DOJ: Iraq Had No Al Qaeda Affiliates (Working Thread on KSM Indictment)

As Eric Holder said, he had the December 14, 2009 indictment of KSM and the other 9/11 defendants unsealed. Here is the indictment.

Page 3: Note in their description of why al Qaeda targeted the US, they make no mention of Palestinians, even though they were mentioned explicitly in the Fatwa?

Page 3: Note the list of al Qaeda affiliates in paragraph 4. Note what’s missing? Iraq.

Page 4: The indictment says Muhammad Atef was “responsible for supervising the terrorist training of al Qaeda members.” I take this as an implicit admission they were lying about Abu Zubaydah for all those years (though on page 5, they do list Khalden and Derunta as campes which al Qaeda “sponsored, managed, and financially supported”).

Page 4: The indictment lists KSM, Walid Bin Attash, and Mustafa al-Hawsawi as members of the media committee.

Page 5: Note the reference to “assorted training manuals.” We’ve always seen discussion of one manual, the Manchester manual. I find the reference particularly interesting given that Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell justified their torture based on what they read in an unspecified manual.

Page 6: The description of the manuals includes this, which served as justification for torture:

Al Qaeda provided counter-interrogation training to its personnel, which, among other things, required captured operatives to lie to authorities to prevent detection of an ongoing plot.

Page 8: Note how they reference Moussaoui:

In 2001, Zacarias Moussaoui, a co-conspirator not named as a defendant herein, traveled to the United States and took pilot and jet-simulator training in Oklahoma and Minnesota.

Page 9: They make no mention of Mohammed al-Qahtani among the list of hijackers, intended or not.

Page 14: KSM trained hijackers to use short-bladed knives by killing sheep and camels.

Page 15: The indictment describes which flights Walid bin Attash tested cockpit safety (in Asia). The sourcing on this is rather interesting–for example, how did they learn that Attash had a Leatherman on his January 2000 Malaysian flight? The question is particularly interesting given that we should expect they would not use anything that came from the defendants here, so as to avoid any torture taint.

Page 16: It’s actually really helpful that they list what flight each hijacker eventually ended up on–it really helps you to see how the Hamburg cell ended up on the planes. I wish the 9/11 Report had done that!

Pages 18-19: Some of the details on overseas financing are quite interesting (particularly given my discussion about SWIFT this morning).

Page 20: Again, the level of detail for KSM’s actions raise interesting questions about source. Also, note that KSM’s order to send $$ to the hijackers post-dates (April 2001) the list of transfers on the previous pages.

Page 20: I’m particularly curious about this mention.

In or about mid-April 2001, KHALID SHEIKH MOHAMMED expressed frustration to RAMZI BIN AL-SHIBH that a hijacker was not traveling to the United States sooner.

Particularly given the detail, I wonder whether the hijacker in question was al-Qahtani (who tried to enter the country on August 3, 2001).

Page 23, 24: Note the list of precisely how many calls the hijackers made to al-Hawsawi and bin al-Shibh, but not what was said.

Page 25: Did we know KSM applied for an entry visa on July 23, 2001?

Page 25: Note they include payments to Moussaoui.

Page 26: Ah, we finally get reference to al-Qahtani, named as “Co-Conspirator 1” in the indictment.

Page 27: Note the stupid, gratuitous reference to “Reagan National Airport” but not to “McCarren International Airport” in Las Vegas.

Page 27: They describe the knife Moussaoui had when he was arrested (a Leatherman).

Page 27: Paragraph 145 doesn’t provide the date or the method by which the hijackers told KSM of the date of the attack, even though it has been reported. This seems an unnecessary exclusion of legally collected NSA information.

Page 29: They seem not to know precise details of how bin al-Shibh got from Spain on September 5 to Dubai on September 9, 2001.

Page 32: Note the reference to a post-9/11 meeting between bin al-Shibh, al-Hawsawi, and Osama bin Laden that was taped. Have we seen this tape?

Page 36-37: Count 4, Violence on and Destruction of Aircraft, applies only to Flights 11 and 175 (the two WTC flights). Anyone know why?

Page 37: Count 5, Conspiracy to Commit Aircraft Piracy, continues through March 1, 2003, when they captured KSM. (Now that I check, so does Count 3.)

Page 40: Counts 7 and 8 are murder charges tied to unnamed Federal Officers who were at WTC. Given the number of first responders who died, these two officers could be anyone. But remember that CIA’s office got destroyed in the WTC attack, though none of their personnel were reported to have died. [Update: Ron Brynaert has suggested these two are probably FBI Special Agent Lennie Hatton and Secret Service Master Special Officer Craig Miller, who ran into the towers to help with rescues. Both are listed among the rest of the victims in the WTC list.]

Page 41: The indictment alleges that the accused continued in their conspiracy to kill Americans up to the filing of the indictment.

Page 43: There’s a weird hodge podge of acts included in Count 10 to substantiate the conspiracy to kill Americans. Notably, it includes KSM and Ali Abdul Aziz conspiring in November and December 2001 to attack planes with shoe bombs (Richard Reid made his attempt on December 22, 2001). But they don’t allege anything with regards to Jose Padilla. Nor wrt Iyman Faris or Majid Khan, both plots KSM allegedly reported.

Pages 45-80 have the list of all the victims of the attack (along with the two anonymous officers listed in Counts 7 and 8). I think that’s the most impressive part of the indictment, seeing the list of names like that.

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  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Al Qaeda provided counter-interrogation training to its personnel, which, among other things, required captured operatives to lie to authorities to prevent detection of an ongoing plot.

    That appears to be not very inventive, after-the-fact justification. Does the DoJ or DoD think al Qaeda invented the idea of lying to one’s captors? Mr. McCain wouldn’t even believe that; I’m sure he tried mightily to lie and half-lie to his. I don’t suppose Al Capone told the whole truth to the Feds either; otherwise, he would have been in the slammer or the chair for a lot more than tax evasion.

    As for the related idea that such training precludes the effectiveness of non-torture questioning, I don’t think the literature bears that out.

    As for the reliability of tortured disclosures, Malcolm Nance and others have been outspoken: water-boarding and other forms of torture work on everybody, even the most hardened, often quite quickly. What’s revealed is anything the victim can think of that will make his torturers stop, a response interrogators could easily manipulate through leading questions. The truth might be in there somewhere. But good lucking finding it, putting it in the right context, and using it in a timely way, let alone getting it admitted into any responsible court of law.

  2. lysias says:

    Why would they want to justify the torture in the indictment? Presumably they did not intend to use as evidence anything resulting from the torture.

    And doesn’t saying that the accused were taught to lie cast doubt on anything they did say to the interrogators?

    • BoxTurtle says:

      Go watch the first season of 24. You’re clearly misinformed.

      Boxturtle (hundreds of TV channels available as well as the internet and they had to do their OWN torture?)

      • Gitcheegumee says:

        You may not believe this,but I have never watched 24.(Not my idea of entertainment.)

        However, what IS interesting to me is the background on Keifer Sutherland’s grandfather Tommy Douglas,who is credited with bringing the Canadian healthcare sysytem into being,among other notable accomplishments.

        Incidentally he was originally a minister before becoming a politician.

        Good Wiki on Douglas,btw.

  3. BoxTurtle says:

    I’m sure that if questioned about the lack of an Iraq AQ chapter, the DoJ response will be “Of course there’s AQ in Iraq. We just didn’t need to specify everything”.

    And nobody will notice that the DoJ answer will not have been issued under oath or in a sworn document like the document that does NOT list AQ in Iraq.

    Boxturtle (The difference between a cynic and a realist is that the cynic is right more often)

  4. BoxTurtle says:

    They’re being very careful NOT to use information obtained from prisoners who were in military custody. Almost as if they fear that evidence might be challenged.

    Now comes the interesting part: discovery. The government must restrict embarassing information without giving the defense lawyer something they could challenge in a real court. I think that’ll be a tightrope. They MUST reveal all exculpatory evidence and failure to do so could be enough to get in front of a real judge.

    And if I’m the defense, I’m going to challenge every peice of evidence and make them prove it wasn’t obtained under torture or as a result of torture.

    But KSM wants to plead guilty. The commission would be VERY inclined to accept that plea. Will KSM’s lawyer stand in the way? Can he, even?

    Boxturtle (Okay, the game has been defined. Let’s play!)

  5. lysias says:

    I wonder why KSM wants to plead guilty.

    If it’s just so that he can make himself a martyr, won’t he be more of a martyr if he is convicted after he makes a shambles of the trial? And in the process won’t he do a lot to discredit the U.S.?

    Why isn’t that what he would want?

    • thatvisionthing says:

      In the court of public opinion, he’s giving us all the rope to hang ourselves. And we’re falling for it. Land of truth and justice, ha. The American Way is to lie and cheat and Calvinball until you win. See? We make it all up, sock puppet theater. If we had no glass jaw, we’d be glad of a fair court trial with all the Constitutional due processes. Obama’s already decided that we can’t win fair and that the Constitution is a national hazard.

  6. thatvisionthing says:

    A totally superficial comment here. I haven’t delved into anything. I see headlines here that KSM gets a military commission. Then I look over at Huffington Post. Headline there now is “White House Flips On Tribunals” with subhead of “Professed 9/11 Mastermind to Face Military Commission.” And the picture looks like a CIA Osama bin Laden lookalike. WTF? Did I miss something? Is Osama bin Laden being charged here? Like, if Cheney was still writing the news I wouldn’t be surprised to see a picture of Saddam Hussein… but Obama? Osama?

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Well,this MUST be the new meme that is being disseminated amidst the media.

      Earlier I saw on MSNBC a newsreport that flashed the same photo that is on Huff&Puff Post. And like you,I thought it was OBL,until I realized the story was about the KSM trial being moved.

      I don’t EVER recall seeing a photo of KSM looking like this before today.

      If I were paranoid,I’d say some subliminal PR is at work .

      • thatvisionthing says:

        Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was fat and swarthy when he was captured, and this guy is older and skinny and not wearing orange. I don’t think KSM has worn anything but orange in years. But if you check the photo properties, it’s labeled KSM.

        • Gitcheegumee says:

          Well, it could have been a photo BEFORE he was in custody–but the similarity between OBL and KSM is stunning ..and after all this time,not a coinkydink ,either.

          • thatvisionthing says:

            Ok, I’m weirded. I just did a google images search of KSM, and that photo shows up uncropped in an Andy Worthington article from 2009, Torture And Futility: Is This The End Of Military Commissions At Guantanamo? with the caption:

            This image of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was taken in July 2009 under an agreement with Guantanamo prison camp staff that lets delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross photograph detainees and send photos to family members. Source: Wikipedia

            Family members? Does the ICRC know where his kids are?

            Over on wikipedia, I don’t see that photo, but there’s a photo I’ve never seen before labeled “Khalid sheikh Mohammed from an FBI wanted poster” that could be a younger photo of the older guy on HuffPo — but still doesn’t look to me like the guy we’ve all seen on the couch being captured. That photo also shows up on History Commons, I see via the image google, though the image google does not lead me to that photo on wikipedia where it is now front and center and I don’t find Andy Worthington’s photo. Like I said, I’m weirded. Makes me think of earlier stories I’ve read about fake OBL videos, and an Asian story about KSM being killed long ago. Smoke and mirrors?

            • Gitcheegumee says:

              Well, I guess you’ll have to attend the military tribunal in Gitmo for an up close and personal comparison.*G*

  7. Mary says:

    Another quickie drive by – “The question is particularly interesting given that we should expect they would not use anything that came from the defendants here, so as to avoid any torture taint”

    DOJ has consistently been taking the position in the habeas cases that they can “clean team” torture evidence and get it in that way.

    • emptywheel says:

      Comparing w/the 9/11 Report, it appears the “killing sheep and camels” comes from KSM.

      So they do appear to have planned to use info from him.

      • MadDog says:

        Would you agree that whatever KSM stuff they were/are going to use against him would come from “clean” communications intercepts (email, phone calls, etc.) and not from the torture interrogation sessions?

        • emptywheel says:

          No. Because I don’t know how you get stuff like killing the camel another way, and it is clearly sourced to KSM himself in the 9/11 Report.

          • MadDog says:

            I’m just thinking that the prosecutors were given strict instructions to not use any material from the torture interrogation sessions. Even the sessions after 2004.

            Perhaps I’m being naive here, but I’m postulating that the prosecutors, if they could, would avoid any stuff from KSM’s sessions.

            Or perhaps the DOJ folks who actually won out were those who believed enough time had passed after KSM’s torture that they could still use KSM’s own words against him.

            I could go either way. *g*

  8. scribe says:

    They’re not going to list any Padilla material in the indictment for at least two reasons: Padilla’s appeals are still going on, Padila was tortured. And a third – I’ll bet he was wiretapped while here in the States. And a fourth – it’s not germane to the 9/11 plot.

    Though, to be fair, para 209 does mention KSM being lashed up with the Reid shoe bombing. But Reid’s case (like Moussaoui’s) is completed and he has no appeals left.

    • emptywheel says:

      Padilla’s crime has nothing to do with the attacks he allegedly had planned.

      And it’s not just Padilla that’s not listed; neither are Majid Khan or Iyman Faris. Faris has no appeals left.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Every time I hear someone refer to Padilla, I think of John Walker Lindh….and Jessalyn Raddack. What a story…and so rarely even mentioned.

      Do you happen to know if the discovery in the Lindh case is sealed?

      I do know that a part of the deal that Chertoff offered,and Lindh accepted, was that there would be a gag order in place for Lindh to not speak of his experiences at the hands of the US military.

  9. MadDog says:

    …Page 25: Did we know KSM applied for an entry visa on July 23, 2001?

    This was news to me as well. It brings up the question of whether KSM intended to stay in the US and be a 9/11 hijacking participant, or whether he was intending just to visit and check out the status of his plans and his 9/11 crew.

  10. BoxTurtle says:

    Holder Flip-Flops, Blames Congress

    AG Eric Holder, saying ‘I know better’ than Congress,

    Fox sure has a way of putting things, don’t they?

    Boxturtle (Nope, no bias there!)

    • thatvisionthing says:

      Your link starts out,

      Al-Qaeda kingpin Khalid Sheikh Mohammed looked more like a startled drunk than a terrorist mastermind when his photo was flashed around the world.

      and then you can scroll down and compare his drunk before with his sheikh after.

      And I’m thinking, do swarthy drunks pluck their eyebrows? And change where their eyebrows peak? Because the skinny now guy has way bushier eyebrows that peak differently. Same guy? I doubt it.

      Also, I’m remembering a story on HuffPo a ways back where the photo they posted of bin Laden was a fake, and they got called on it and it was recanted — I think the source for their story walked it back. I couldn’t find it when I googled, though; my browser crashed. I hate it when that happens.

      • thatvisionthing says:

        Found it:

        HuffPo 1/15/10, updated 3/18/10: New Osama Bin Laden PICTURES: FBI’s Digitally-Enhanced Images Of How He May Look Today (PHOTOS)

        Osama Bin Laden may look drastically different today than he did just a few years ago, and the FBI has released new pictures showing what he may look like today.

        (I left a Mr. Potato Head comment)

        Followed up by HuffPo 1/19/10: Gaspar Llamazares, Spaniard Used In Bin Laden Picture, Rejects US Apology

        MADRID — A Spanish lawmaker on Tuesday angrily rejected the United States’ apology for the FBI’s using a photo of him to create a poster showing what Osama bin Laden might look like today.

        Gaspar Llamazares, of Spain’s communist-run United Left party, demanded the U.S. investigate the incident and take appropriate action.

        … The Spaniard also said the FBI used images of his hair to construct a photograph of another alleged terrorist, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, of Libya.

        • thatvisionthing says:

          Well, just me being fascinated… Pull up the 9/9/10 Mirror story, the 1/15/10 HuffPo story, and HuffPo’s current front page, and size the windows and line up all the KSM and OBL photos to compare — these guys all have the same nose, and their right eye is larger than their left. The Mirror story credits the new KSM photo to The Mohammed Family. It’s funny that the Mr. Potato Head OBL nose the FBI put on Gaspar Llamazares doesn’t look at all like OBL’s nose.

          • thatvisionthing says:

            [Neo sees a black cat walk by them, and then a similar black cat walk by them just like the first one]

            Neo: Whoa. Déjà vu.

            [Everyone freezes right in their tracks]

            Trinity: What did you just say?

            Neo: Nothing. Just had a little déjà vu.

            Trinity: What did you see?

            Cypher: What happened?

            Neo: A black cat went past us, and then another that looked just like it.

            Trinity: How much like it? Was it the same cat?

            Neo: It might have been. I’m not sure.

            Morpheus: Switch! Apoc!

            Neo: What is it?

            Trinity: A déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.

            • klynn says:

              Trinity: A déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.

              Great quote. Fits here nicely!

              EW,

              PG 3 will come back to haunt the US internationally.

              Page 3: Note the list of al Qaeda affiliates in paragraph 4. Note what’s missing? Iraq.

  11. NMvoiceofreason says:

    Page 36-37: Count 4, Violence on and Destruction of Aircraft, applies only to Flights 11 and 175 (the two WTC flights). Anyone know why?

    SDNY indictment. AA77 would be EDVA, UA93 EDPA. Only indict for the crimes in your district.

    • lysias says:

      The charge is conspiracy. As long as the court has jurisdiction (and proper venue) over one of the overt acts of the conspiracy, can’t any and all overt acts of the conspiracy be charged in the same indictment?

      • NMvoiceofreason says:

        They could. But leaving out that charge gives them another “bite at the apple”. As long as some significant element of the charge (such as occurring in a different venue) exists, it isn’t double jeopardy. Have seen people prosecuted on State charges, then Federal charges that way.

  12. lysias says:

    Isn’t KSM also supposed to have tied Aafia Siddiqui to the conspiracy during his interrogation? Nothing about her in the indictment either?

  13. MadDog says:

    …Page 25: Note they include payments to Moussaoui…

    Note the timing as well as the money amounts from pages 25-26:

    …123. From on or about July 9, 2001, through on or about July 16, 2001, RAMZI BIN AL-SHIBH and Mohamed Atta (AA 11) were in Tarragona, Spain, where they met and discussed, among other aspects of the plot, potential targets for the hijacking attacks.

    124. After leaving Spain, RAMZI BIN AL-SHIBH reported to KHALID SHEIKH MOHAMMED about the meeting with Mohamed Atta (AA 11).

    125. Thereafter KHALID SHEIKH MOHAMMED instructed RAMZI BIN AL-SHIBH and MUSTAFA AL-HAWSAWI to take the actions described below, in paragraphs 128 through 131.

    MOHAMMED Applies for U.S. Visa

    126. On or about July 23, 2001, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, KHALID SHEIKH MOHAMMED applied for a U.S.-entry visa, using the name “Abdulrahman A.A. Al-Ghamdi,” which application was denied…

    [snip]

    Money Transfers to Moussaoui

    128. On or about July 30, 2001, MUSTAFA AL-HAWSAWI, using the name “Hashem Abderahman,” sent $5,000 from the United Arab Emirates to RAMZI BIN AL-SHIBH, who received the money in Hamburg, Germany, using the the name “Ahad Abdollahi Sabet.”

    129. On or about July 31, 2002, MUSTAFA AL-HAWSAWI, using the name “Hashim Abdourahman,” sent $10,000 from the United Arab Emirates to RAMZI BIN AL-SHIBH, who received the money in Hamburg, Germany, using the the name “Ahad Abdollahi Sabet.”

    130. On or about August 1, 2001, RAMZI BIN AL-SHIBH, using the name “Ahad Abdollahi Sabet,” sent approximately $10,000 from Dusseldorf, Germany, to Zacarias Moussaoui in Oklahoma.

    131. On or about August 3, 2001, RAMZI BIN AL-SHIBH, using the name “Ahad Abdollahi Sabet,” sent approximately $4,000 from Hamburg, Germany, to Zacarias Moussaoui in Oklahoma…

    This is a very curious set of events. The questions that arise to me are:

    1. Why did KSM attempt to enter the US?
    2. What was so critical to KSM that he had Ramzi Bin Al-Shibh send $14,000 to Zacarias Moussaoui?
    3. What was Zacarias Moussaoui intending to do with that $14,000?

    It was late in the 9/11 hijack planning cycle for Zacarias Moussaoui to be using that $14,000 for more flight training, so why the large amount of money?

    And based on the above, it sure seems that KSM thought Zacarias Moussaoui was of critical importance to Al Qaeda’s plans, but for what?

    • lysias says:

      I didn’t see any mention of the $100,000 ISI chief Mahmoud Ahmad allegedly had Saeed Sheikh wire Atta.

      Could any of the wire transfers of money that the indictment refers to have any connection with that alleged transfer by ISI?

      • MadDog says:

        I’m not up on that ISI money transfer. Any links to substantiate it? I’m not doubting you. I just hadn’t heard/read about it.

        • lysias says:

          General Mahmud Ahmad:

          Lt. Mahmud Ahmad was former head of the Pakistan Secret Service Isi, until he “resigned” on October 6th, 2001.

          Only a few hours later the war against the Taliban started. According to a October 12th, 2001-story in the Times of India,” the Pakistani intelligence service, ISI, Washington’s close ally in the ‘infinite war’ against terror, was intimately involved with the 9-11 hijackers.
          This might have been the real reason, why Ahmad quit his job:
          “The US authorities sought his removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 were wired to WTC hijacker Mohammad Atta from Pakistan
          by Ahmad Umar Sheikh (->) at the instance of Gen Mahmud.”
          timesofindia.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=1454238160 (NOTE: Ahmad Umar Sheikh is also known as Sheikh Saeed)

          That link to the Times of India no longer works, but I saw the article at the time.

          The Wall Street Journal also reported the allegation (something I also remember seeing at the time), as is confirmed by this Wikipedia entry on Gen. Mahmud Ahmed:

          Mahmud visit to United States

          General Mahmud was known to visit the United States regularly during his time as the head of ISI consulting senior officials in the U.S. administration in the weeks before and after 9/11. In fact, he was with Republican Congressman Porter Goss and Democratic Senator Bob Graham in Washington, discussing Osama bin Laden over breakfast, when the attacks of September 11, 2001 happened.[4] He was immediately called into meetings with American officials where demands of Pakistani cooperation were made and he was told to convey this to the Pakistani government.
          [edit]

          Removal from ISI

          On October 9, 2001, The Times of India reported that “US authorities sought his removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 were wired to WTC hijacker Mohamed Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the instance of Gen. Mahmud,”[5] and although no evidence has been officially recognized, the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets have reported on this alleged connection.[6] The 9/11 Commission Report made no mention of the allegation and stated that the question of who financed the terrorist attacks was “of little practical significance” and that it had “seen no evidence that any foreign government–or foreign government official–supplied any funding.”

    • lysias says:

      What could such payments have been for? Maybe so that the hijackers could at the last moment give money to loved ones?

      • MadDog says:

        That $14,000 is a fair chunk of money in one piece. At least based on the Indictment, that was far more than what Mohammed Atta was given in one fell swoop. And he had 20 or so folks with him to support.

        From page 20:

        …87. In or about mid-April 2001, KHALID SHEIKH MOHAMMED instructed RAMZI BIN AL-SHIBH and ALI ABDUL AZIZ ALI to send tens of thousands of dollars to the hijackers already in the United States, but to send the money in multiple transfers of smaller amounts, so as to avoid detection and loss of funds…

        (My Bold)

        The thing is that Zacarias Moussaoui was getting that $14,000 in a big chunk, whereas Mohammed Atta was getting his money in smaller, less detectable amounts.

        Like you, I’m wondering what Zacarias Moussaoui was to do with that $14,000.

        And why at this late stage in the 9/11 hijack plot.

        And why just before Zacarias Moussaoui got sent that $14,000 was KSM trying to get himself a visa for entering the US.

        • MadDog says:

          …Like you, I’m wondering what Zacarias Moussaoui was to do with that $14,000…

          I should have Wiki’d first. *g* A wee bit of Wikipedi’ing and one gets this:

          …Moussaoui allegedly received US$14,000 in wire transfers from bin al-Shibh, originating from Düsseldorf and Hamburg, Germany, in early August. This money could have helped him pay for flight training about two weeks later at Pan-Am International Flight Academy in Eagan, Minnesota. On August 13, Moussaoui paid US$6,800 with US$100 bills to receive training in a 747-400 simulator. The simulator that Pan-Am uses is operated by Northwest Aerospace Training Corporation (NATCO), a training facility affiliated with Northwest Airlines. Moussaoui was reportedly considered as a replacement for Ziad Jarrah, who at one point threatened to withdraw from the scheme because of tensions amongst the plotters.[17] Plans to include Moussaoui were never completed because the al-Qaeda hierarchy allegedly had doubts about his reliability…

          Though this explains some of the money, I’m still floundering with Zacarias Moussaoui for a couple of reasons.

          One is the timing of his funding immediately after KSM’s attempt to get a US visa failed. Another is the large amount of money transferred seemingly defying Al Qaeda’s own prohibition against large money transfers. And last,but not least, paying cash in the large amounts of hundred dollar bills for his flight training which again seems to defy Al Qaeda’s need for secrecy.

          This last part of the Wikipedia entry for Zacarias Moussaoui seems bogus based on the KSM US visa attempt and KSM’s insistance on that large $14,000 money transfer to an “untrustworthy” associate:

          …Plans to include Moussaoui were never completed because the al-Qaeda hierarchy allegedly had doubts about his reliability…

          • emptywheel says:

            No, I think here’s what happens:

            Atta and bin al-Shibh meets. Atta (who suspects the phones are bugged) tells al-Shibh that he and Jarrah can’t get along. So they panic, and KSM tries to go to the US (so does Ali, btw, but he was rejected for a visa too). When that fails they presumably dumped a lot of $$ to try to get Moussaoui up to speed.

            So Moussaoui would have been Jarrah’s replacement but Atta and Jarrah worked it out (though it’s unclear whether before or after Moussaoui got picke dup).

      • MadDog says:

        What could such payments have been for? Maybe so that the hijackers could at the last moment give money to loved ones?

        Probably not. Starting at page 28, the Indictment shows that beginning the first part of September, 2001, the “excess” funds were being shipped back to the originators.

  14. prostratedragon says:

    Page 36-37: Count 4, Violence on and Destruction of Aircraft, applies only to Flights 11 and 175 (the two WTC flights). Anyone know why?

    No. But:
    —might the intervention of passengers on United93 complicate the argument?
    —Hani Hanjour’s weak connection to the Hamburg cell?

    • MadDog says:

      That was after KSM’s waterboarding torture sessions, but still at various CIA black sites, so I’d imagine he wasn’t completely through with other parts of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogations”.

      • lysias says:

        Why isn’t any testimony given after torture tainted by the earlier torture? After all, any later interrogation conducted later — at least implicitly — carries with it the threat of a resumption of the torture if the testimony is deemed unsatisfactory.

  15. emptywheel says:

    Note, the 9/11 Report cites “late April communications associated w/KSM” that come from a CIA analysis from September 11, 2003.

    That may be where the focus on April dates here comes from.

  16. emptywheel says:

    Also, wrt Moussaoui, KSM gave bin al-Shibh Moussaoui’s email before he went to Malaysia for a meeting w/Atta that never happened. So in June, he wasn’t part of Atta’s team yet, but they were obviously considering him.

    • MadDog says:

      Interesting. Deliberately missing or just don’t have it?

      Perhaps KSM, who has been described as a talkative BS’er, just was overly stricken with diarrhea of the mouth and keyboard in comparison to Bin al-Shibh.

      • emptywheel says:

        Not using stuff that appears in the 9/11 Report.

        Mind you, his lawyers are challenging his fitness for trial. KSMs are not.

        So it may be they believe they can enter the KSM stuff from 2004 and beyond, but suspect they’d get into more trouble w/al-Shibh based on fitness.

        • MadDog says:

          While the fitness issue is still unresolved, and might cause the prosecutors trouble, there still seems to be an abundance of direct evidence against Ramzi bin al-Shibh such as this from his Wikipedia entry:

          …”In June 2002, the detainee was personally interviewed by Yosri Fouda, an investigative journalist for Al-Jazeera television. The interview took place over the course of 48 hours in Karachi, Pakistan. Also present at the meeting was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a senior al Qaida planner. Fouda conducted the interview in person with both the detainee and KSM. The detainee and KSM detailed how the 9/11 attacks were planned and executed during the course of the interview. KSM identified the detainee as the coordinator of the 9/11 attacks. The detainee displayed items he claimed were “souvenirs” of the 9/11 attacks. The items included: an air navigation map of the American eastern seaboard, flight simulator CD-Roms and Boeing manuals and a flight instruction book the detainee claimed had 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta’s handwritten notes. The detainee stated Mohamed Atta left them in the Hamburg, Germany, apartment he shared with the detainee. The detainee stated that he later met with Atta in July, 2001 in Madrid, Spain, to finalize the operational details of the 9/11 plot. The detainee stated he received a phone call on 29 August 2001 from Atta that gave the date fro the 9/11 attacks. After learning this, the detainee ordered active al Qaida cells in Europe and elsewhere to evacuate and then he fled to Pakistan…

  17. Jeff Kaye says:

    Al Qaeda provided counter-interrogation training to its personnel, which, among other things, required captured operatives to lie to authorities to prevent detection of an ongoing plot.

    How sweet, because that’s exactly what the U.S. instructs its captured prisoners to do. And why not, because the U.S. taught Ali Mohamed and others all about their resistance to exploitation strategies (A.M. at Ft. Bragg itself).

    Meanwhile, I’ve posted my own take on the Holder/Obama turn-about: Why the U.S. Wants Military Commission Show Trials for 9/11 Suspects.

    • lysias says:

      You don’t commit torture or hold show trials if what you’re interested in is learning and/or revealing the truth.

  18. behindthefall says:

    Got Netflix? Watch MI-5 (AKA “Spooks”), Season 5, Episode 2. The Brits describe the events that we are living through in the U.S., a coup to erase democracy, a “blink of the eye in history”, as one character says.

    Now back to our scheduled programming.

  19. rbleier says:

    Thanks as always to the incomparable Marcy W. and her always brilliant analysis.

    However, once again she seems to take for granted that KSM and the others were guilty one way or another of terror activities against the US.

    I’d like to see the evidence she relies on.

    How about an analysis of why Eric Holder today said: we give up. It’s military commisssions. What he was saying is that they have no evidence against KSM or the others.

    Even the PBS Newshour (for god’s sake) analysis pointed out that the Obama administration waited and waited throughout 2009 until Congress finally got the hint in 2010 and said: no legitimate trials.

    So Obama breathes a sigh of relief. He came into office understanding that there was no evidence against KSM–for the simple reason he didn’t do anything, so how was he, Obama, going to proceed?

    Simple, stall for time until it was impossible to give him a fair trial.

    Ronald Bleier

    rbleier at igc dot org