I have never heard anyone but Monsoor tell that story. Maybe someone has. If so, I would appreciate an input that would validate his claim.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
March 11, 1997, Tuesday
Section A; Page 22, Column 3
A DANGEROUS FOREIGN-POLICY VACUUM
BY MANSOOR IJAZ
Commentary by Mansoor Ijaz sees vacuum in US foreign policy toward key states in Islamic world: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, the Caspian region and the Sudan; suggests policy of engagement rather than containment; map (M)
The Washington Post
April 29, 1997, Tuesday, Final Edition
A SECTION; Pg. A01
Democratic Fund-Raiser Pursues Agenda on Sudan
David B. Ottaway, Washington Post Staff Writer
Mansoor Ijaz, a 35-year-old businessman, was precisely the kind of political activist the White House was seeking last year to help finance President Clinton's reelection campaign.
Wealthy and well-connected, Ijaz was more than willing to pitch in. By Election Day in November, he had raised $ 525,000 for the Democratic cause,
Having earned access to the Clinton administration through his fund-raising prowess, Ijaz has met with a succession of senior officials in the White House, State Department and Congress to further his business interests through changes in U.S. policy toward Islamic countries, particularly Sudan, a government long accused of sanctioning international terrorism.
In a half-dozen trips to Khartoum since July, Ijaz repeatedly has met with Sudan's president, Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Bashir, and the country's militant Islamic leader, Hassan Turabi, advising them on how to soften the Clinton administration's position, according to Sudanese officials, Ijaz and U.S. officials familiar with his activities.
During that period, Ijaz also met with senior White House and State Department officials -- including Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger, now national security adviser -- to urge a policy toward Sudan of "constructive engagement," which would include enlisting Turabi's help in curbing international terrorists. A White House spokesman confirmed Berger's meeting with Ijaz last August and said the businessman had provided helpful "insight."
Whether Ijaz's activities have had any influence on U.S. policy toward Sudan remains unclear. "We have not found his analysis on Sudan compelling in any way," said David Johnson, a White House spokesman, who added that Ijaz "had provided a valuable perspective."
Besides his session with Berger, Ijaz's U.S. government contacts in recent months have included meetings with Susan E. Rice, special assistant to the president for African affairs; senior officials in the State Department's African affairs office; and several senior members of Congress, including Rep. Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.), ranking minority member on the House International Relations Committee, according to government sources. Ijaz also has had meetings with FBI and U.S. intelligence officials, according to a source familiar with his activities.
Earlier this month, Ijaz returned from another trip to Khartoum with a letter from Bashir to Hamilton. Bashir offered in the letter to allow FBI agents unrestricted access in Sudan to determine whether the government supports international terrorists, according to a Sudanese official. Hamilton, who forwarded the letter to the State Department, said in an interview that he met with Ijaz three or four times in recent months and found him "a very bright, energetic guy" with "a lot of contacts in the Sudan."
"I am of the view that Doctor Turabi has access to every single major fringe radical group on the face of the planet," Ijaz said. "Let's use him to be our bridge to all of these fringe radical groups."
As a precedent, Ijaz cited Turabi's role as a mediator between France and Algerian Islamic militants responsible for bombings in Paris in 1995. He also noted Sudan's cooperation in the 1994 extradition to France of the international terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, also known as "Carlos the Jackal," who had been living for years in Khartoum.
A month after Ijaz first visited Sudan last July, Turabi sent Clinton a letter mentioning that he had met the Pakistani American and saying he strongly supported Ijaz's proposal for "constructive engagement on all fronts."
A senior U.S. official said the administration has not replied to Turabi's letter and regards Sudanese steps toward reconciliation as "cosmetic."
"Actions," the official added, "speak louder than words."
June 10, 1997, Tuesday
CAPITOL HILL HEARING TESTIMONY
HEADLINE: TESTIMONY June 10, 1997
MANSOOR IJAZ, CHAIRMAN CRESCENT INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, LP
HOUSE JUDICIARY CRIME BANNING TRANSACTIONS WITH TERRORIST COUNTRIES
House of Representatives
Committee on the Judiciary
Subcommittee on Crime
Hearing on H.R. 748 "Prohibition on Financial Transactions With Countries Supporting Terrorism Act"
Tuesday, June 10, 1997, 10:00am
Room 2237, Rayburn House Office Building
Testimony of Mansoor Ijaz
Crescent Investment Management, LP
New York, New York 10017
Complete Written Testimony on H.R. 748
Thank you Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Subcommittee on Crime present here today for inviting me to submit views on how legislative body might consider avenues that constructively engage Islamic states which have demonstrated histories of supporting inappropriate activities, some of which must clearly be categorized as terrorism. In the process I advocate, we might find mechanisms that modify their behavior patterns in ways that contribute to protecting American national interests rather than pursuing outdated and ineffective policies of containment which have produced precious few results thus far. For the purposes of this discussion, I will limit my remarks to our bilateral relations with the Sudan, a country we have labeled as a chief sponsor of Islamic terrorism since the early 1990's.
I come before the subcommittee first and foremost as a born American equally concerned about the proliferation of terrorism and extremism, regardless of its ideological form, throughout the world today. As an adherent of the Islamic faith, I am even more concerned about the potentially debilitating consequences for American-Muslims from America's increasingly hostile and standardized policy response of economic sanctions and containment towards problem areas in the Islamic world. We must take great care to avoid demonizing adherents of a religion which is the fastest growing geopolitical force in the world today, a religion that is also the faith of over 7 million Americans who are contributing greatly to the social, economic and political fabric of the United States. We must take great care not to stigmatize the children of American-Muslims whose heritage is Pakistani, Afghani, Syrian, Sudanese, Algerian, Palestinian, Iranian or Iraqi because of the actions of a few whose motives arc born of hatred that has less to do with ideological differences than with their own internal failures and shortcomings.
Again and again, we have witnessed America's failure to cope with the many faces of Islam in the aftermath of the Cold War. Whether in Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia, the Sudan and perhaps in the future even oil powers such as Saudi Arabia, America's inability to effectively deal with Islam's many dimensions represents one of the most serious vacuums in our ability to provide for our own national security. In fact, my appearance here today is demonstrable evidence that Americans of the Islamic faith can play an integral role in defining solutions which might reduce rather than increase tensions with those in the Islamic world we see as a threat to our national interests.
It should be noted here for the record that while I strongly support American efforts to isolate and contain the regimes of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muhammar Gadafi in Libya, two cases that amply demonstrate why America's apprehension of Muslim leaders with the "God complex" (i.e., those who use Islam's monotheism for inappropriate political motives) is justified, we must find more creative ways that do not also punish the people of Iraq and Libya for their frailty and inability to rise up against these dictatorial forces.
The Sudan, however, represents a case where in our zealousness to contain Islamic fanaticism, and its by-product of terrorism, we may have overplayed our hand. We have failed to see the potential benefits from engaging Sudan's Islamists on. three different levels: first, the value of their efforts to modernize Islam; second, enlisting Sudan's Islamic movement to help us in our fight against global extremism, in particular where it 'relates to Islamic extremism and terrorism in countries vital to our geo-political interests; and third, the value of Sudan's relationships going forward with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeda, Afghanistan and other countries that are now and will be in the not-so-distant future vital to our economic interests,
One of the key areas of past controversy has been the activities of Sudan's External Intelligence Department. The unbridled flow of Afghan Arabs and other undesirable characters into and out of the Sudan took place in large measure under the guidance of the External Intelligence Department - until its director was replaced in the wholesale house-cleaning of senior government ministers and technocrats that took place last year. In fact, there is now high-level cooperation between the Sudan and many Islamic countries to stop, or at least properly track, the movements of a significant number of radical and revivalist Muslims.
The Sudan case study smacks of America's worst qualities: arrogance, bullying, cynical misinterpretation and believing what we want to bear rather than looking at the hard facts. America has a choice, this legislative body has a choice; we can continue to sanction and ratchet up pressure on countries where we have little leverage and run the risk of demonizing Islam as a religion. In that case, we may have more to worry about with American-Muslims rising up to have their voices heard en-masse and creating an environment in which the funding for radical Islamic movements will occur right in our own backyard. Or we can try a more engaging approach that does not compromise our principles but seeks to draw out elements that genuinely want to contain radical Islam from within the revivalist Islamic movements of the world, Whether the Sudan represents such potential, or whether they are the engine of radical Islam, I am not qualified to judge. But I am convinced after a year'-long study of the situation that America can design a more creative policy approach if we have the political courage to break ,With the mentality of unilateral economic sanctions as the only deployable "stick".
We should engage Dr. Turabi to be our bridge to the radical fringe of Islam, to explain to them that we are not the demons they seek to portray us as - this would show American vision. We should send our FBI teams to Khartoum at their invitation to sift through and analyze the data on terrorism and then make objective recommendations to the Sudanese on how best to atone for the sins of the past - this would show American fairness. We should send Ambassador Bill Richardson to see SPLA opposition leader John Garang and persuade him that making peace aid sharing in the oil and, grain wealth of the country, something Khartoum would be willing to do if America. brought him to the table, would be far better than endlessly and purposelessly carrying on civil war - this would demonstrate America's power in the only way it should, creating peace and prosperity for those who have never known it.