, the only Mohammad mentioned here was the 9/11 `terrorist’ Mohammad Atta.
While some critics of America’s imperial wars think that Dr Griffin’s question is irrelevant, that the “war policy makers in the US government can easily deal with a bin Laden death,” and can “find ways to justify their never ending war on terror” (Maher Osseiran), it is nonetheless true that bin Laden was called upon by president Barack Obama in his March 27 address, which announced the extension of the Afghanistan war beyond its borders:
?[A]l Qaeda and its allies – the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks – are in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Multiple intelligence estimates have warned that al Qaeda is actively planning attacks on the U.S. homeland from its safe-haven in Pakistan. . . . [A]l Qaeda and its extremist allies have moved across the border to the remote areas of the Pakistani frontier. This almost certainly includes al Qaeda’s leadership: Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.?
America, it seems, needs bin Laden more than he needs them. After all, the evidence presented seems to indicate he’s dead. Has been, for quite some time.
Published in New Age, December 21, 2009