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Spain links Syrian cabal to Sept. 11 plot--Prosecutors follow the money trail
Chicago Tribune ^ | October 19, 2003 | John Crewdson, Drew Crosby

Posted on 10/19/2003 4:03:02 PM PDT by SJackson

By John Crewdson, Tribune senior correspondent. Reporting and research assistance was provided by Drew Crosby in Madrid

MADRID -- The most sweeping criminal indictment to arise thus far from the Sept. 11 attacks reflects a quiet but dramatic change in understanding by investigators here and across Europe of the terrorist organization known as Al Qaeda, and the international Islamic radical-terrorist network of which, they now agree, it is merely a part.

As laid out in the indictment, the defendants' alleged activities--from arranging travel and providing introductions to procuring false documents and, especially, moving money--provide the first detailed look at one of Al Qaeda's most potent weapons: the ability to call on networks of sympathizers whose collective numbers are far greater than Al Qaeda's few hundred card-carrying members.

Not one of the dozen key defendants named here last month as members or supporters of an alleged Madrid-based cell accused of working for Al Qaeda and helping advance the Sept. 11 plot is a native of Spain, or even nearby Muslim North Africa.

Instead, all migrated to Spain from Syria, where--according to the Spanish indictment--most became affiliated with an ultramilitant Islamic group called the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.

Virtually from the moment of the Sept. 11 attacks, investigators in Europe and the U.S. were perplexed by what appeared to be a Syrian connection to the hijackings, both here and in Hamburg, Germany, whose university campuses produced three of the four Sept. 11 pilots and several accused or convicted accomplices.

At first, some questioned whether the Syrian government had perhaps known of the plot, or even whether Syrian intelligence had somehow been involved. Neither now appears to be true, investigators say, citing Syria's limited but useful cooperation with Western intelligence agencies attempting to unravel the connection between Sept. 11, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

One senior German intelligence official described the Muslim Brotherhood as "one part of the intelligence network of the mujahedeen." The Brothers, the official said, are not an extension of Al Qaeda but affiliated with it in the same way as Indonesia's Jemaah Islamiyah, which reportedly financed last year's Bali nightclub bombings with $30,000 provided by Al Qaeda, or a Salafist group in Morocco that allegedly used $50,000 in Al Qaeda money to pay for five suicide bombings in Casablanca earlier this year.

When Al Qaeda first appeared on the terrorist scene in the early 1990s, the Muslim Brotherhood was already well-established. It was 70 years ago last year that the Syrian Brotherhood, an offshoot of the even older Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, first dedicated itself to the overthrow of Syria's secular government.

In 1982, the Syrian army struck in an attempt to wipe out the organization, killing 5,000 to 10,000 Muslim Brothers in the Syrian city of Hama.

On to new lives

(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
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To: Cindy

Zouaydi is starting the last year of a 9 year sentence. In Bill Ayers words, in a year he’ll be free as a bird. Only in his early 50s, and I suspect still not only rich but able to reactivate his old connections.


21 posted on 02/14/2013 3:48:05 PM PST by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do !)
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To: Cindy

thank you


22 posted on 02/14/2013 5:26:05 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
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To: SJackson
Yep... the al Jazeera reporter who was enabling the hijackers is out already.

Maybe he can get a job on Current TV. Al-Thanni, al-Azzam, al-Gore, what's the difference.

Not one of the dozen key defendants named here last month [Sept 2003] as members or supporters of an alleged Madrid-based cell accused of working for Al Qaeda and helping advance the Sept. 11 plot is a native of Spain, or even nearby Muslim North Africa.
Instead, all migrated to Spain from Syria, where--according to the Spanish indictment--most became affiliated with an ultramilitant Islamic group called the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
Virtually from the moment of the Sept. 11 attacks, investigators in Europe and the U.S. were perplexed by what appeared to be a Syrian connection to the hijackings, both here and in Hamburg, Germany, whose university campuses produced three of the four Sept. 11 pilots and several accused or convicted accomplices.

23 posted on 02/14/2013 5:34:11 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]


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