Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Atta/Prague new information (Edward Jay Epstein)
Edward Jay Epstein ^ | 4/23/04 | Edward Jay Epstein

Posted on 04/23/2004 8:46:16 AM PDT by TrebleRebel

Question:

Three years have passed since the putative meeting in Prague between hijacker Mohammed Atta and Iraq Consul al-Ani. What has the CIA, FBI, Czech intelligence (BIS) and other intelligence services established about the activities of the alleged participants at this meeting?

Answer:

1) Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani served as consul at Iraq's embassy in Prague between March 1999 and April 21, 2001 and he was activity involved in agent-handling during this period. 2) Mohammed Atta applied for a visa to visit the Czech Republic on May 26, 2000 in Bonn, Germany According to Czech visa records, Atta identified himself as being a "Hamburg student." Since a visa was not necessary to catch a Czech plane to the US, Czech intelligence concluded he had business in the Czech Republic. 3) Just prior to leaving for the U.S., Atta made 2 trips to the Czech Republic in 2000. The first was on May 30, where he went without a visa to the transit lounge of Prague International Airport; the second was by bus to Prague on June 2 with visa BONN200005260024. 4) On April 4, 2001, Atta checked out of the Diplomat Inn in Virginia Beach and cashed a check for $8,000 from a SunTrust account, according to the FBI. Atta was not seen again in America by any witness before April 11, 2001. 5) Al-Ani scheduled a meeting on April 8,2001 with a "Hamburg student" according to an appointment calendar subsequently turned up by Czech intelligence in a surreptitious search of the Iraq Embassy (presumably after the defeat of Iraq in April 2003.) 6) Al-Ani was observed meeting a young Arab-speaking man on the outskirts of Prague on April 8th by a watcher for Czech counterintelligence.

7) After seeing Atta’s picture on September 11th, the watcher identified the Arab-speaking man as Mohammed Atta. 8 ) Al-Ani was expelled from Prague less than 2 weeks after that meeting. 9 ) After 9-11, Al-Ani denied that he met Atta , as did the Baghdad government. Al-Ani repeated that denial after he was detained by U.S. forces in July 2003. 10 ) The CIA determined, according to George Tenet testimony before a Joint Committee of Congress (June 18, 2002): “Atta allegedly traveled outside the US in early April 2001 to meet with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague, we are still working to confirm or deny this allegation. It is possible that Atta traveled under an unknown alias since we have been unable to establish that Atta left the US or entered Europe in April 2001 under his true name or any known aliases.” 11) Subsequently, Spanish intelligence found evidence that Algerians Khaled Madani and Moussa Laouar provided false passports to Mohamed Atta and his associate Ramzi bin al-Shibh.


TOPICS: Extended News; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 911; alani; alqaedaandiraq; atta; czechatta; iraq; prague
Contains new information - apparently al-Ani's calendar noted a meeting with "Hamburg student" on April 8. This was exactly the phrse Atta used in his Czech visa application.
1 posted on 04/23/2004 8:46:17 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Shermy; Mitchell; genefromjersey; kattracks
ping
2 posted on 04/23/2004 8:47:42 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Grampa Dave; Cindy; ladyinred; knighthawk; Eurotwit; Sabertooth; swarthyguy; dennisw; yonif
Make sure to archive this, and have these facts ready when the usual idiots and dissemblers say "there's no connection between Iraq and 9-11" or "there's no proof Atta ever met with an Iraqi spymaster in Prague."
3 posted on 04/23/2004 9:08:46 AM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TrebleRebel
Respekt article, but doesn't mention the notebook:

Mohammad Atta’s Decisive Meeting

4 posted on 04/23/2004 9:33:16 AM PDT by Shermy (Where's that ping list...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TrebleRebel
meaning...#5 "appointment calendar"
5 posted on 04/23/2004 9:35:05 AM PDT by Shermy (Where's that ping list...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
Thanks for the ping.

It was always curious how the Atta czeck connection went below the radar.

In enemy territory like Norway I need all the ammo I can get my hands on :-)

Cheers.
6 posted on 04/23/2004 9:38:52 AM PDT by Eurotwit
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Shermy; TrebleRebel; Travis McGee; Allan
Do you find it believable that an appointment calendar entry would not include a name but just a description ("Hamburg student")?
7 posted on 04/23/2004 9:40:45 AM PDT by Mitchell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: TrebleRebel
I thought Czech Intelligence actually monitered the meeting. Is this not the case?
8 posted on 04/23/2004 9:44:46 AM PDT by Zack Nguyen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TrebleRebel
Bump for later.
9 posted on 04/23/2004 9:50:39 AM PDT by Valin (Hating people is like burning down your house to kill a rat)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mitchell; okie01
Absolutely. Not only would it not have its name, Al-Ani himself might not even know Atta's real name. And is Al-Ani a mastermind, or just a messenger?

What kind of calendar? Al-Ani's? Or some general calendar? Maybe to document his leaving the embassy he had give a generic statement. Don't know.

Seems totalitarians like to document things...But then the Czechs might have created it to enhance their story.

For me the telling incident was the blatant disinformation about Vaclav Havel. That put the story beyond a mere conflict between honest disagreements.

10 posted on 04/23/2004 9:55:08 AM PDT by Shermy (Where's that ping list...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Shermy
I think it would have a name. Maybe a fake name, but a name.

Even getting into the buildings of corporations typically requires giving your name, signing in, and often showing some ID.

And it seems awfully convenient that the phrase is apparently an exact match for Atta's self-description on his visa application.

11 posted on 04/23/2004 10:06:29 AM PDT by Mitchell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: TrebleRebel
There was a thread on this late last night. As far as I am concerned it cannot be duplicated too many times. The knowledge of this connection is the key to destroying Bush's/America's enemies.
12 posted on 04/23/2004 10:23:11 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic RATmedia agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mitchell
I think it would have a name. Maybe a fake name, but a name.

Depends on the purpose of the "appointment calendar". Maybe "Hamburg student" is the "name." Or maybe there was a name...was their more info in the doucment? Who wrote it? Was it for Al-Ani? Etc., etc.

Even getting into the buildings of corporations typically requires giving your name, signing in, and often showing some ID.

By the little information given I cannot tell if it was an in-house meeting, or recording a meeting elsewhere. Anyway, certain people need not follow procedures...

And it seems awfully convenient that the phrase is apparently an exact match for Atta's self-description on his visa application.

Maybe. but why not? Note that "student" has a religious significance, eg "Talib". I'd like to see the original language reports.

13 posted on 04/23/2004 11:09:26 AM PDT by Shermy (Where's that ping list...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: TrebleRebel; Mitchell
shaking the memory tree...

Where's that Glenn A. Fine report mentioned by Respekt magazine???
14 posted on 04/23/2004 11:19:09 AM PDT by Shermy (Where's that ping list...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
Thank you Mr. McGee
15 posted on 04/23/2004 12:40:01 PM PDT by Cindy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Mitchell; archy
Do you find it believable that an appointment calendar entry would not include a name but just a description ("Hamburg student")?

Totally! For a meeting between a spymaster and a terrorist leader? Heck yes! It's just to serve as a nudge for the spymaster's memory, it's shorthand code as a precaution. If it had named Atta, it would be much LESS convincing.

16 posted on 04/23/2004 1:02:03 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Cindy; Eurotwit
You're welcome!
17 posted on 04/23/2004 1:03:29 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
Leaves the question, why has the administration sat on this info.

Pakistan I can understand when the head of ISI wired cash to Atta through Omar Sheikh, but why coverup about Iraq's involvement?
18 posted on 04/23/2004 1:06:47 PM PDT by swarthyguy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: swarthyguy; Coop; patton; archy; Dog; risk
I wish I knew. It may be bureaucratic CYA, similar to covering up the John Doe 2 connection in OKC. It's just too embarrassing to drag up old departmental failures, and air them to the world. Nobody wants to put their division on report as a pack of idiots. Much easier to ignore it and just "move forward." In a bureaucratic sense, I mean.
19 posted on 04/23/2004 1:24:26 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
If it had named Atta, it would be much LESS convincing.

Well, I wasn't thinking that Atta's name would appear, but that the entry would have included a fake name. That would have been less suspicious that an entry with no name.

Of course, maybe there was a fake name. We really don't know.

20 posted on 04/23/2004 1:50:23 PM PDT by Mitchell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Mitchell; Travis McGee
I meant:

less suspicious than ...

not

less suspicious that ...

21 posted on 04/23/2004 1:52:28 PM PDT by Mitchell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Mitchell
I think "Hamburg student" is totally plausible. Every service will have their own tradecraft SOPs, which may or may not be followed to the letter by a senior intelligence officer.
22 posted on 04/23/2004 1:56:24 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee; Shermy
The reason I'm skeptical is that the whole al-Ani issue smacks of dueling disinformation campaigns.

I have no idea what the truth is, and I'm unwilling to take statements from either side at face value.

23 posted on 04/23/2004 2:02:18 PM PDT by Mitchell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: swarthyguy
but why coverup about Iraq's involvement?

Some didn't want a "war" with Iraq. They, or their masters/handlers, preferred the status quo.

24 posted on 04/23/2004 2:04:34 PM PDT by Shermy (Where's that ping list...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Mitchell
>>I have no idea what the truth is

As long as Pakistan and Saudi's role in attacking us was not uncovered.
25 posted on 04/23/2004 2:07:02 PM PDT by swarthyguy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Mitchell
The reason I'm skeptical is that the whole al-Ani issue smacks of dueling disinformation campaigns.

A result the disinforming side would be satisfied with.

I have no idea what the truth is, and I'm unwilling to take statements from either side at face value.

Caution always good. Difference is, the "anti" side has no faces. The Czech side is attributed. What motive would they have to come out so early with the info? The only Czech I've seen as an "anti" was some retired fellow who, when analyzed closely, merely questions the April 2001 meeting, not other connections. Where are the American anti faces???

As for the source who spotted Atta...Atta is an unusual looking person, so my opinion bends towards credence on that fact.

26 posted on 04/23/2004 2:20:43 PM PDT by Shermy (Where's that ping list...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: swarthyguy; Mitchell
And who thought up the hijack technique? It was psychologically sophisticated. Released KSM statements avoid this topic.
27 posted on 04/23/2004 2:21:59 PM PDT by Shermy (Where's that ping list...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Mitchell; swarthyguy; Travis McGee; okie01
One more thing...

Consider that the Czechs named the April date just after 9/11.

Afterwards, we find that this date "just happens" to be available in the Atta timeline. That it "just happens" involve a date in the Fine report, or part of which, was not publicized (See Respekt articles). That it "just happens" to involve a date that all publicized American timelines are silent about, or say there is no information about. That the antis never, never offer an alternative location for Atta at that time.

Put another way, other than the Czech reports themselves, is there anything in the mountains of information released about Atta that disproves the Czechs?

Nope. Except for a lie about Vaclav Havel. Isn't it about time the antis prove themselves? And if they can't, don't they deserve at least the same amount of denigration that has been heaped on the Czechs?



28 posted on 04/23/2004 2:31:35 PM PDT by Shermy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

Put another way, other than the Czech reports themselves, is there anything in the mountains of information released about Atta that disproves the Czechs?
29 posted on 04/23/2004 2:34:05 PM PDT by Shermy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Shermy
Well. the technique of intimidating the passengers and the flight crew was "dry runned" in the hijacking of the Indian Airliner in 1999 where a newlywed man's throat was cut, thereby keeping the passengers in their place.

30 posted on 04/23/2004 2:36:09 PM PDT by swarthyguy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: TrebleRebel
It is possible that Atta traveled under an unknown alias since we have been unable to establish that Atta left the US or entered Europe in April 2001 under his true name or any known aliases

Here's what I just love.

I just love how, when you mention the Atta/Prague connection to some anti-warrior, they say (reflexively parroting some talking point they read) "but that's been denied" or "that's been debunked".

But then when you go and look at the actual "debunkings" they are ALL based on things like: "we can't prove Atta left the country". Well, that proves he didn't!

The way the powers-that-be continue to deny and pseudo "debunk" the Atta-in-Prague story only serves to give me more confidence that it's true.

31 posted on 04/23/2004 2:53:02 PM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Frank fan
"The way the powers-that-be continue to deny and pseudo "debunk" the Atta-in-Prague story..."

When you say "the powers-that-be", I presume you are referring to the media and the left's "conventional wisdom".

To my knowledge, neither the President nor the Vice President has ever "debunked" the story. Instead, for "public consumption", they say "there is no convincing evidence that Iraq was involved in 9/11". They have never claimed that there was any evidence to the contrary.

32 posted on 04/23/2004 4:49:09 PM PDT by okie01 (www.ArmorforCongress.com...because Congress isn't for the morally halt and the mentally lame.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: okie01
When you say "the powers-that-be" [who supposedly have debunked Atta/Prague], I presume you are referring to the media and the left's "conventional wisdom".

Sort of. Actually I'm not really *sure* who it is that supposedly debunked the story. I guess in a way I'm referring to the ubiquitous "anonymous FBI sources" or "senior CIA officials" who tend to appear in articles by the likes of Isikoff...

I know that nobody's really debunked the story. (That's my point. :-)

Best,

33 posted on 04/23/2004 5:05:52 PM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Mitchell
Naturally. But if this was a disinformatzia campaign, the Bush Whitehouse would at least be using it!
34 posted on 04/23/2004 10:08:29 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Shermy
All valid points, and unanswerable.
35 posted on 04/23/2004 10:09:41 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Frank fan; Shermy
As far as traveling out of the country to visit Prague: hello! If you are going to visit the head of the Iraqi intelligence in Europe, don't you think false travel documents would be provided??? Well DUHH!!!

The folks who claim "no proof that Atta left the country" must think we were born last night.

36 posted on 04/23/2004 10:12:30 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
But if this was a disinformatzia campaign, the Bush Whitehouse would at least be using it!

I would say that whatever disinformation is going on does not appear to be associated with the White House.

37 posted on 04/24/2004 9:08:27 PM PDT by Mitchell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Mitchell
I'm as mystified as anybody.
38 posted on 04/24/2004 9:15:11 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: TrebleRebel
Bump for later.
39 posted on 04/24/2004 9:23:07 PM PDT by Springman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
Every service will have their own tradecraft SOPs, which may or may not be followed to the letter by a senior intelligence officer.

For example, Former CIA Director John Deutch's failure to follow procedure when he took highly sensitive intelligence files to his own house...

40 posted on 04/24/2004 9:36:41 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
Those folks also never mention that immigration has Atta entering the US TWICE on the same day.
41 posted on 04/24/2004 9:41:04 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
Pardon me...Those folks also never mention that CUSTOMS has Atta entering the US TWICE on the same day.
42 posted on 04/24/2004 9:41:43 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: piasa
To say the least!
43 posted on 04/24/2004 9:41:47 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: piasa
bttt
44 posted on 04/24/2004 9:45:05 PM PDT by nopardons
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
Hey- it's off-topic but here's a fun bit o' trivia to chew since the Oil for Food scandals, gas prices, and refilling the oil reserves have been in the news lately:

1997 : (OIL RESERVES SCANDALS : ELK HILLS BUYOUT : CLINTON ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES PLAN TO SELL THE US NAVY'S ELK HILLS OIL & GAS RESERVE TO OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM) In 1997 the White House announced a plan to sell the Navy's Elk Hills oil and gas reserve, one of the nation's most substantial energy resources, to Occidental Petroleum. "It was the largest privatization of federal property in U.S. history, one that tripled Occidental's U.S. oil reserves overnight," reported the Center for Public Integrity's Charles Lewis in his recent book, "The Buying of the President 2000."
The Elk Hills buyout was great news for Occidental stockholders, of whom the most prominent was Albert Gore Sr., the vice president's father. Upon his father's death in 1998, Gore took control of his estate, including $500,000 worth of Occidental stock. During the Reagan and Bush administrations, Congress had resisted similar attempts to privatize the nation's energy resources, but it relented when the $3.65 billion Occidental buyout was proposed as one of Gore's "reinventing government" plans. The oil company has a long and mostly overlooked relationship with the Gore family, with Gore's father becoming known inside the halls of Congress as "the Senator from Occidental."
Not only did the relationship enrich Gore Sr., but Occidental has donated more than $470,000 in soft money to various Democratic committees since Gore Jr. became Clinton's sidekick in 1992, reported Lewis. The VP himself has received over $35,000 in Occidental contributions. - "'Investigate Gore's Occidental Conflict,' Cheney Challenges Press," Carl Limbacher and NewsMax.com Staff , Sunday August 27, 2000; 8:46 PM EDT

45 posted on 04/24/2004 9:46:40 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

bump
46 posted on 04/24/2004 9:57:52 PM PDT by XHogPilot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mitchell
There are some old posters that we need around now to help with this. I hear it's bad karma to ping them once they're banned.
47 posted on 04/24/2004 10:12:21 PM PDT by txhurl (The Jihadists: spectacular media violence, zero military significance, huge psych significance.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: txflake
There are some old posters that we need around now to help with this. I hear it's bad karma to ping them once they're banned.

I don't know if it's bad karma or not, but I would say that it's pointless!

48 posted on 04/25/2004 1:44:09 AM PDT by Mitchell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: TrebleRebel
Can someone bring me up to speed on this? I've finished Gertz' book, breakdown, and he stands by the claim that there was this meeting, though Newsweek and other leftists claim there wasn't. These same folks are dumping on the Weekly Standard's article last fall.
49 posted on 05/02/2004 8:21:11 PM PDT by 1L
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 1L; TrebleRebel
The meeting was affirmed publicly by Czech officials, and denied by anonymous US intelligence officials speaking to journalists. The New York Times ran a denial that was particularly deceptive (details here and here). I believe Isikoff and Hosenball of Newsweek also served as a channel for denials, or perhaps they just bring it up a lot as an example of a bogus connection to Iraq.

No-one denies that Atta went to Prague previously, in June 2000. Robert Baer, in his books See No Evil and Sleeping with the Devil, says Khalid Sheikh Mohammed relocated to Prague after evading an FBI attempt to catch him in Qatar in 1997. Prague was also the location of a 1998 plot by Iraq to bomb the towers of Radio Free Europe.

50 posted on 05/06/2004 7:23:47 AM PDT by apokatastasis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson