Monday, December 17, 2007

Excerpt from Psychic Dictatorship in the USA II: US Support of Global Terrorism


Part I: An American Pinay Circle

Part II: Richard Perle's Narco-Terrorist Business Partner

Part III: Al Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf & the CIA’S Terror Incubator in the Philippines

Part IV: Adnan Khashoggi, Alexander Voloshin & the 1999 Moscow Bombings

“... The sky burns,
A copper roof over the shriveled corn.
Children and camels gasp in the noonday heat.
Enemies sweat in their steel, cry out at night,
And wake up trembling, wet with fright.
We squat and stare
Across the nervous barbs,
tied by our common dreads...”
– Aubrey Hodes, “Hating”

I An American Pinay Circle

Adnan Khashoggi’s mercenary army of global corporate criminals lives in Mafia mansions, basks in the political limelight, enjoys privileges of royalty in tyrannical desert dystopias, sips vodka in the shadow of gleaming Moscow spires. They are kings, Pentagon officials, priests, S&L thieves, assassins, prostitutes, nazis, Big Oil executives, metals merchants, New Age cultists, drug barons, boiler-room con artists, mobsters, dictators by the horde. And terrorists, of course.

Khashoggi is a Turkoman, the son of a doctor who tended to Abdul al-Aziz Ibn Saud. The Khashoggi brothers were classmates of the future King Hussein and several sons of the bin Ladens.1 His career as an international “connector” began in the 1950s, while still an undergraduate at Chico State College. His purchase of fifty Kenworth trucks for resale to Saudi Arabia’s bin Laden Group demonstrated his business savvy, and provided him the capital to launch his career as world-class death merchant.

In the early 1960s, he could be found languishing in the sun or plotting world domination at Edwin Pauley’s Coconut Island estate in Hawaii. Pauley, then Democratic Party chairman, operated an oil company called Zapata with the son of Prescott Bush, the Nazi collaborator.2

Houston attorney Linda Minor sidelines as an investigator into banking and political malfeasance. She discovered that Pauley was a slimy operator years before his alliance with Bush.

“He was a spy within the White House,” Minor says, “acting as a funnel for campaign funds to FDR, while at the same time gathering and transmitting information about oil policy and captured Nazi and Japanese assets back to his California business associates.”

Pauley's political significance stems from his participation in Gulf of Mexico oil explorations in the 1950's when, with an oil concession from Mexico, he threw in with Howard Hughes and George H.W. Bush.

“Pauley taught Bush how to launder money through corporate subsidiaries to be used for payoffs and the financing of political campaigns,” Minor notes. “Both Pauley and Bush used this system to finance Richard Nixon's presidential campaigns.”

The laundering scheme unraveled after the 1972 election, when a check drawn at a Mexican bank – the subsidiary of a Houston corporation controlled by associates of Bush the elder - surfaced in the Miami bank account of a Watergate plumber.3

Saudi shiekhs and domestic oil barons struck up alliances. Shiekh Kamal Adham and a circle of cohorts founded Arabian Shield Development Co. in Texas. (since re-named the Arabian American Development Company).

Sheikh Mohammad Salem Bin Mahfouz at National Commercial Bank was an Arabian Shield investor.4 “During the 1980's,” reports Martin J. Rivers of the Center for Research on Globalization, “Sheikh Mahfouz's syndicate performed major CIA-inspired banking operations for such former CIA assets as Osama bin Laden ... Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega and other drug dealing generals. George W. Bush, for his part, had important business relationships ... with a total of nine prominent individuals central to Mahfouz's financial empire.”5

The early 1970s also brought Saudis recruited by the CIA to train at American military bases, including Prince Bandar bin Sultan.6

After September 11, 2001, Bandar drew the attention of the press when it was discovered that two of the terrorists involved were found to have received financing from the Prince's wife. Bandar trained at Ellington AFB near Houston.7

In the early 1970s, the prince fell in with James A. Baker's social circle, struck up an alliance with Joanne Herring, who was instrumental in luring Texas Democrat Charlie Wilson to support Gul Hekmatyar of the Muslim Brotherhood chaptger in Afghanstan by the late '70s.

The Big Oil-CIA-Saudi alliance was consummated with the establishment of the Safari Club of elite cut-throats, founded with covert Agency support on Sept. 1, 1976. George Herbert Walker Bush was then director of the Agency,. Nelson Rockefeller was vice president under Ford.

The Safari Club was a CIA cut-out: This clutch of intelligence agents, politicians and businessmen from three countries (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran) was founded with the express purpose of engaging in covert operations in Africa and the Middle East without leaving a CIA footprint.

Chicago Tribune book reviewer Padam Ahlawa neatly summarized the tensions that gave rise to the Safari Club: “The origins of world terrorism go back to the cold war era. Moscow’s monumental blunder in invading Afghanistan in 1979 set off a sequence of intrigue-laden events in Afghanistan.... High-profile military operations were out. Carter wanted a covert CIA operation like the one it had carried out in Laos, with no US personnel directly involved. The Agency, it was decided, would co-opt specialized American military personnel with the support of the Pakistan military to train an army of Muslim zealots.”

Anwar Sadat entered into an agreement to assist in the training and equipping of recruits for the coming Anti-Communist jihad. “Russian weapons were flown to Afghanistan. Encouraging fundamentalism to grow in Egypt had its fallout when these Mujahadins turned hostile to Sadat for signing the peace treaty with Israel. It led to Sadat’s assassination and terrorist acts of killing 58 tourists. Zia ul Haq of Pakistan made the best of this opportunity, created the ISI to train Pakistanis and Afghans. By doing this, Pakistan’s economic and social instability increased and terrorist acts in Sindh grew.”8

The Safari Club’s cover was blown when the Ayatollah Khomeini allowed an Egyptian reporter to peek into the archives of the exiled Shah of Iran – a Club member.9 The CIA/Safari Club left footprints in the destabilization campaign at Mengistu in Ethiopia, the unrest in Costa Rica, and there were treadmarks all over Iran-Contra, not to mention the funding of UNITA in Angola and the Afghan “freedom fighters,’ including bin-Laden.10

The CIA funded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1977, and trained Mujahadin to support Hekmatyar of the Brotherhood in Afghanistan. The Koran-happy Muslim Brothers have served the CIA operationally for some 40 years, an arrangement rubber-stamped by Allen Dulles, Frank Wisner and Kermit Roosevelt.

Airline hijacker Mohammed Atta was ID’d as a Muslim Brother in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times shortly after the jet attacks on the World Trade Center. So were Khalid Shaik Mohammed and Ramzi Yousef, reportedly guided to a sacrificial pyre in the sky by Aman Zawahiri, Al Qeada’s second-in-command – also a co-conspirator, while operating under the aegis of the CIA, in the murder of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and the 1993 WTC bomb plot.


1) Roland Jacquard, In the Name of Osama Bin Laden, Duke University Press, 2002,

2) Bruce Campbell Adamson, letter to Congressman Sam Farr, September 15, 2001,

33) Linda Minor, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road: From Harvard to Enron,”,30,02,harvardtoenronpt4.htm

4) LB, e-mail exchange with author, October 2, 2004.

5) Martin J. Rivers, “A Wolf in Sheikh’s Clothing: Bush Business Deals with Nine Partners of bin Laden’s Banker,”, March 15, 2004,

6) Anonymous, “Bandar bin Sultan, a CIA Agent,” House of Saud web site,

7) LB.

8) Padam Ahlawat, “Journalists’ account of terrorism,” Chicago Tribune, May 5, 2002 – review of Unholy Wars. Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism, by John K. Cooley, Penguin.

9) Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, review of Unholy Wars, Journal of Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations, Minaret of Freedom Institute,

10) Dr Samir Rihan, “Arms or democracy, but not both,”

11) Debbie Schlussel, “Bush's Favorite Terrorist Buddy,” WorldNetDaily, October 1, 2001.

The House hearings on Iran-contra culminated in 1987 with a report that deftly mentioned Richard Secord's plan to construct an enterprise of his own in the bulk manufacture of "opium alkaloids."1 Opium? This curious detail floated by without comment and eventually drowned in a flood of perjury and hot air.

The committee didn't bother to follow up on that one. Better late than never to ask: "Opium alkaloids ... as in the base compound for the production of heroin?" It's doubtful we'll ever know the answer. And the explanation could be innocent, to be completely fair - Secord may have invented a cure for peptic ulcers or sexual impotence ... but heroin would appear the likeliest explanation ... given the cost of global conquest these days ...

Even Adnan Khashoggi has financed wars with drug profits, the gist of a report written in 1991 at the Pentagon – declassified in July 2004 by the National Security Archives in Washington – of 104 "more important Colombian narco-terrorists contracted by the Colombian narcotic cartels for security, transportation, distribution, collection and enforcement of narcotics operations in both the U.S. and Colombia."

Pablo Escobar is on the list. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is also on it.

Uribe, according to the document, is a "Colombian politician and senator dedicated to collaboration with the Medellin cartel at high government levels." He was "linked to a business involved in narcotics activities in the U.S. His father was murdered in Colombia for his connection with the narcotic traffickers." He has "worked for the Medellin cartel," according to the DoD report, and "is a close personal friend of Pablo Escobar Gaviria.... He has participated in Escobar's political campaign to win the position of assistant parliamentarian to Jorge [Ortega]..."

Adam Isaacson, a scholar at the Center for International Policy (CIP) in Washington, cast doubt on the Pentagon's intelligence. After all, the CIP scholar explained, Adnan Khashoggi's name was on it, so the list must be in error...

But the National Security Archives responded that the document as "accurate and easily verifiable. It is evident that a significant amount of time and energy went into compiling this report."

Remember, the word used by the Pentagon to describe the traffickers listed in the report, including Khashoggi, was "narco-terrorist." So Richard Perle, assistant secretary of defense under Bush, a business partner of Khashoggi's at TriReme Corp., was in business with a narco-terrorist, according to the Pentagon's own records.

President Uribe also denied the allegations regarding himself – not so easy to explain away, however, was the 1984 seizure of his father's helicopter by Colombian police on narcotics charges, or his brother's telephone number, stored in the memory bank of a cell phone belonging to Escobar.2

Ignoring the Pentagon's own intelligence on the narco-presidenté, President Bush paid Uribe a call in August 2003. Anti-war activist-reporter Jim Lobe reported: "The administration of President George W. Bush on Monday rallied behind Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in the face of allegations contained in a 13-year-old Pentagon intelligence report that he was a close personal friend' of drug lord Pablo Escobar and had worked for his Medellin drug cartel."

"We completely disavow these allegations about President Uribe," said State Department spokesman Adam Ereli. "We have no credible information that substantiates or corroborates these allegations that appeared in an unevaluated 1991 report, linking President Uribe to the narcotics business or trafficking."

Isaacson said, "It's something the left has been trying to pin on him for awhile, and this gives them new ammunition." However, he acknowledged, "in the big picture, almost everybody in Colombia's ruling class was mixed up in drugs until [former U.S. President] Ronald Reagan declared war on drugs in the mid-1980s."3 Narcotics have fuelled the flames of revolution and regime change, political assassinations and bomb plots, the "war on drugs" notwithstanding.

Another drug runner in this underground empire was Henry Asher, founder of DataBase, the ChoicePoint appendage. In a report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Asher admitted to smuggling drugs in 1982. Police developed "corroborating information" that "during 1981 and 1982, Asher piloted five to seven plane loads of cocaine from Colombia to the United States." Asher admitted that he had shown "a lack of judgment," according to the report. The remorseful millionaire cooperated with the FBI and agreed to be a federal "informant." He was freed and went on to set up a "total awareness" surveillance operation, but we'll come to that, too ...4

Another drug pilot on contra supply missions was Frank Moss who, according to the Kerry Report, "has been under investigation as an alleged drug trafficker since 1979. Moss has been investigated, although never indicted, for narcotics offenses by ten different law enforcement agencies. In addition to flying contra supply missions through SETCO, Moss formed his own company in 1985, Hondu Carib, which also flew supplies to the Contras, including weapons and ammunition purchased from R.M. Equipment, an arms company controlled by Ronald Martin and James McCoy.

The FDN's arrangement with Moss and Hondu Carib was pursuant to a commercial agreement between the FDN's chief supply officer, Mario Calero, and Moss, under which Calero was to receive an ownership interest in Moss' company. The Subcommittee received documentation that one Moss plane, a DC-4, N90201, was used to move Contra goods from the United States to Honduras. On the basis of information alleging that the plane was being used for drug smuggling, the Customs Service obtained a court order to place a concealed transponder on the plane.

"A second DC-4 controlled by Moss was chased off the west coast of Florida by the Customs Service while it was dumping what appeared to be a load of drugs, according to law enforcement personnel. When the plane landed at Port Charlotte no drugs were found on board, but the plane's registration was not in order and its last known owners were drug traffickers. Law enforcement personnel also found an address book aboard the plane, containing among other references the telephone numbers of some Contra officials and the Virginia telephone number of Robert Owen, Oliver North's courier. A law enforcement inspection of the plane revealed the presence of significant marijuana residue. DEA seized the aircraft on March 16, 1987."5

Cable network opinion-shapers Ann Coulter and David Corn may insist that the CIA only "looked the other way" when its assets have been caught moving narcotics to finance assassinations, foreign coups, etc., but Khashoggi, Armitage and Asher weren't the only drug runners in the "family."

William Casey, CIA director under Reagan, created several large off-the-shelf' networks to finance illicit covert operations. The first, dependent on opium profits, supported the Afghan Mujhaddin, with the CIA running funds through Pakistan's ISI and BCCI. The second channel, to support the Nicaraguan contra war, ran through BCCI, too. This channel also began with drug proceeds and ended in hot pockets of the Cold War. The same organizational chart – of CIA proxy armies funded by drug proceeds – was evident in KLA operations in Bosnia, complete with raping, pillaging, bomb-tossing al Qaeda radicals.6

As a result, these networks, according to Peter Dale Scott, "have all aligned the US on the same side as powerful local drug traffickers. Partly this has been from realpolitik - in recognition of the local power realities represented by the drug traffic. Partly it has been from the need to escape domestic political restraints: the traffickers have supplied additional financial resources needed because of US budgetary limitations, and they have also provided assets not bound (as the U.S. is) by the rules of war."

The impact of all this trafficking in drugs, of course, is devastating. "These facts," Scott writes, "have led to enduring intelligence networks involving both oil and drugs, or more specifically both petrodollars and narcodollars. These networks, particularly in the Middle East, have become so important that they affect, not just the conduct of US foreign policy, but the health and behavior of the US government, US banks and corporations, and indeed the whole of US society."7


1) Jefferson Morley, "Iran-Contra's Unasked Questions, or the Case of the $400,000 Hamburger," Los Angeles Times, November 29, 1987.

2) Jim Lobe, "Bush Rallies Behind Colombian President, Despite Drug
Allegations," Inter-Press Service, August 3, 2004.

3) Ibid.

4) Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange, Jun 2003.

5) "Selections from the Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy," chaired by Senator John F. Kerry.

6) See: Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War; John Cooley, Unholy Wars.

7) Peter Dale Scott, "Afghanistan, Colombia, Vietnam: The Deep Politics of Drugs and Oil,"


It’s generally agreed that the same arm of Al Qaeda responsible for the 1993 WTC bombing returned on September 11, 2001 to finish the job. Therefore, it’s a reasonable assumption that the first attempt to level the towers, and the subsequent paths of blind cleric Rahman’s fellow conspirators, should provide some answers to questions left in the wake of 9/11 concerning its history and sponsorship.

Newspaper histories of al-Qaeda trace its roots to Saudi Arabia. Founder Osama Bin Laden pushed early funding through the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), as arranged in meetings between al Qaeda’s inner-circle and the charity’s directors. (The Saudi government funded terrorist attacks on Israel in secrecy throughout most of the 1990’s via similar charities in Virginia and Florida.1) Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s lieutenant, was employed by the IIRO in Albania. The Philippine branch office was run by Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Osama’s brother-in-law (1986-94), who made a lateral hand-off of cash to the Abu Sayyaf, an al Qaeda offshoot.2

The DoD, CIA and other opaque branches of government (and the Mafia), drawn by the lure of Japanese and German gold, maintained a particularly busy presence in the Philippines as the Marcos kleptocracy declined and fell. Khashoggi’s Iran-contra ally, Oliver North, oversaw “back door” shipments of the recovered gold, much of it to Arab governments, some of it to Middle Eastern terrorists trading on the black market. North met with Osama Bin Laden’s money men often to negotiate exchange of the gold.3

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), like Al Qaeda, owed its existence to the intelligence establishment. The ASG was co-founded by Edwin Angeles, an undercover agent for the Defense Intelligence Group at the Department of National Defense, Republic of the Philippines. His Muslim handle was “Ibrahim Yakub” and as the organization’s operations officer and chief recruiter, he was largely responsible for the spread – and criminalization – of the Abu Sayyaf.

Filipino television news reporter Arlyn de la Cruz, in her history of the ASG, writes that Angeles/Yokub "holds the key to the deep intricacies of how some government agencies manipulated the rawness of the Abu Sayyaf during its early years." This observation still applies, and can be said of al Qaeda, the CIA-bred Taliban mutation, as well.

It was Angeles “who actually introduced the idea of kidnapping as part of the fund-raising activities of the Abu Sayyaf," de la Cruz reports – this would be the abduction of a wealthy woman in Davao. "Edwin planned the abduction and even initiated the plan himself." The victim was held not far from the Brigade Headquarters of the Philippine Marines in Tabuk. She was released after her family paid the million-pesos ransom to Abu Sayyaf.

The next to be kidnapped was Luis "Ton-Ton" Biel, a five year-old child, and his grandfather ... then Claretian priest Bernardo Blanco. Soon, the media were requesting interviews, and “Yokub” stepped before the cameras to act the role of lethal but well-spoken religious lunatic. Angeles was a "good speaker, a good actor. He spoke like a Leftist leader espousing Fundamentalist principles.”

An accidental blast at the Evergreen Hotel in Davao in May 2004 was a clear statement that the “Al Qaeda” offshoot still functions as an intelligence front, a proxy army of the National Security Council that exists to justify intervention in the Philippines.

The explosion, publicized in the States as the work of the dread Abu Sayyaf, was set off by a store of dynamite traced to Michael Meiring, an African-born, naturalized, proverbially Ugly American citizen. Meiring claimed that Abu Sayyaf’s mad dogs had lobbed a grenade into his hotel room, an alibi proven to be fabricated upon examination of the scene by local police. Meiring was so badly injured that both of his legs had to be amputated at the knees.

The dynamite, the Manila Times reported, also tore off his “mantle of obscurity,” exposing the accident-prone American “and his numerous American and Filipino partners, to the public limelight.” From the rubble at the Evergreen Hotel emerged the story of “a complex man, whose trail leads back to South Africa and boxes supposedly containing US Federal Reserve notes and bonds obtained from the Abu Sayyaf.” The Times reported that employees of the hotel “claimed that while they were cleaning Meiring's room before the explosion, he warned them not to touch two metal boxes, which he said contained important documents. Police investigators said they recovered blasting caps and ammonium nitrate from the room, where Meiring had stayed since Dec. 14 2001.”

Meiring refused to talk to Philippine police. Bloodied and burned by the explosion, he was whisked out of the country on a chartered plane, according Col. Lino Calingasan, a local immigration official, by agents of the FBI and NSC. “American David Hawthorn, a close friend of Meiring, claimed the blast victim had confessed passing to Mandela’s government the proceeds of a box of old US federal notes.” That box was one in a set of twelve, containing an estimated $500-million in counterfeit American notes.

Hawthorn had been shown a letter from the South African government and a US Treasury permit to support his claims. Hawthorn also saw a ‘packing list’ that had “a cover sheet printed with the words ‘US ARMY,’ some numbers and a group of upper case letters. "Meiring, he said, claimed the list represented the serial numbers of the missing notes, dating back to 1937.

Similar ‘boxes’ were recovered by United States Secret Service and the Philippine Central Bank late last year. Other counterfeit bonds and currency were also recovered from a hotel in Davao a few months ago. It has been reported that these were to be ... shipped to Las Vegas, Nevada.”4

Philippine police discovered that Meiring, the NSC amputee, had run with neo-nazis and Islamic radicals alike, including the ASG and other radical fronts. His key contact in Nevada was financier James Rowe, an executive producer for Wild Rose Productions, an independent documentary production company in New Green Valley, near Vegas. Rowe, in turn, ran with white supremacists and tax rebels, also neo-nazis, in the United States and Germany. Another of Meiring’s contacts back home was Chuck Ager, an ultracon mining engineer in Colorado. Another was Nina North (possibly an alias), a CIA operative who took over “back door” financial transactions in black market gold formerly conducted by the ubiquitous Oliver North. Another was Filipino-American Bob Gould, a tax protester from Hayward, California in league with Fred Obado, leader of the Kodar Kiram terrorist cell, son of Sultan Jumalul Kiram.

Meiring operated a shell company called PAROUSIA, a term used by right-wing Christian evangelicals, a reference to the second coming of Christ.

But Meiers wasn’t the only home-grown terrorist running loose in the Philippines: “Three Vietnamese terrorists arrested last year for plotting to blow up the Vietnamese Embassy here were assets of the US intelligence community,” the Times reported.5


Robert J. Freidman, a journalist for the Village Voice, wrote one of the most signally important articles of the last decade, “The CIA and the Sheikh.”6 The feature was an inventory of critical leads, eroded over time, sadly, opportunities lost.

If the killers allied with Rabbi Meir Kahane, the vitriolic leader of the Jewish Defense League, had been captured and sentenced, Freidman contends, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – and by extension, 9/11 – would never have occurred.

On November 5, 1990, Freidman wrote, El Sayyid Nosair, a "pudgy, bearded 34-year-old Egyptian American and a core member of the El Salaam Mosque," casually strolled up to the podium of a conference room in the Manhattan's Halloran House, after Kahane wrapped up a one-hour speech. "Moments later, Kahane was shot once in the throat at point-blank range with a .357 magnum, and Nosair bolted outside. During a running gun battle down Lexington Avenue, Nosair was wounded by an off-duty postal inspector and finally captured by New York City police.”

An FBI informant told Freidman that Nosair frequented the El Salaam Mosque in Jersey City. Nosair was close to Sheikh Abdel Rahman. “I told them that, four days before, I saw with my own eyes the Sheikh meeting with Nosair at a Lebanese restaurant on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. It was 7 p.m. There was Nosair, the Sheikh, a person escorting the Sheikh, and another person I don't know. They were deep in conversation."

After the arrest of Kahane’s assailant, police found evidence that the murder “was just the first in a planned spree. Scrawled on a bank calendar in Nosair's home was a ‘hit list’ that included the names of a U.S. representative, two federal judges, and a former assistant U.S. Attorney.”

The secretive cell of extremists from the Mosque often met with Nosair to discuss means of destroying symbols of the Israeli-loving Babylon they despised, "the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty.”

The World Trade Center.

“Many are wondering why there wasn't a comprehensive, wide-ranging investigation of Meir Kahane's murder,” Friedman reported. “What investigators would have found if they had done their job thoroughly is that Sheikh Abdel Rahman and El Sayyid Nosair were at the heart of a far-flung terrorist conspiracy.”7


1) John Loftus, “What Congress does not know about Enron and 9/11,” May 31, 2002,

2) Dore Gold, “The Suicide Bombing Attacks in Saudi Arabia: A Preliminary Assessment,” Jerusalem Issue Brief, Institute for Contemporary Affairs, Vol. 2, No. 28, May 13, 2003, HYPERLINK

3) See Thompson and Kanigher. Also, Edith Regalado, “CIA whisks away Brit-Am blast victim; now in US,” Philippine Star, July 9, 2002.

4) Anon., “Edwin Angeles: The spy who came in from the cold,”, HYPERLINK

5) See, for a summary of the Manila Times series written by Dorian Zumel-Sicat and Jeannette Andrade, May 29, 2002 through May 31, 2002. Also see, Manila Times’ reports to June 19, 2002.

6) Robert J. Freidman, “The CIA and the Sheikh,” Village Voice, March 30, 1993.

7) Ibid.



Two years before the towers in Manhattan crumbled under the weight of global political corruption, a spate of bombings in Russia left relatives and victims, as CNN reported on September 10, 1999, "searching for answers."

At least 90 bodies, including seven children, were dragged from the wreckage of a bombed-out apartment building in Moscow in early September 1999. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in a televised speech, suspected Muslim terrorists; if so, he said, "we are facing a cunning, impudent, insidious and bloodthirsty opponent."1

CNN reported: "Russian President Boris Yeltsin declared a day of mourning on Monday for the victims of Russia's last three explosions and bombings – the Moscow blast, the bombing of a shopping center near the Kremlin and the September fourth car bomb that demolished another apartment building in Buinaksk, in the southern Russian region of Dagestan…"

By the third week of September, the death toll rose to over 200. Chechyen forces were behind the bombings, proclaimed Yeltsin, a belief shared by Yuri Luzkhov, the mayor of Moscow. Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo oversaw the investigation and announced that the Russian military "will consider itself within its rights to use all resources at its disposal to rebuff the aggression."2

And none of this added up. The harried Russian proles were quick to accept the government's explanation that Chechyens were responsible for the blasts in Moscow and the satellites. But as Asia Times editorialized, "it is highly unlikely." And no one stood to benefit by the outbreak of bombing but … well … Yeltsin …

In a statement of denial, Chechyen leader Shamil Basayev stated, "We had nothing to do with the explosion in Moscow. We never kill civilians. This is not our style."


So who was behind the bombing rampage?

Provisions anticipating the Patriot Act were proposed. The Duma considered declaring a state of emergency. Until the bombings, the public had steadfastly opposed such measures, but even Yegor Stroyev, speaker of the Federation Council, the upper hall of parliament, had to admit that he'd firmly opposed emergency measures in the past, but after the second Moscow explosion there was an obvious "need to consolidate the legal base for combating the rampage of terrorism and crime."3

Still, there were the inevitable skeptics and conspiracy theorists. Viktor Ilyukhin, a Communist leader, dismissed the bombings as provocateur actions: "Political hysteria is being fanned artificially, including by way of explosions to cancel parliamentary and presidential elections through a state of emergency."4

Day by day, the true, sordid details emerged in Versiya, Novaya Gazeta and UK's Independent to erode Yeltsin's credibility. It emerged that there was more to the bomb plot than the government had revealed, that its true origins lay not in the insurrection but in a meeting of conspirators held at the flat of Saudi entrepreneur Adnan Khashoggi …

"It is clear that apartment explosions in Moscow would not have happened if somebody in the Russian political elite did not want them," Novaya Gazeta opined on January 24, 2000. "One by one, pieces of puzzle were put together. But there were a few details that were lacking. They began to clear in January … and at the same time, some of the participants started to tell their version of events. In the Versiya newspaper, there was an article about the meeting of [Alexander] Voloshin with [Shamil] Basayev in France." Basayev was the radical Muslim leader who planned the violence in Dagestan. "This did not happen in Paris, as some of the newspapers reported later, but on the villa of Adnan Khashoggi, Arabic millionaire, on the Mediterranean."

French intelligence agents monitored the meeting and details surfaced in the public print. Khashoggi denied that he had attended the meeting in his own home, but his denial is irrelevant given the Turkoman's redundant role in acts of terrorism worldwide. The meeting's main participants – Anton Surikov, "formerly" of Army special forces, and Aleksandr Voloshin, Yeltsin's Chief of Staff – offered no comment. When reporters asked Surikov, he claimed that he hadn't travelled abroad in years, and certainly not to France. This did not quite square with the public record, however, Just a few months before, he was in Washington, D.C. to meet with Yuri Maslukov, Russia's deputy prime minister, and Michel Camdessus, managing director of the IMF. Surikov had also flown to France on a couple of occasions, once in December 1994 and again in the summer of 1999. Surikov was lying. He had departed on June 23 aboard an Aeroflot bound for Paris, in fact, and returned from Nice on July 21, nearly a month later.5

A book on the Russian spy agency, Spetzsnaz GRU, written by former intelligence agents, reports that when the well-paid rebels entered Russia from Chechnya, the military was "commanded not to enter into battle with them and not to hinder the movement of the rebels."6

The 1999 bombing campaign punctuated an uneasy period of calm. From August 1996 through August 1999, Chechnya had been relatively peaceful. "Hostilities resumed following a bold incursion from Chechnya into neighboring Dagestan by an 'international' force of Wahhabis," John Dunlop at the Hoover Institute reports, "whose titular leaders were the legendary field commander Shamil Basaev and the shadowy Arab commander Khattab. In September of 1999, there occurred the notorious terror bombings of large apartment complexes in Moscow, Volgodonsk and Buinaksk which served to infuriate the Russian populace in a way similar to the American public's reaction to the events of 11 September in this country. On 23 September, Moscow once again commenced the bombing of Chechnya, and the second Russo-Chechen war of the past decade was on."7

Alexander Voloshin, who attended the meeting at Khashoggi's villa, is a singular political figure in Russia, outspoken in his support of the United States, in temperament comparable to an American Cold Warrior. On October 23, 2003, the Guardian reported that Vladimir Putin's chief of staff was at the center of "a furious row" between Moscow and Kiev "after he reportedly suggested Russia might bomb Ukraine if it did not back down in a diplomatic tiff over a small island between the two former Soviet states. Alexander Voloshin, the head of the president's administration, made the remarks while he was briefing Ukrainian journalists at the Kremlin…. The row is over 100 metres of sand…."8

In the end, however, Voloshin was forced out of government – not for his ties to the meeting at Khashoggi's villa, or to terrorists, but to Big Oil:

Putin’s powerful chief of staff resigns
Pakistan Daily Times
November 1, 2004

Voloshin’s resignation over arrest
of top oil tycoon widens political scandal

MOSCOW: Moscow press reported Wednesday that Kremlin’s powerful chief of staff had resigned in protest of the arrest of a top oil tycoon in a widening political scandal on the eve of Russian parliamentary elections.
The Vedomosti business daily said that President Vladimir Putin had accepted Alexander Voloshin’s resignation on Monday night after meeting for several hours with top Kremlin officials….
Newspaper reports said that Voloshin had handed in his resignation on Saturday only hours after Russia’s richest man, Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was hauled in by secret service men at gunpoint in a Siberian airport and flown to Moscow for questioning.
Voloshin, 47, is seen as one of the last figures in the Kremlin to have hung on from the era of Putin’s predecessor Boris Yeltsin and a leader of an administration clan known as “the Family” that battled the hawkish “siloviki” camp of former secret service agents that recently emerged in Putin’s court. He was seen as a strong backer of big business and an instrumental Kremlin aide who managed to skillfully mediate between the various administration factions and parliament lawmakers on key economic reform issues.
His potential resignation had been rumored in Moscow for months as the Family – which supported big businesses including Yukos – was being squeezed out by the “siloviki” clan.
… Western investors said that Voloshin’s resignation – if officially confirmed – would mark an escalation of political instability on the eve of December 7 parliamentary elections.
“Assuming Voloshin’s departure is confirmed today, this will only underline the seriousness of the political crisis resulting from Putin’s decision to deal with the political problem of Khodorkovsky using KGB methods,” the United Financial Group wrote in a research note. The investment house noted that Voloshin “seems to have made himself indispensable to Putin as a discreet but effective administrator with a good grasp of the reform policy agenda and adept at arbitrating between competing interests.” Besides heading Putin’s administration, Voloshin for the past four years has also served as chairman of the board of the United Energy System electricity monopoly that has been struggling to undertake reforms for the past four years.
But the United Financial Group predicted that Putin would probably try to seek a balance within his administration and was unlikely to give the post to any of the top members of the secret service Kremlin factions.
Voloshin became deputy head of Yeltsin’s administration in 1998 and became chief of staff the following year. He was attributed with drafting economic portions of Yeltsin’s speeches. Putin kept Voloshin on his post when he took the presidency following Yeltsin’s abrupt resignation on December 31, 1999….9


1) Jill Dougherty, "At least 90 dead in Moscow apartment blast," CNN report, September 10, 1999.

2) STRATFOR.COM, "Who gains from the Moscow apartment bombings?" Asia Times, September 14, 1999.

3) Ibid.

4) Dougherty.

5) Boris Kagarlitsky, 'We Donít Talk To Terrorists. But We Help Them?' Novaya Gazeta, (translation by Olga Kryazheva, research intern, Center for Defense Information, Washington DC), January 24, 2000. HYPERLINK

6) John B. Dunlop, 'The Second Russo-Chechen War Two Years On," Presentation at U.S. and World Affairs Seminar, Hoover Institute, October 17, 2001. HYPERLINK

7) Ibid.

8) Nick Paton Walsh, "Russian official condemned for joke about bombing Ukraine," Guardian, October 23, 2003.


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