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Mohammed Atta and Prince Nayif: the Saudi drugs dealers who helped finance the 911 attack

Posted in the database on Friday, September 23rd, 2005 @ 12:13:03 MST (3388 views)
by Wayne Madsen    The Wayne Madsen Report  

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Released confidential documents point to financing of 911 attacks tied to Bush family drug network

In 1999, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) broke open a major conspiracy involving a Saudi prince’s Colombian cocaine smuggling from Venezuela to support some “future intention” involving Koranic prophecy. The DEA operations were contained in a “Declassification of a Secret DEA 6 Paris Country Office” memorandum dated June 26, 2000, a date which coincided with the height of Israeli art student and 911 hijacker activity in the United States. In June 1999, 808 kilograms of cocaine were seized in Paris. At the same time, the DEA was conducting a major investigation of the Medellin drug cartel called Operation Millennium.

Through an intercepted fax, the Bogota Country Office of the DEA learned of the Paris cocaine seizure and linked the drug smuggling operation to the Saudis. The DEA investigation centered around Saudi Prince Nayif al Saud, whose alias was El Principe (the Prince). Nayif's full name is Nayif (or Nayef) bin Fawwaz al-Shaalan al-Saud. In pursuit of his international drug deals, Nayif traveled in his own Boeing 727 and used his diplomatic status to avoid customs checks. The DEA report stated Nayif studied at the University of Miami, Florida, owned a bank in Switzerland, speaks eight languages, was heavily invested in Venezuela’s petroleum industry, regularly visited the United States, and traveled with millions of dollars of U.S. currency. Nayif is also invested in Colombia's petroleum industry.

Nayif was also reported to have met with drug cartel members in Marbella, Spain, where the late Saudi King Fahd and the Saudi royal family maintained a huge palatial residence. The report states that when a group of cartel members traveled to Riyadh to meet Nayif, “they were picked up in a Rolls Royce automobile belonging to Nayif, and driven to the Riyadh Holiday Inn hotel. The next day they were met by Nayif and his brother [believed to be named Saul [sic] [His twin brother is Prince Saud. Nayif's older brother, Prince Nawaf, is married to King Abdullah's daughter].)… The second day they all traveled to the desert in terrain vehicles [hummers]. During this desert trip they discussed narcotics trafficking. UN [The DEA informant] and Nayif agreed to conduct the 2,000 kilogram cocaine shipment, which would be delivered to Caracas, VZ, by UN’s people, where Nayif would facilitate the cocaine’s transport to Paris, France. Nayif explained he would utilize his 727 jet airliner, under Diplomatic cover, to transport the cocaine. The Boeing 727 was operated by Skyways International,a Saudi-owned airline with past connections to the mysterious James Bath, George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard friend and later Arbusto and Harken Energy investment pass-through between the Saudis and Bush. These investors included Salem Bin Laden, Osama Bin Laden's late older brother who was killed in a 1988 plane crash in Texas. Bath was the registered agent for Salem Bin Laden.

Nayif told "UN" that he could transport up to 20,000 kilograms of cocaine in his jet airliner, and propositioned "UN" “to conduct 10-20,000 kilogram shipments in the future.” "UN" wondered why Nayif, supposedly a devout Muslim, would be involved with drugs. Nayif’s response in light of what is now known about Saudi funding of terrorism, is worth a close perusal. During the Riyadh meeting, Nayif responded to "UN’s" question by stating that “he is a strict advocate of the Muslim Corran [sic].” "UN" stated, “Nayif does not drink, smoke, or violate any of the Corran’s [sic] teachings. "UN" asked Nayif why he [Nayif] wanted to sell cocaine and Nayif stated that the world is already doomed and that he has been authorized by God to sell drugs. Nayif stated that "UN" would later learn of Nayif’s true intentions for trafficking narcotics although Nayif would not comment further.” The Saudi prince’s drug smuggling operation was smashed by the DEA and French police in October 1999.[1]

On May 16, 1999, Prince Nayif's Skyways Boeing 727 touched down at LeBourget Airport outside of Paris ( this is the same airport that received the Bin Laden family flight from the United States following the 911 attacks). Also on board the plane were a number of Saudi princes and princesses. Two tons of cocaine, smuggled on to the aircraft in Caracas, were transported as one large diplomatic pouch by two waiting Saudi vans. The cocaine was transported to Noissy-le-Sec, a Paris suburb. A French-US law enforcement case against Nayif and his entourage, complete with evidence and confidential informants soon collapsed.

Wayne Madsen Report.com has come into possession of a "Confidential Diplomatic" cable from the French embassy in Saudi Arabia to Paris warning that Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef had warned that if France pursued the case against the Saudi prince, a lucrative Î7 billion radar defense contract, Project SBGDP (Garde Frontiere), with the French firm Thales would be canceled. The embassy cable sought pressure against the French Interior Ministry to drop its investigation of Nayif. The cable also indicated that Saudi Interior Minister Nayef's irritation at the French investigation was shared by his brothers Abdullah (then-Crown Prince) and Sultan (Defense Minister) as well as the Governor of Riyadh Province Prince Salman. Saudi informers have revealed that Al Qaeda members routinely traveled through Riyadh on their way to Pakistan and then to Taliban Afghanistan. These insiders report that Salman's office arranged for cash payments, hotels, and air fares for the Al Qaeda members.

The French cable also states that the Saudis reiterated that it was merciless to drug traffickers for which Saudi youth were often the victims. The Saudis also told the French that unlike Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, Saudi Arabia was not a base for drug trafficking. The reaction by the Saudi government's key principals to the French drug investigation indicates they had something to hide. Perhaps similar to the Bush family, they had an off-the-books operation to generate hundreds of millions of dollars for their Wahhabi compatriots in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The French cable draws attention to intelligence rumors that the cocaine transported by Nayif from Venezuela originated in Colombia -- the same country where George H. W. Bush and his Iran-contra co-conspirators arranged for cocaine-for-cash-for-weapons transfers involving Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega as a middleman. CIA sources have recently reported that lead hijacker Mohammed Atta was known to U.S., British, and Saudi intelligence as a heroin courier from Mujaheddin-controlled Afghanistan as early as 1991. Atta was also identified as a cocaine user. Hence, what the French and U.S. law enforcement investigators discovered in 1999 may have been a major financial source for Al Qaeda's terrorist attacks. Recent revelations that a Top Secret U.S. Special Operations Command/Defense Intelligence Agency unit code named Able Danger was shadowing Al Qaeda operatives in 1999, the same year that Nayif and his courier activities were discovered, indicates high level collusion inside the United States Defense and Justice Departments with elements that did not want to embarrass the Saudis. As with the DEA investigation of Nayif, Able Danger was shut down on orders by Pentagon lawyers.

It is quite possible that the massive amounts of Able Danger data reported to have been destroyed on the Atta team may have included gigabytes of financial data on Prince Nayif's drug money laundering activities. Wayne Madsen Report.com has obtained a European intelligence agency flow chart titled "Operation Palme," illustrating the connections of Nayif's brother Nawwaf's financial operations to a myriad of other entities, a large number of them based in Geneva, a city where Wayne Madsen Report.com has previously reported the presence of a number of Bush-connected entities tied to the 911 attacks, including a money transfer to at least one of the hijackers.

According to the Operation Palme chart, Nawwaf bin Fawwaz al-Shaalan is Vice President of Kanz Bank located at 65 rue du Rhone in Geneva. This bank is linked to Bammer Financial Trade Organization at 7 rue Versonnex in Geneva, Virgin Corporation LLC in Vessy (Geneva Canton), Maison Virgin Corporation also in Vessy, Degroof Luxembourg SA of Genf, Geneva Canton, and Capital Trust SA, 640 Avenida Diagonal, Barcelona, Spain.

The most interesting document passed to Wayne Madsen Report is a business card that shows a clear link between Skyways International, the firm tied to the Bush family and the Saudis, and the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia. The business card for a flight engineer named Keith Monroe indicates that Skyways International is a subsidiary of the National Commercial Bank.

In 1992, according to The Houston Chronicle, George W. Bush's friend James Bath was investigated by the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) and the FBI. Investigators suspected Saudi investors who worked with Bath of illegally trying to influence U.S. policy during the Reagan and Bush I administrations. Bath invested Saudi money in Arbusto '70 Ltd., Arbusto '80 Ltd., and Bush Exploration Co. (which later morphed into Harken Energy Corp., which included George W. Bush as its director). After Desert Storm, Harken was granted lucrative off-shore drilling rights by Bahrain, a Desert Storm coalition partner. One of the other shareholders of Harken, along with Bush, was Saudi businessman Abdullah Taha Bakhsh. According to the Chronicle, Bath, who was a sole agent of Salem Bin Laden, was also the sole director of Skyway Aircraft Leasing Corp., one of the affiliates of Skyways International. Bath established four corporate entities with the name "Skyway" and the firm that incorporated the corporate contrivances in the Cayman Islands for Bath was the same one that established a Cayman-based money laundering front company for Oliver North in the Iran-contra scandal. In 1977, Bath bought Houston Gulf Airport on behalf of Salem Bin Laden. Skyway Aircraft Leasing Corporation was, according to the Chronicle, owned by Khalid Bin Mahfouz, a major shareholder in the defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), a major money laundering activity for George H. W. Bush's Iran-contra caper. Bin Mahfouz was also the owner of the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia.

There has never been any explanation by the Saudis of what Prince Nayif’s ultimate intentions were and what he was planning to do with the cash from the illegal cocaine shipments. In light of the funding for 911 and other terrorist incidents, the DEA report on Operation Millenium takes on greater significance. Did Saudi drug smuggling proceeds help pay for the 911 attack? Why was this possible connection overlooked by the 911 Commission? What did the Able Danger team stumble across while Nayif was smuggling drugs? Was Atta a part of this Saudi drug network? If so, why was Atta, a drug courier, permitted to enter the United States on numerous occasions?

It would appear that the Saudis, in connection with people closely associated with George W. Bush (perhaps including Bush himself as well as his father), have been giving a "wink and a nod" to illicit airline smuggling businesses involving drugs and money laundering for a number of years. There are American citizens currently sitting in prisons under mandatory harsh drug-related sentences for doing much less than what the Bush crime family, their Saudi partners, and their network of drug mules and couriers (including Mohammed Atta and Saudi Prince Nayif) have been getting away with for decades. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) statutes cry out for an accounting by these individuals before a court of law.



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