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Strange parallel
Charity begins at home so should anti-terrorism!

September 12, 2002
The Iranian

Like most of you my heart goes out to the family of the victims and in fact for all humanity, because 9/11 was a very sad day for all those who believe in a modern civilized democratic society that thrives free from fear.

But let us look at this issue from a slightly different angle and let us turn back the clock. Back to 1995. April 19th 1995 probably started like a normal day. Commuters came to work in a rush as they do in big cities. Office workers were carrying their coffee and donuts. Some were taking their kids to daycare.

Then Timothy McVeigh and perhaps an accomplice drove a truck with 7,000 pounds of explosives to the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and blew it up, killing 168 innocent men, women and children.

Immediately after the bombing, most authorities and many Americans believed that a Middle Eastern terrorist group was responsible. But an FBI agent named Clinton R. Van Zandt, who had been the bureau's main negotiator at Waco, had a better idea. Van Zandt recognized the significance of the date of the bombing -- April 19, the anniversary of the fiery conclusion of the siege on Waco.

"You're going to have a white male, acting alone, or with one other person," Michel and Herbeck the authors of the book American Terrorist quote Van Zandt as saying. "He'll be in his mid-twenties. He'll have military experience and be a fringe member of some militia group. He'll be angry at the government for what happened at Ruby Ridge and Waco."

Eventually he was caught and executed but a new term was born "American Terrorist". This was a shock to the American nation. It was horrific to find that an American who considered himself as a patriot would be capable of planning and carrying out such a horrific act, but somehow the stereotype seemed to exist in the American society.

Timothy McVeigh's stereotype exists on the fringes of the American society. There are perhaps thousands of Americans who hold beliefs identical to McVeigh's. He is a prototypical extreme-right zealot.

He hates and fears the federal government, worships guns, has a very twisted view of "liberty" defined in almost purely negative terms, as freedom from external interference of any kind, embraces survivalism and sees himself as having acted in a proud American tradition of resistance to tyranny that goes back to the Founders.

Throw in racial resentment and an obsessive fixation on Waco as proof that federal agents are thugs waiting to make their final move, and the all-too-familiar portrait is complete.

This is what historian David H. Bennett calls "the party of fear" recurs in many related forms throughout the American history, from nativist, anti-foreigner fraternities like the Know-Nothings to the Ku Klux Klan, and McCarthyism. People who subscribe to such views are to be found at gun shows and NRA rallies, in militia groups, on government-bashing Internet forums, in radical anti-abortion groups, at anti-tax rallies, at Klan rallies and holed up in survivalist cabins in the West.

Strangely enough, there is a strange parallel between this faction of the society and the Al Qaida brand of terrorism. Both groups are purists but in their own way. They both have this deeply seeded belief that the modern society has drifted from the path that it was meant to follow.

In the case of the American right, it is the free path of the American forefathers and as for the Islamic fundamentalists it is the pure Islamic society, which lives by Sharia law to the last letter ruled by a Khalif and follows the Wahhabite sect, and both groups are quite willing to sacrifice innocent lives in order to achieve their aim.

Both see the American Government as the great enemy and would very much like to see the collapse of the infrastructure that keeps it in place, i.e. law and order, centres of economy and the think tank centres such as Pentagon and the White House. Both factions have strong anti-Jewish attitudes. If the two groups did collaborate then it would not be the first time that two very different factions that had something in common joint teams.

OK. So we have another conspiracy theory! So, how does this relate to September 11th? After all, the German prosecutors have revealed how they believe Al Qaeda terrorists operating in Hamburg organised the September 11 attacks on the U.S. in which over 3,000 people died.

German federal prosecutor Kay Nehm said the Hamburg cell was planning an attack on America as early as October 1999, and decided to target the World Trade Centre six months later. Nehm released the details as he outlined charges against Moroccan Mounir El Motassadeq, 28 -- the only suspect to be arrested in Germany in connection with the attacks.

If Al Qaida fired the bullets then did anyone give them the gun? So what gives away that there is a link between Al Qaida and the right wing factions of the US society? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps there is no link and yes I do agree that it is possible to pull out a conspiracy theory out of thin air, but humour me and take the following points as food for thought.

To be fair, I have also played the devil's advocate and put counter arguments where I could find them. So before anyone sends any horrible emails accusing me of paranoid schizophrenia, or anti-Americanism or anti-Semitism or in fact following the good old tradition of the Iranian conspiracy theorists who normally end with all of man kind's evil on the British!

I will say that these points are here to stimulate your neurons and perhaps you can come up with your conclusions, and no, I have had my mental check-up very recently and we are both fine, and I do cherish the American culture in wearing their jeans and watching their movies and no I will not blame this on the British or the Israelis! Finally as a peace lover the last thing I would want is to spread hate.

1. The date of 9/11. Timothy McVeigh was executed on June the 11th 2001 or to write the date in U.S. format 06/11/2001. Flip 06 to 09/11/2001 and you have the pay back that was promised by these factions! Besides if the real Oklahoma planner had a liking for dates, i.e. picking the Waco siege date for the Oklahoma bombing then it is likely that the date of the operation would have some significance.

Some say this is the 911 emergency dial number. Perhaps? 911 is also in the Waco siege date of 04/19/1993. This date could be the birth date of bin Laden's wife so I am not going to push too much for this co incidence!

2. The planning and the inside job feel of the entire affair. Whoever planned September 11, knew the weaknesses of the US defence i.e. insider information about archived War game scenarios, possible terrorist attacks, bad airport security, radar scanning etc. McVeigh served in Operation Desert Storm.

If indeed he was a foot-solider it is likely that there would be high-ranking military personnel capable of precise operation planning who could belong to the very same fringes of the society where McVeigh came from. You can buy information. There have been people willing to sell this commodity before and there will always be someone, besides it did not take a genius to figure out that American Airports have extremely bad security!

3. Why do a dirty job when you can have someone very willing to do it for you? bin Laden established Al Qaida in the late 1980s to draw together Arabs who had gained combat experience in Afghanistan whilst fighting against the Soviet invasion.

The organisation initially helped to finance, recruit and train Sunni Islamic extremists for the Afghan resistance. Such groups were initially trained by the US military to fight against the Russians and some became mercenaries after the war.

What could be better than someone paying you and giving you information about something that you were planning to do already! Why do a terrorist act on the basis of an ideology and then let another group take the credit for it? I do not know. It all depends on what the objective is. If the idea is to make the central Government collapse then you do the job but live without the publicity.

4. Presence of Israeli Intelligence Service in a van at the scene of the event. What were they doing there? What did they know? I do not see Israel being involved in this action. You do not cut off the hand that feeds you! And no Government would do such a thing. This has to be the act of terrorism by real terrorist.

If you say, well anti-terrorism has given Mr. Sharon's Government a license to send in the tanks then I would say that Mr. Sharon does not wait for a license, he has sent in the tanks before and he will probably do it again. Perhaps the Israeli Intelligence was keeping an eye on their enemy terrorist groups and followed them to see what they were up to!

As reported by CNN's Daniel Seberg on September 28, Newsbytes Brian McWilliams on September 27 and the Israeli newspaper Ha aretz, Odigo, the Israeli instant messaging company located in Herzliyya, Israel, received telephone calls stating that attacks on the WTC were imminent. The calls came less than two hours before the first plane hit the WTC. This information was immediately forwarded to Israeli and U.S. intelligence.

From just these six press stories, then, the USG had received credible advance warnings, some from heads of state, that commercial aircraft would be hijacked by as many as 25 suicide pilots at airports, with Boston a strong candidate, during the week of September 9. The call to Odigo would have signalled the exact day. No known preventive measures were taken. Perhaps they did not know have enough time to respond or check if this was false alarm.

5. The strain of Anthrax in the letters. New Scientist revealed that the bacterium used in the attacks was not a strain that Iraq, or the former Soviet Union, mass-produced for weapons. In fact, it was either the same strain the US itself used to make anthrax weapons in the 1960s, or close to it. Neither the strain nor the physical form in which it has been sent out is particularly sophisticated, say bio weapons specialists. Perhaps bin Laden could buy this on the Internet?

6. INSIDER TRADING: The documented pre-September 11 insiders trading that occurred before the attacks involved only companies hit hard by the attacks. They include United Airlines, American Airlines, Morgan Stanley, Merrill-Lynch, Axa Reinsurance, Marsh & McLennan, Munich Reinsurance, Swiss Reinsurance, and Citigroup.

In order to argue that the massive and well-documented insider trading that occurred in at least seven countries immediately before the attacks of September 11 did not serve as a warning to intelligence agencies, then it is necessary to argue that no one was aware of the trades as they were occurring, and that intelligence and law enforcement agencies of most industrialized nations do not monitor stock trades in real time to warn of impending attacks.

Both assertions are false. Both assertions would also ignore the fact that the current executive vice president of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for enforcement is David Doherty, a retired CIA general counsel. And also ignored is the fact that the trading in United Airlines stock -- one of the most glaring clues -- was placed through the firm Deutschebank/Alex Brown, which was headed until 1998 by the man who is now the executive director of the CIA, A.B. Buzzy Krongard.

One wonders if it was a coincidence then, that Mayo Shattuck III, the head of the Alex Brown unit of Deutschebank -- which had its offices in the WTC -- suddenly resigned from a $30 million, three-year contract on September 12, as reported by the New York Times and other papers. The American exchanges that handle these trades, primarily the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) and the NYSE, know on a daily basis what levels of put options are purchased?

Put options are highly leveraged bets, tying up blocks of stock, that a given stock s share price will fall dramatically. To quote 60 Minutes from September 19, Sources tell CBS News that the afternoon before the attack, alarm bells were sounding over unusual trading in the U.S. stock options market.

This is speculating that such individuals had previous knowledge of the security alert to a very high confidence level otherwise you would not play with massive sums on an on-going threat would you? But this does not prove the link between Al Qaida and the extreme right. Besides I gathered this information from other sites and I cannot verify if what I have just stated is from a reliable source.

Who has benefited from this terrorist action? Without a doubt Mr. Bush has, and this is irrespective of how he feels about this horrible incident. Now I am not suggesting that the actual US Government or in fact Mr Bush had a hand in this operation but he seems to have good spin doctors that managed to turn this tragedy to an advantage.

How? Here you have a president who was snubbed by intellectuals both inside and outside US. Famous for being a party animal in his younger days, and creating words that do not exist, and a failed oil business man who was bailed out by his father's friend, and used miracles to win the votes to get into the Oval office; well to be very frank he did not carry a lot of political cred.

Come 911 and now it is almost un-patriotic for a US citizen not to support the Wartime president, and I suspect he will win the second term but no thanks to any wisdom in running the US economy. What War? Where have you been over the last year! If someone questions the infringement of civil liberties then the answer is don't be a fool! Think about National Security.

Why are we reshaping the Middle East? We want democracy and to get rid of the axis of evil, and no mention of turning the Caspian Sea as the direct competitor to the OPEC oil production. No mention of what the US military is doing in this part of the world or indeed how much the American Tax payer should pay for this military operation, and who would spend money on arms if there were peace and tranquillity.

So finally you would think that after Oklahoma someone would raise their voice and say well there might be a link between that and 911. Perhaps, but not until Mr. Bush has finished the job that was interrupted by Mr. Clinton but started by his father! Besides, I'm sure he would not want to alienate a good section of his voters or friends, not until he has been re elected and he would not want to go against factions that fund his party nor would he want to create a new martyr for the wacky fringes of the American society. Would he?

OK. Even I support some of the changes. For instance I feel more secure with the extra security check in the airports. I feel more comfortable that Terrorist organisations and extremists are being monitored, I also do not have much sympathy for Al Qaida and as far as I am concerned they remind me of the Mullahs who are busy destroying Iran.

But I do fear that being Iranian the US Government could label me as ?enemy combatant? and send me to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and hold me there without any access to a legal representation for as long as they want or I could be picked up whilst spending a holiday in a country such as Indonesia and be illegally extradited to Egypt where I could be interrogated using procedures, including torture that otherwise be illegal in say UK or US.

If conflict starts and Saddam decides to blow a dirty bomb in Seattle then I could end up in internment camp i.e. one similar to the one where the Japanese spend the World War II even though I am Iranian and would have had nothing to do with the Iraqi leader and his action. Better still, I could have a McCarthyite witch-hunt label that would not allow me to be employed in any big firms because of my origins.

Meanwhile irrespective of a link between the likes of Timothy McVeigh and bin Laden, who is doing anything about the Gun-loving-100%-genuine American terrorists and their threat? Am I exaggerating or being pessimistic? If FBI denies racial profiling and then goes after Muslims and Arabs Americans indiscriminately i.e. systematic interviewing of 5,000 people of Arab descent or Human Rights Watch reports which keeps vigil over civil liberties from New York reports that some 1,200 non-citizens have been secretly arrested and incarcerated in connection to September 11 investigation then you will see the presumption of innocence on its head and you would be just as concerned.

American Terrorist? Oh no, heavens forbid. There is no such a thing!

Reference links:

- The Economist: "Civil Liberties" (August 31, 2002)
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Ramin Tork

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September 11
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