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Alleged Bin Laden Contact in Iraq Gov't
AP ^ | Aug 12, 2005

Posted on 08/11/2005 11:03:21 PM PDT by Leroy S. Mort

WASHINGTON (AP) - An American accused in court papers of having ties to Osama bin Laden is now working for the Iraqi government's Foreign Ministry, U.S. officials and a former CIA counterterrorism chief say.

Iraqi-born Tarik A. Hamdi was the ``American contact'' for one of bin Laden's front organizations and gave a satellite telephone battery to a bin Laden aide in Afghanistan for a phone used by the terrorist leader, according to an affidavit from Customs Agent David Kane.

The affidavit was unsealed this week in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., along with a federal indictment charging Hamdi with lying on immigration and mortgage loan applications.

Hamdi, formerly of Herndon, Va., is now working at Iraqi diplomatic offices in Turkey, said Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA official who has known Hamdi for years and remains in contact with him through e-mail.

Two U.S. law enforcement officials said they also have been told Hamdi is working for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry in Turkey. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the charges pending against Hamdi.

The State Department declined to comment. Newsweek first reported Hamdi's employment status in its online edition Wednesday.

Hamdi has been under federal investigation and surveillance for several years, stemming from his work at the International Institute of Islamic Thought in northern Virginia. The affidavit was filed in March 2002 to obtain a search warrant for Hamdi's home in Herndon, Va.

Prosecutors have contended at least since 2002 that Hamdi had ``established links'' to bin Laden and other members of al-Qaida, according to a court filing in the case against Zacarias Moussaoui.

Hamdi's role in supplying parts for a satellite telephone has been known to U.S. authorities at least since the 2001 trial of those accused of bombing U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

At the time of the Afghanistan trip, Hamdi was working to facilitate an interview of bin Laden by former ABC News correspondent John Miller, according to the affidavit and Cannistraro, an ABC consultant. The 1998 interview was the most recent of bin Laden by a western journalist.

``I was the one who made the arrangements for the interview. He had the contacts to the contacts,'' said Cannistraro. The FBI ``knew all about it at the time.''

Miller, who now oversees counterterrorism investigations for the Los Angeles Police Department, is on vacation this week, a police spokeswoman said. In a twist, Miller has been offered a job running the FBI's communications division, according to the bureau and Los Angeles police officials.

Cannistraro said he is troubled that prosecutors made public the allegations in the affidavit when they lacked the evidence to charge Hamdi with any terror-related crimes.

``They're making a prejudgment they are not capable of making,'' he said.

On the Net:

The indictment and affidavit: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae/pressroom.html


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 1998; 199804; 19980402; 199805; 19980511; 19980517; 19980528; abc; abcnews; alfawwaz; alhamdi; battery; baumann; binladen; binladeninterview; cannistraro; christopherisham; cia; davekane; davidkane; fallschurchcell; fawwaz; fitzgerald; hamdi; herndon; iiit; isham; jeanniebaumann; johnmiller; kane; khalidalfawwaz; miller; moussaoui; ogara; peterjennings; rashid; satphone; satphonebattery; tarikahamdi; tarikalhamdi; tarikhamdi; tariqahamdi; tariqalhamdi; tariqhamdi; turkey; vincecannistraro; zacariasmoussaoui; ziyadkhaleel; ziyadkhalil

1 posted on 08/11/2005 11:03:23 PM PDT by Leroy S. Mort
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To: Leroy S. Mort

Am I missing something here: He's not being charged with any terror-related crimes, he's being charged regarding INS and mortgage loan stuff. Okay. And his "contact" with bin Laden had to do with arrangements for a Western television interview in 1998. And the reporter he was working with, John Miller, currently oversees counterterrorism investigations for the LAPD and has been offered a job running the FBI's communications division. Okay. So what's the big hoo-hah? This guy's not bin Laden's No. 3 right-hand man....


2 posted on 08/11/2005 11:32:44 PM PDT by RustysGirl
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To: Leroy S. Mort; kcvl; piasa; Cindy; Shermy; backhoe; Ernest_at_the_Beach; PhilDragoo

http://www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/2005/08/more_on_peter_j.html

More on Peter Jennings' Friend, Tariq Hamdi: Indicted for Immigration, Mortgage-Loan Fraud; Flees U.S.


By Debbie Schlussel

What a coincidence! Yesterday, I write about Tariq Hamdi, the man Peter Jennings repeatedly presented as a "journalist" during his 9/11 coverage. And today's Washington Post has an article about Hamdi.

Because I'd written, back in 2001 and since, about Hamdi's ties to Bin Laden--he provided Bin Laden the satellite battery for the attacks on our embassies in East Africa, worked for a charity raided by Customs for laundering billions to Qaeda (International Institute for Islamic Thought), and was an employee of indicted Islamic Jihad chief Sami Al-Arian--I was shocked when Jennings repeatedly presented Hamdi only as "journalist" on 9/11 and post 9/11 attacks (who has ZERO experience as a journalist). Jennings, while mentioning absolutely nothing about Hamdi's disturbing activities, also noted that Hamdi was his friend.

The Washington Post repeats what I've said about Jennings' friend Hamdi, but adds more. Apparently Hamdi was just indicted for immigration and mortgage-loan fraud. The Post repeats what I've written about the Bin Laden satellite battery. It also adds, "ABC did not respond to a request for more information about its relationship with Hamdi."

Here's what I know about ABC's relationship with Hamdi: HAMDI WAS A FRIEND OF PETER JENNINGS. Enough said.

The Hamdi indictment also states that in 1994 Hamdi had been the U.S. representative for the Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights in Saudi Arabia, "a London-based organization that has embraced many of bin Laden's views," according to the Post.

And guess what? Tariq Hamdi has now fled the U.S. Gee I wonder why. Don't count on him coming back to face justice.

Question for ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) press flack Dean Boyd: With everything that was known about him, why was Tariq Hamdi allowed to leave the U.S.?

***UPDATE: ICE spokesman Dean Boyd tells me that ICE believed Hamdi would return to the country, and that it was the U.S. Attorney's Office (Justice Department) that made the bone-headed (my word, not Boyd's) decision to bring down the indictment and have it unsealed after Hamdi left the country and before he returned--which he now never will. Boyd says Hamdi is now a fugitive.

While ICE did its job in this case, this is yet another huge screw-up by our friends at the "Justice" Department.

Posted by Debbie at August 9, 2005 06:57 AM

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The ultra-establishment ABC news reports that Peter Jennings, one of the worst reporters they've ever employed, has passed away. [Read More]

Tracked on August 10, 2005 05:28 PM

It'll should be relatively easy to nab Tariq Hamdi - just put some undercover "grievers" at Jennings' funeral.

Posted by: Thee_Bruno at August 9, 2005 11:11 AM

Thank you for posting this Debbie. I just emailed the WP article to Bill O'Reilly. Listening to O'Reilly talk about Jennings was hilarious, b/c he really doesn't have a clue. He emphatically stated that Jennings was not a left-wing idealogue, then explained why he was always mistaken for being one. I guess O'Reilly thought he was doing Jennings a favor, but he just made Jennings sound like the biggest elitist snob in the world. He also said that Jennings was sympathetic to the Palestinians, (partly due to his being 'married' to a Palestinian), but was certainly not anti-Israel. Wha? Oh, and O'Reilly's entire argument for Jennings not being a liberal? Jennings liked John Leo's writing. Wow. I'm convinced.


3 posted on 08/11/2005 11:33:36 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (The civilized world must win WW IV/the Final Crusade and destroy Jihadism!)
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To: Leroy S. Mort
At the time of the Afghanistan trip, Hamdi was working to facilitate an interview of bin Laden by former ABC News correspondent John Miller, according to the affidavit and Cannistraro, an ABC consultant. The 1998 interview was the most recent of bin Laden by a western journalist.

``I was the one who made the arrangements for the interview. He had the contacts to the contacts,'' said Cannistraro. The FBI ``knew all about it at the time.''

This sounds like Scott Ritter's claim that the CIA knew about his taking money from al Khafaji [and so inhis view, taking bribes from Iraq was OK.] So it was Cannistraro who made the arrangements for the interview of the terrorist leader bin Laden? Just what did those arrangements entail?

Where is John Miller today?

I think it was Ollie North who, a while back, said that some reporters who interviewed Bin Laden were not cooperating with intelligence agencies to give them information which might be useful on bin Laden.

4 posted on 08/11/2005 11:38:38 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: piasa
Nevermind-

Miller, who now oversees counterterrorism investigations for the Los Angeles Police Department, is on vacation this week, a police spokeswoman said. In a twist, Miller has been offered a job running the FBI's communications division, according to the bureau and Los Angeles police officials

Was that interview an effort by the CIA to spy on bin Laden?

5 posted on 08/11/2005 11:40:24 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: Grampa Dave

thanks for that info


6 posted on 08/11/2005 11:41:30 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: Leroy S. Mort

Plus at least one in our "Justice Dept."??????


7 posted on 08/11/2005 11:43:40 PM PDT by Waco
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To: piasa

Tariq Hamdi has been a Jihadist player for a long time has made a few lists here.


8 posted on 08/11/2005 11:53:00 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (The civilized world must win WW IV/the Final Crusade and destroy Jihadism!)
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To: Leroy S. Mort; Cindy; backhoe; kcvl; Howlin; Shermy; Ernest_at_the_Beach

From www.danielpipes.org | Original article available at: www.danielpipes.org/article/383

Bin Laden and Herndon, Virginia
by Daniel Pipes
Jerusalem Post
June 20, 2001

Islamist terrorism has afflicted nearly every Western country and is likely to get worse. One reason is the radicals' aggressiveness; another is the feeble Western response. I personally experienced both of these problems just this past week.

This story began in early 1998, when John Miller of ABC News sought an interview with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Needing an intermediary, his producers found Tarik Hamdi of Herndon, Virginia, a self-described journalist who helped make contacts and then accompanied the ABC news team to Afghanistan.

Hamdi, it turned out, had his own purposes for traveling there; he was to bring Bin Laden a replacement battery for his vital link with the outside world, his satellite telephone. From the remoteness of Afghanistan, Bin Laden could not simply order a battery himself and have it overnighted to him. He needed someone unsuspected to bring it. So, one of Bin Laden's top aides ordered a replacement battery on May 11, 1998, and arranged for it to be shipped to Hamdi at his home in Herndon. Hamdi took off for Afghanistan with Miller on May 17 and shortly afterward personally delivered the battery.

Just over two months later, two bombs went off nearly simultaneously at the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 and wounding thousands.

When the US government brought four of the embassy bombers to trial in New York City this year, it focused on the phone powered by the battery from Herndon; assistant US attorney Kenneth Karas called it "the phone that Bin Laden and the others will use to carry out their war against the United States." The trial also established Hamdi's centrality to Bin Laden.

After five months, a jury found all four bombers guilty of all 302 charges against them, validating the prosecutor's interpretation of Hamdi's role.

Which is where I come in.

Explaining this guilty verdict in The Wall Street Journal on May 31, I co-authored an article with Steven Emerson arguing in favor of this outcome, but pointing out that it did little to protect American lives; defeating Bin Ladin and his murderous gang will require the US government to deploy armed forces, not policemen and lawyers.

The article then focused on the huge body of evidence made public in the trial proceedings, noting that Bin Laden had "set up a tightly organized system of cells" in six American cities, including the small town of Herndon - an allusion to Hamdi.

Picking up on this reference, Jeannie Baumann, a reporter at The Herndon Observer, contacted us to learn more. Emerson explained to her Hamdi's role and several times referred her to the complete court transcripts available in the Internet. But Baumann spurned his offers, replying that her newspaper is "not equipped to handle such information." Instead of doing research, Baumann turned to Herndon's police chief, Toussaint E. Summers Jr., for an opinion. He in turn called the FBI, which told him nothing. From this lack of information, Summers blithely concluded that "there appears to be no truth... at all" to a Bin Laden-Herndon connection.

Baumann then cited this opinion to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), for a statement. Ibrahim Hooper, the spokesman for this Islamist organization (and sometime Bin Laden apologist), pounced on the police chief's statement and declared our Wall Street Journal article inaccurate and prejudicial against Muslims. Baumann's article, published on June 15, then carried the title "Police, Muslims Refute Herndon Link to Terrorism."

This episode clearly demonstrates three problematic Western responses to Islamist violence: law enforcement officials resist the fact that this scourge exists in their jurisdictions. Reporters fail to do the spadework needed to dig out stories in their own backyards. And the most prominent Islamic organizations shamelessly talk away Islamist terrorism and smear anyone who points out the realities of this hideous phenomenon.

If Bin Laden and his band of killers are to be stopped, it will take more vigilance from law enforcement officers like Summers, better journalism from reporters like Baumann, and the rise of moderate Muslims who will take the microphone out of the hands of extremists like Hooper.

__________

Web extra: The Transcripts
Here are the two relevant passages form the New York trial:

Trial Transcript Day 23, March 27, 2001, pp. 3480-3481, tells about a satellite phone battery that was purchased by one Ziyad Khaleel and shipped to Tarik Hamdi's address in Herndon, Va.:

6 And below "customer, Mr. Ziyad Khalil, and to the
7 right, "ship to." Below that, Tarik Hamdi, 933 Park Ave.,
8 Herndon, VA 20170, and that's dated on the right there, May
9 11, 19988. If we could put that on the left side of the
10 screen, and then if we could display on the right side
11 Government Exhibit 1621, one of the documents found at
12 Dewsbury Road.

Trial Transcript Day 37, May 1, 2001, pp. 5292-5294, presents in detail Hamdi's role in the Al-Qaeda network, as explained by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald:

6 So Khalid purchases the [toll] minutes [on the satellite phone] on May 7, he sends
7 the invoice to al Fawwaz, al Fawwaz reimburses him on May 27,
8 and he's telling Ziyad Khalil, I sent you the money, you'll
9 get it.
10 How else do you know that this is the phone that is
11 used by Bin Laden and others in Afghanistan? Well, at some
12 point in 1998 Ziyad Khalil puts a purchase order in for a
13 battery pack to Ogara. If we pull up Government Exhibit 593,
14 this is one of the documents that Marilyn Morelli testified
15 about.
16 This is an invoice from Ogara, and you see on the top
17 left there, "Customer: Ziyad Khalil," and you see that what
18 he is purchasing is the ultra light power supply and the 12VDC
19 mini battery charger. Only Ziyad Khalil does not have it sent
20 to him, he asked, ship to, Tariq Hamdi in Herndon, Virginia.
21 Now, if we pull up Government Exhibit 1621, this is
22 another document found in Khalid al Fawwaz' house in London.
23 By the way, his address is 94 Dewsbury Road, London, England.
24 We'll talk about that a little later on.
25 This is a letter from ABC News from Christopher

5293

1 Isham, a senior producer at ABC News, to Mr. S. Rashid. This
2 is found in Khalid al Fawwaz's house. The first line of the
3 letter reads, "As per our conversations with Tarik Hamdi in
4 Washington, I am confirming our interest in interviewing Mr.
5 Bin Laden for ABC News." So the person to whom the battery
6 pack is getting shipped is working with ABC News to arrange an
7 interview with Bin Laden.
8 And you see the date by the way of the letter, they
9 are trying to arrange to interview April 2, 1998, and the
10 battery pack request comes in on May 11, 1998. So what
11 happens? Government Exhibit 1612 -- maybe we can try the
12 left/right thing again and put this on the left and on the
13 right, if we can try the translation.
14 What you have here is another document found in
15 Khalid al Fawwaz's house in London, and what you see is the
16 document on the left is a fax page from the Islamabad Marriott
17 Hotel, Islamabad City in Pakistan. That's not too far from
18 Afghanistan. It's in the northwest part of Pakistan.
19 And Tariq Hamdi, see it says "a message to Khalid,"
20 and that number 441812084423, that's Khalid al Fawwaz' fax
21 number. And you know that from the telephone records that are
22 in evidence. And it's from Tariq and you see the date on the
23 fax at the top, 17 May 1998. Actually he writes it there, May
24 17, 1998. And what he says is, "Brother Khalid: Peace be
25 upon you. We arrived safely and now we are in the Marriott

5294

1 Hotel and its address is," and he gives the address.
2 So here is the chronology: Ziyad Khalil requests the
3 battery pack on May 11, 1998, on May 17, 1998, and he asks
4 that it be sent to Tariq Hamdi. On May 11, 1998, Tariq Hamdi
5 is getting the battery pack for the telephone number
6 6825053316789. That's May 11. May 17, Tariq Hamdi is in
7 Islamabad on behalf of ABC News and he tells Khalid al Fawwaz
8 we are in Islamabad and we are fine.
9 And you know from a stipulation that on May 28, 1998,
10 ABC News interviewed Bin Laden in Afghanistan. So the battery
11 pack goes from Ziyad Khalil requesting it to shipping it to
12 Tariq Hamdi, to Tariq Hamdi going to Pakistan, and then
13 Afghanistan, where he delivers the battery pack for the phone.
14 And the intermediary in all of this is Khalid al
15 Fawwaz, because he's the guy whose paying Ziyad Khalil for the
16 minutes and he's the guy who arranges for the interview with
17 ABC News and he is the guy getting the message from Tariq
18 Hamdi, the person who delivers the packet.

Prosecutor Fitzgerald's indictment was fully accepted; the jury convicted the defendants on all 302 counts.

________

From www.danielpipes.org | Original article available at: www.danielpipes.org/article/383


9 posted on 08/11/2005 11:58:52 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (The civilized world must win WW IV/the Final Crusade and destroy Jihadism!)
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To: Grampa Dave

Thanks Grampa Dave for the ping.

===

http://www.danielpipes.org/article/383


10 posted on 08/12/2005 12:30:28 AM PDT by Cindy
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To: Grampa Dave; Cindy
Is prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald related to the prosecuter running the Wilson/Pflame....Rovegate hearing?
11 posted on 08/12/2005 8:27:19 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Good find Ernest.

He appears to be the same driven Prosecutor.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55560-2005Feb1.html


12 posted on 08/12/2005 8:33:26 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (The civilized world must win WW IV/the Final Crusade and destroy Jihadism!)
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To: Grampa Dave

I must be missing something, how does a Prosecuter in Chicago get these cases from the East Coast?


13 posted on 08/12/2005 8:37:04 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

'I must be missing something, how does a Prosecuter in Chicago get these cases from the East Coast?'

Ernest,, Fitzgerald is Prosecutor for the US Attorney General's office. He is one of their best and apparently has pounded the Ivy League Criminal lawyers in past in current cases. The comment below is from the Post article about him.


"If you're a prosecutor, you'd be insane if you didn't want to go do that," Fitzgerald says in the well-appointed conference room of the U.S. attorney's office here. "If there was a courtroom and they said someone has to stand up and try him, would I hesitate to volunteer? No. I'm not saying I'd be the best person to try him at that point, but I'd be lying if I told you I wouldn't be interested."


14 posted on 08/12/2005 8:59:54 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (The civilized world must win WW IV/the Final Crusade and destroy Jihadism!)
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To: Grampa Dave

Definitely a good man.

Pinged you to some major happenings in So Cal.


15 posted on 08/12/2005 9:14:26 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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