Skip to comments.Bin Laden In Turkey Twice
Posted on 10/31/2001 11:42:23 PM PST by Pericles
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I'm coming to the conclusion that Bin Laden is the sixth (?) member of the Beach Boys. He really gets around! I think there may be a song in there somewhere.
. 'Bin Laden is a product of the U.S. spy agencies, according to an article in the Tribune de Genève by Richard Labévière, writer of the book Les dollars de la terreur, les États Unis et les islamistes.
The first contact with Bin Laden was in 1979, when the new graduate from the Univ. of Jedah got in touch with the U.S. embassy in Ankara, Turkey. With the help of the CIA and the U.S. Armed Forces intelligence services he began to organize in the early 1980s and network to raise money and to recruit fighters for the Afghan mujahidins that were fighting the Soviets. He did this from the city of Peshawar in Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan.
Part of these activities were financed with the production and sale of morphine, the base of heroin. This was the beginning of today Al Qaida (the base) network led by Bin Laden. Indeed the chickens are coming home to roost for the CIA and U.S. bosses.
By THOMAS GOLTZ
ISTANBUL A handful of Chechen and "Chechenized" bureaucrats are working against the clock to cement commercial and political ties between the breakaway Russian republic and the rest of the world. What's unusual is that they're doing so here from a three-story Turkish villa in the wooded heights above the Bosporus.
Istanbul has become the de facto, if not de jure, seat of government of Chechnya. Now that the guns are silent, Checnya's leaders hope to move as quickly as possible from being a guerrilla movement to becoming a functioning government and to do that, working telephones are needed. Istanbul has got them; Grozny, the official Chechnyan capital, does not.
"Qatar is on the phone," shouts a secretary, and Mansour Jachimczyk interrupts a conversation with an American woman in New York who specializes in "negotiation deadlock" to take the call from the Gulf, slipping from English into Russian and then into his native Polish before going back to English again.
Krakow-born but Muslim-convert Jachimczyk is a man of many languages and many titles. His business card reads "Secretary General of the International Roundtable for the Reconstruction of Chechnya, Peace in the Caucasus and Democracy in Russia and Chief Advisor to the Government of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria on Foreign Affairs and International Relations."
"One of our major projects right now is to create sister-city relationships between Grozny and other Chechen towns with major cities in Europe, the Middle East, Japan and America," Mansour explains. "Thus, if war resumes, there will be a ready network in place to protest to a number of different governments."
A renewal of war appears, for the moment at least, unlikely. Up to 20,000 Russian troops have left the battle-scarred republic while the pro-independence rebels are slowly establishing complete control of Grozny, the capital. Still, Grozny, and much of the rest of Chechnya, has been devastated. Communications from Grozny have been completely destroyed.
Meanwhile, "consulates" have been established in a score of foreign capitals, with most of the "ambassadorships" having been appointed from the Istanbul office to devoted supporters of the Chechen cause like Mansour. A series of conferences bringing together scholars, human-rights activists and politicians are also in the works. One was already held in Istanbul; the next is planned for Warsaw in December, then Tokyo, London and Washington in the spring of 1997.
The minister of foreign affairs, Rouslan Chimaev, and the minister of health, Dr. Umar Hambiev, make Istanbul the main seat of their activities, while other high-ranking officials in the Chechen government come and go with frequency. The equivalent of the head office of the Chechen information and news service is now based in Istanbul as well.
The mansion overlooking the Bosporus is also the occasional domicile of Alla Dudayev, the Russian-born widow of the late president of Chechnya, Djokhar Dudayev, who still remains the most resonant symbol of Chechen resistance to Russian rule in the breakaway republic. "My husband was only one of many, many martyrs who died for Chechen independence," says Mrs. Dudayev. "Our task now is to make sure their deaths were not in vain."
Another reason for the Chechnya-Istanbul connection is that Istanbul is a friendly venue for a government not recognized by anyone else in the world. Not only is public opinion in mainly Muslim Turkey squarely on the side of the Chechens, but the city is home to a large and very active diaspora community who emigrated from Chechnya to the Ottoman Empire during the 19th century.
"I think we can be proud of our contribution to the Chechen struggle over the past few years," says Fazil Ozen, chairman of the Chechen Solidarity Committee in Istanbul, which has funneled millions of dollars (and not a few fighting men) into Chechnya since 1994.
Communication between Istanbul and Grozny, however, remain problematic. While satellite telephone links are possible (the Soviet-era telephone system was bombed to bits during the war), physically getting in and out of Chechnya still requires sneaking in and out, often over the mountains. "It is pretty tough going sometimes, especially if you are carrying a lot of luggage," says minister of health Dr. Hambiev, dressed in a black suit and looking more like a banker than a front-line surgeon, which he was during the war.
Meanwhile, multi-lingual Mansour Jachimczyk is back on the mobile telephone, making last minute arrangements for Foreign Minister Chimaev's trip to France, which, he hopes, will be the first country to officially recognize Chechnya as an independent state. Israel and Poland are the other chief candidates for that honor.
"Someday, I will slow down and be able to go home and build my house, as planned," he says, reaching for his attaché case and heading for the Mercedes waiting outside the door.
Where is that?
Thomas Goltz, a long-time foreign correspondent, was a finalist for the Rory Peck Prize for his documentary on the town of Samashki in Chechnya, which was broadcast on PBS in 1996. His book on Azerbaijan, "Requiem for a Would-Be Republic," will be re-issued by ME Sharpe (USA) early next year.
© Pacific News Service