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Brigitte spills beans on Aussie terror plan
Herald Sun (Australia) ^ | 10/18/2004 | Ben English

Posted on 10/18/2004 5:26:56 AM PDT by Saberwielder

Brigitte spills beans on Aussie terror plan

Ben English


WILLIE Brigitte has told French investigators of his extraordinary journey from failed butcher to linchpin in an al-Qaida plan to launch a terror attack on Australia.

He has detailed the high-altitude paramilitary training he undertook in a vast camp overlooking the Himalaya in which he and thousands of other jihad warriors were schooled in terrorism.

And he has told of how Osama bin Laden's allies have penetrated the Pakistani Army to thwart US efforts to crack terrorist training operations in the remote Pakistani mountain regions that border Afghanistan.

A year after the French national was captured in a western Sydney apartment with documents indicating he was planning to launch an attack on Australian targets, his interrogation transcripts can be revealed in detail for the first time.

The transcripts give a rare insight into the networks of people prepared to join the global Islamist jihad against the West.

Brigitte told investigators the camp where he was trained in the use of explosives, small arms and terror tactics was a sophisticated three-tiered mountain complex close to the Indo-Pakistani border.

Brigitte was grouped with other foreign recruits, including American and British citizens of Pakistani origin.

"There were between 2000 and 3000 mujahidins," Brigitte told French anti-terror judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere.

"I remember it was very impressive because we gathered every morning and shouted Allah Akbar (God is Great). What was more, the site was imposing since one could see the outline of the Himalaya."

The camp was run by Lashkar e Toiba or Army of the Pure, an al-Qaida affiliated terror network that emerged in the late 1980s from an insurgency campaign to wrest Kashmir from Indian control.

Brigitte said LET was filled with soldiers from the Pakistani Army whose government has vowed to lead the battle against terrorism in this strife-torn tribal region.

But Brigitte said the Pakistani soldiers worked to sabotage efforts by the West to fight bin Laden and his allies.

"There was complete complicity between Lashkar e Toiba and the Pakistani Army," Brigitte said in a secret interrogation in the Paris judicial chambers of Mr Bruguiere on December 3 last year.

"Furthermore, the weapons were provided by the army. The munitions were brought in by night between the first and second levels (of the camp).

"There was everything – munitions, arms and food. We had the feeling that these weapons came from the Pakistani Army.

"There were American M16s, French FAMS, kalashnikovs and makarovs. All the identification numbers had previously been removed."

Brigitte said that, on several occasions, he was ordered to remove any evidence of military activity. The camp leaders had been warned a raid by a coalition of CIA agents and Pakistani soldiers was imminent.

"I can remember four raids by the Pakistani Army," Brigitte said. "They always asked the foreign volunteers, of whom I was one, to clean up the camp and particularly to collect the cartridge cases and cartridges.

"There were no more than 15 Pakistani soldiers who came to carry out these checks with the same number of Americans.

"We were told that they were CIA agents who had come to check for the presence of foreign mujahidins."

Brigitte stayed at the camp for six weeks before returning to Paris early in 2002.

According to his flatmate in Paris, Ibrahim Keita, Brigitte had returned under orders to organise a sleeper cell in the French capital.

"Brigitte did explain to me that he had been sent back to France in order to make contact with a certain number of people," Keita told Judge Bruguiere.

"They were individuals who had either already fought or who had taken training in camps like him as I understood it."

Keita confirmed that during this time Brigitte had again borrowed 100 Euros, explaining that "he had combatants to look after".

Brigitte was acting under orders from his mentor at the LET camp, known as Sajid Abu Braa, a 30-year-old Pakistan Army soldier in charge of foreign recruits to the jihad cause.

Abu Braa, who travelled with two personal bodyguards, was a close associate of the camp's leader, known only as Zakerahmane, who in Afghanistan was bin Laden's right-hand man.

Keita said when Brigitte was in Australia, he contacted him and asked him to join him in a terror plot. He said was not specific about the nature of the planned attack.

Brigitte was arrested at his Wiley Park flat on October 9. Officials found maps of Australian nuclear sites, including the Lucas Heights reactor in Sydney's south and the Perth headquarters of Australia's elite SAS unit.

He was repatriated to France on October 17, where he remains imprisoned in Paris's Fleury Merogis Jail, under investigation for conspiring to commit acts of terror.

His lawyers are attempting to challenge his imprisonment on the technical issue of how he was repatriated to France.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: abubraa; armyofthepure; australia; braa; brigitte; france; frenchagitprop; ibrahimkeita; isi; keita; lashkar; lashkaretaiba; lashkaretoiba; let; musharraf; osamabinladen; pakistan; paris; pariscell; sleepercell; sleepercells; sydneycell; zakerahmane; zakiramin

1 posted on 10/18/2004 5:26:57 AM PDT by Saberwielder
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To: Saberwielder

The above report should be quite sobering. The level of penetration of the Pakistan army by Al Qaeda seems to be massive at the lower levels.

2 posted on 10/18/2004 5:28:12 AM PDT by Saberwielder
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To: Saberwielder

Wow, at first glance I was expecting an article about Sylvester Stallone's ex. Guess I didn't get enough sleep.

3 posted on 10/18/2004 5:29:05 AM PDT by bd476 (Charity begins at home with the family. Clarity begins right after the first cuppa coffee.)
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To: Saberwielder

The last line speaks volumes.

4 posted on 10/18/2004 5:30:59 AM PDT by Colosis (Just when you think you've won the rat race along come faster rats.)
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To: Colosis
True. But I think even France has little interest in shielding Islamic terrorists.

Australia is in the Al Qaeda cross hairs because the Aussie goverment did not chicken out from Iraq amd Howard has been solidly with us.

5 posted on 10/18/2004 5:36:03 AM PDT by Saberwielder
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To: Saberwielder
Brigitte said the Pakistani soldiers worked to sabotage efforts by the West to fight bin Laden and his allies.

France would like nothing better than to drive a wedge between the US and Pakistan.

6 posted on 10/18/2004 5:46:58 AM PDT by RGSpincich
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To: Saberwielder
But, but terrorism is just a nuisance making camps a total myth.
7 posted on 10/18/2004 5:59:27 AM PDT by mtbopfuyn
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To: RGSpincich

So you trust Pakistan ?

8 posted on 10/18/2004 6:01:34 AM PDT by Atlantic Friend ( Cursum Perficio)
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To: Saberwielder overlooking the Himalaya ...

This camp must be on one really high mountain.

9 posted on 10/18/2004 6:14:33 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Doctor Stochastic

Do not trust anything coming out of the French intelligence services.

Second, this guy was caught on October 9th, a few days ago, and his entire life resume and terrorist links and terrorist plans get leaked out right away. C'mon.

10 posted on 10/18/2004 6:19:50 AM PDT by JustDoItAlways
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