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February 2003: CIA Tells Small Group of Congresspeople It Has Detainee Interrogation Tapes; Two Warn CIA Not to Destroy Them Edit

Jane Harman. [Source: US House of Representatives] CIA General Counsel Scott Muller briefs a small group of legislators on the CIA’s detainee interrogation program, and indicates that it has made videotapes of the interrogations. Muller says that the CIA is now thinking about destroying the tapes, because they put the officers shown on them at risk. Although four to eight legislators have already been briefed about the program (see September 2002), this is apparently the first mention that videotapes of interrogations have been made. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/8/2007] According to House Intelligence Committee member Jane Harman (D-CA), the briefing raises “a number of serious concerns.” [THE GAVEL, 12/9/2007] Both Harman and another of those present, Porter Goss (R-FL), advise the CIA that they think destroying the tapes is a bad idea (see November 2005). Harman is apparently supported by fellow Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who is said to “concur” with Harman’s objections to the tapes’ destruction. [INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, 12/8/2007] Harman writes a follow-up letter to Muller asking about legal opinions on interrogation techniques and urging the CIA to reconsider its decision to destroy the tapes (see February 28, 2003). Entity Tags: Scott Muller, House Intelligence Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee, Central Intelligence Agency, Jane Harman, Porter J. Goss Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives Category Tags: Destruction of CIA Tapes, High Value Detainees, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics

February 2003: Neoconservative Author Defends Claims of 9/11-Iraq Connection to Skeptical Journalist Authors Laurie Mylroie and Peter Bergen appear on a Canadian news broadcast to discuss the impending war with Iraq, and Iraq’s supposed connections to 9/11. Mylroie has long argued that Saddam Hussein was behind every terrorist attack on the US (see 1990) from the 1993 World Trade Center bombings (see October 2000) to 9/11 (see September 12, 2001); Bergen, like many in the journalistic and intelligence communities, believes Mylroie is a “crackpot” (see December 2003). According to Bergen, Mylroie opens the interview by “lecturing in a hectoring tone: ‘Listen, we’re going to war because President Bush believes Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11. Al-Qaeda is a front for Iraqi intelligence… [the US] bureaucracy made a tremendous blunder that refused to acknowledge these links… the people responsible for gathering this information, say in the CIA, are also the same people who contributed to the blunder on 9/11 and the deaths of 3,000 Americans, and so whenever this information emerges they move to discredit it.’” Bergen counters by noting that her theories defy all intelligence and “common sense, as they [imply] a conspiracy by literally thousands of American officials to suppress the truth of the links between Iraq and 9/11.” Mylroie does not like this. Bergen will later write that by “the end of the interview, Mylroie, who exudes a slightly frazzled, batty air, started getting visibly agitated, her finger jabbing at the camera and her voice rising to a yell as she outlined the following apocalyptic scenario: ‘Now I’m going to tell you something, OK, and I want all Canada to understand, I want you to understand the consequences of the cynicism of people like Peter. There is a very acute chance as we go to war that Saddam will use biological agents as revenge against Americans, that there will be anthrax in the United States and there will be smallpox in the United States. Are you in Canada prepared for Americans who have smallpox and do not know it crossing the border and bringing that into Canada?’” Bergen calls Mylroie’s outburst typical of her “hysterical hyperbole” and “emblematic of Mylroie’s method, which is to never let the facts get in the way of her monomaniacal certainties.” [WASHINGTON MONTHLY, 12/2003] Entity Tags: Laurie Mylroie, Peter Bergen Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion, Neoconservative Influence, Domestic Propaganda Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links, Internal US Security After 9/11

February 2003: 76 Percent of Americans Believe Hussein Assists Al-Qaeda A CNN/Time poll discovers that 76 percent of Americans believe Saddam Hussein provides assistance to al-Qaeda. [CNN, 3/11/2003] Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

February 2003: Bush Administration Downplays Afghanistan War as War in Iraq Draws Near

Rand Beers. [Source: MSNBC] The Bush Administration declares that the US military is moving to “stability operations” in Afghanistan, a euphemism for military deescalation. Rand Beers, a counterterrorism expert on the National Security Council at the time, will say in July 2003, “They wanted to make it sound as if there were just a few more stitches needed in the quilt.” He will add: “They didn’t want to call attention to the fact that Osama [bin Laden] was still at large and living along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, because they wanted it to look like the only front was Iraq. Otherwise, the question becomes: If Afghanistan is that bad, why start another war?” He will also say, “I have worried for some time that it became politically inconvenient” for the Bush administration to “complete operations sufficiently in Afghanistan.” Beers is so upset that he quits a month later, right as the Iraq war begins. [NEW YORKER, 7/28/2003] Entity Tags: National Security Council, Bush administration, Rand Beers Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion, War in Afghanistan Category Tags: Iraq War Impact on Counterterrorism, Afghanistan

(February 2003): White House Repeatedly Contacts 9/11 Commission Chairman to Discuss Appointment of Commission’s Counsel Following the appointment of the Republican Philip Zelikow as the 9/11 Commission’s executive director (see Shortly Before January 27, 2003), Democrats on the commission demand that its general counsel be a Democrat. However, some of the Republican commissioners are unhappy about this, and inform the White House what is happening. Shortly after this, Commission Chairman Tom Kean hears from White House Chief of Staff Andy Card and others at the White House that they are concerned the commission is attempting to find a partisan Democrat. Kean will later say, “They were very, very alarmed when they heard some of the names being considered.” Both Kean and Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton, himself a Democrat, agree that the counsel should be a Democrat, but, according to author Philip Shenon, they do not want “a candidate who seemed eager to confront the Bush administration.” Two Rejected Candidates - One name considered is that of James Hamilton (no relation to Lee Hamilton), who had been a lawyer on the Senate Watergate committee. However, he had worked on the 2000 Florida recount for Al Gore, so Kean rules him out. Another name considered is Carol Elder Bruce, but at her interview she says issuing subpoenas for documents the commission wants would be a good idea, although Kean and Hamilton have already decided against this (see January 27, 2003). Daniel Marcus Hired - In the end, the position is given to Daniel Marcus, a lawyer who had served in the Clinton administration and specializes in constitutional and regulatory law. Marcus has no ties to Democratic political operations, so he is acceptable to the Republicans on the commission. [SHENON, 2008, PP. 92-95] Entity Tags: James Hamilton, Andrew Card, Daniel Marcus, Philip Shenon, Thomas Kean, Lee Hamilton, Carol Elder Bruce Category Tags: 9/11 Commission

February-March 20, 2003: Stories About PNAC Global Domination Agenda Gets Some Media Coverage With war against Iraq imminent, numerous media outlets finally begin reporting on PNAC’s role in influencing Iraq policy specifically, and US foreign policy generally. PNAC’s plans for global domination had been noted before 9/11 [WASHINGTON POST, 8/21/2001] , and PNAC’s 2000 report (see September 2000) recommending the conquest of Iraq even if Saddam Hussein is not in power was first reported in September 2002 [SUNDAY HERALD (GLASGOW), 9/7/2002] , but there are few follow-up mentions until February 2003. (Exceptions: [ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 9/29/2002; BANGOR DAILY NEWS, 10/18/2002; NEW STATESMAN, 12/16/2002; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1/12/2003] ) Many of these articles use PNAC to suggest that global and regional domination is the real reason for the Iraq war. Coverage increases as war gets nearer, but many media outlets still fail to do any reporting on this, and some of the reporting that is done is not prominently placed (a New York Times article on the topic is buried in the Arts section! [NEW YORK TIMES, 3/11/2003] ). One Newsweek editorial notes that “not until the last few days” before war have many reasons against the war been brought up. It calls this “too little, too late” to make an impact. [NEWSWEEK, 3/18/2003] (Articles that discuss PNAC before war begins: [PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 1/27/2003; NEW YORK TIMES, 2/1/2003; PBS, 2/20/2003; OBSERVER, 2/23/2003; BERGEN RECORD, 2/23/2003; GUARDIAN, 2/26/2003; MOTHER JONES, 3/2003; BBC, 3/2/2003; OBSERVER, 3/2/2003; DER SPIEGEL (HAMBURG), 3/4/2003; ABC NEWS, 3/5/2003; SALON, 3/5/2003; INDEPENDENT, 3/8/2003; TORONTO STAR, 3/9/2003; ABC NEWS, 3/10/2003; AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, 3/10/2003; CNN, 3/10/2003; GUARDIAN, 3/11/2003; NEW YORK TIMES, 3/11/2003; AMERICAN PROSPECT, 3/12/2003; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/12/2003; GLOBE AND MAIL, 3/14/2003; JAPAN TIMES, 3/14/2003; SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 3/15/2003; SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 3/15/2003; STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 3/16/2003; OBSERVER, 3/16/2003; SUNDAY HERALD (GLASGOW), 3/16/2003; TORONTO STAR, 3/16/2003; CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, 3/17/2003; GLOBE AND MAIL, 3/19/2003; ASIA TIMES, 3/20/2003; AGE (MELBOURNE), 3/20/2003] ) Entity Tags: Project for the New American Century Timeline Tags: Neoconservative Influence Category Tags: US Dominance

Early February 2003: FBI Reportedly Baffled by White House Push to Link Iraq and Al-Qaeda An unnamed Justice Department official tells the New York Times that the FBI has been baffled by the administration’s claims of links between Iraq and al-Qaeda. “We’ve been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don’t think it’s there,” the official says. [NEW YORK TIMES, 2/3/2003 SOURCES: UNNAMED GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL] Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

Around February 2003: 9/11 Commission Executive Director Zelikow Assumes Responsibility for Hiring Commission’s Staff

9/11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean (left) and Vice-chairman Lee Hamilton (right) allowed Executive Director Philip Zelikow (center) to handle the hiring of the commission’s staff. [Source: Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Photos] Recently hired 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow assumes responsibility for hiring the rest of the commission’s staff. According to an agreement with the commission’s chairman and vice chairman, Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, the two of them can veto the people he chooses, or even insist that a person Zelikow does not want is hired. However, these powers are exercised rarely, if at all, and, according to author Philip Shenon, it is “left mostly to Zelikow to choose who would conduct the investigations and how their responsibilities would be divided.” In one instance, Zelikow puts potential hire Navy lieutenant Kevin Shaeffer, who was badly injured at the Pentagon on 9/11, through a grueling interview before offering him a job. Shenon will comment that Zelikow did this “to make it clear to everyone that he was in charge; the people being hired for the commission worked for him.” The fact that commissioners do not have their own staffers also enhances Zelikow’s power. Zelikow will comment: “If commissioners have their own personal staff, this empowers commissioners to pursue their own agenda. [If there is a single nonpartisan staff it] doesn’t mean that the commissioners are powerless, It means that they are powerless individually and powerful together.” Shenon will point out: “It also meant that, ultimately, the staff answered to Zelikow. Every one of them. If information gathered by the staff was to be passed to the commissioners, it would have to go through Zelikow.” [SHENON, 2008, PP. 81-83] Entity Tags: 9/11 Commission, Kevin Shaeffer, Philip Shenon, Philip Zelikow Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: 9/11 Commission, Role of Philip Zelikow

Around February 2003: 9/11 Commission Executive Director Zelikow Assumes Close Control of Key Commission Team After the 9/11 Commission’s staff is divided into nine teams, the commission’s executive director, Philip Zelikow, begins to closely supervise the work done by the commission’s team 3, which is investigating counterterrorism policy. Author Philip Shenon will later point out that this team is responsible for the “most politically sensitive” portion of the commission’s work, because it is to “review the performance of the Bush and Clinton administrations in dealing with al-Qaeda threats before 9/11.” It will have access to CIA and NSC files, and is tasked with determining whether the Clinton administration did enough to destroy al-Qaeda and why “the Bush administration had seemed to do so little in response to the flood of terrorism warnings in the months before 9/11.” Zelikow soon makes it clear that this team is his priority, carefully checking the lists of documents and interviews the commission is asking the Bush administration for. He also announces that he wants to be present at all the major interviews. Shenon will comment: “At first, members of the team found it flattering that Zelikow wanted to spend so much of his own time and energy on the work of Team 3. Their suspicion of his motives grew later.” As time goes on, the team members are startled to discover that he wants to “be involved in the smallest details of their work” to such an extent that he “ignore[s] the work of other teams of investigators,” who are even moved out of the commission’s main building and into separate “dark, claustrophobic” offices known as “the Cave.” [SHENON, 2008, PP. 86-87, 145] Entity Tags: 9/11 Commission, Philip Shenon, Philip Zelikow Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: 9/11 Commission, Role of Philip Zelikow

(February-April 2003): 9/11 Commissioners Rarely Visit Commission’s Offices, Giving Executive Director Zelikow More Power In the first few months of the 9/11 Commission’s investigation, the ten commissioners rarely visit the staff’s offices, partly because they are not allowed to have their own offices there. This means that the commissioners are separated from the staff, and that Executive Director Philip Zelikow acquires more control of the inquiry. Author Philip Shenon will write: “[T]he staff could see that with every passing day, Zelikow was centralizing control of the day-to-day investigation in his own hands. He was becoming the eleventh commissioner and, in many ways, more powerful than the others.… Zelikow was in charge.” [SHENON, 2008, PP. 69-70, 85-86] Entity Tags: Philip Zelikow, Philip Shenon, 9/11 Commission Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: 9/11 Commission, Role of Philip Zelikow

Early 2003: KSM Possibly Arrested in Karachi In a book published in 2006, 9/11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean and Vice-Chairman Lee Hamilton will say that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) is captured “in an early 2003 raid on a Karachi apartment orchestrated by the CIA, the FBI, and Pakistani security services.” [KEAN AND HAMILTON, 2006, PP. 115] Pakistan and the US will announce the arrest at the beginning of March (see March 1, 2003). In contrast to the version put forward later by Kean and Hamilton, the Pakistani government initially states he is captured in a house in Rawalpindi, solely by Pakistani security forces. The US agrees on the date and place, but says it was a joint operation. [CNN, 3/2/2003; DAWN (KARACHI), 3/2/2003] However, the initial account is called into question due to various problems (see March 10, 2003). It is unclear whether Kean and Hamilton realize that the passing reference in their book is at variance with the initial account. Entity Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Lee Hamilton, Thomas Kean Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

Around February 2003: 9/11 Commission Executive Director Zelikow Appoints Current CIA Officer to Lead Investigation of CIA 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow appoints a current CIA officer, Michael Hurley, to lead the commission’s investigation of counterterrorism policy. This team will be responsible for reviewing the performance of the CIA and NSC (see Around February 2003). Author Philip Shenon will describe Hurley, merely loaned to the commission from the CIA, as a “battle-hardened spy.” [SHENON, 2008, PP. 86-87] As well as holding a number of management positions at CIA headquarters over his career, Hurley served three tours in Afghanistan after 9/11, leading CIA employees and Special Forces in the country’s southeast. He was one of the Agency’s lead coordinators on the ground of Operation Anaconda, the largest battle against al-Qaeda in the campaign in Afghanistan. The station chief Hurley presumably served under in Afghanistan was Rich B (see December 9, 2001), whose performance as the manager responsible for the CIA’s bin Laden unit (see June 1999) Hurley is now supposed to review. From 1998-1999, and again in 2000, Hurley was detailed to the National Security Council, where he was director for the Balkans, and advised the national security adviser and the president on Balkans policy. He has also led US interventions in troubled areas: Kosovo (1999-2000); Bosnia (1995-1996); and Haiti (1994-1995). [9/11 PUBLIC DISCOURSE PROJECT, 8/8/2008] Besides Hurley, the staffers on the counterterrorism review team include Warren Bass, a terrorism researcher on the Council for Foreign Relations who will focus on the NSC, and Alexis Albion, a doctoral candidate in intelligence studies at Harvard who will look into the CIA. [SHENON, 2008, PP. 87] Entity Tags: Philip Zelikow, Warren Bass, 9/11 Commission, Michael Hurley, Alexis Albion Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: 9/11 Commission, Role of Philip Zelikow

February 1, 2003-February 4, 2003: Powell Refuses to Include Certain Material in His Speech Linking Iraq to Islamic Militants On February 1, Secretary of State Colin Powell begins rehearsing for his February 5 presentation to the UN Security Council (see February 5, 2003). Powell is assisted by members of his staff, including his chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage (see January 30-February 4, 2003). [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 6/9/2003; BAMFORD, 2004, PP. 368-9; GENTLEMEN'S QUARTERLY, 4/29/2004] Discredited Items Keep Reappearing - One item that keeps reoccurring is the discredited claim that 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta met with Iraqi officials in Prague (see September 14, 2001 and September 18, 2001). Cheney’s people keep attempting to insert it into the presentation. It takes Powell’s personal intervention to have the claim removed from the presentation. “He was trying to get rid of everything that didn’t have a credible intelligence community-based source,” Wilkerson will later recall. But even after Powell’s decision, Cheney loyalist Stephen Hadley, the deputy national security adviser, tries to have it reinserted. “They were just relentless,” Wilkerson will recall. “You would take it out and they would stick it back in. That was their favorite bureaucratic technique—ruthless relentlessness.” An official (probably Wilkerson) later adds: “We cut it and somehow it got back in. And the secretary said, ‘I thought I cut this?’ And Steve Hadley looked around and said, ‘My fault, Mr. Secretary, I put it back in.’ ‘Well, cut it, permanently!’ yelled Powell. It was all cartoon. The specious connection between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, much of which I subsequently found came probably from the INC and from their sources, defectors and so forth, [regarding the] training in Iraq for terrorists.… No question in my mind that some of the sources that we were using were probably Israeli intelligence. That was one thing that was rarely revealed to us—if it was a foreign source.” Powell becomes so angry at the machinations that he throws the dossier into the air and snaps: “This is bullsh_t. I’m not doing this.” But he continues working on the presentation. [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 6/9/2003; BAMFORD, 2004, PP. 370-1; VANITY FAIR, 5/2004, PP. 230; UNGER, 2007, PP. 278-279] The same official will add that every time Powell balks at using a particular item, he is “fought by the vice president’s office in the person of Scooter Libby, by the National Security Adviser [Condoleezza Rice] herself, by her deputy [Stephen Hadley], and sometimes by the intelligence people—George [Tenet] and [Deputy CIA Director] John [McLaughlin].” [BAMFORD, 2004, PP. 370] Mobile Bioweapons Claim Survives Editing Process - One of the allegations Powell rehearses is the claim that Iraq has developed mobile biological weapons laboratories, a claim based on sources that US intelligence knows are of questionable reliability (see Late January, 2003 and February 4, 2003). Referring to one of the sources, an Iraqi major, Powell later tells the Los Angeles Times, “What really made me not pleased was they had put out a burn [fabricator] notice on this guy, and people who were even present at my briefings knew it.” Nor does anyone inform Powell that another source, an Iraqi defector known as Curveball, is also a suspected fabricator (see January 27, 2003). [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 11/20/2005] In fact, the CIA issued an official “burn notice” formally retracting more than 100 intelligence reports based on Curveball’s information. [ABC NEWS, 3/13/2007] Powell 'Angry, Disappointed' in Poor Sourcing of Claim - In March 2007, Powell will claim he is “angry and disappointed” that he was never told the CIA had doubts about the reliability of the source. “I spent four days at CIA headquarters, and they told me they had this nailed.” But former CIA chief of European operations Tyler Drumheller will later claim in a book that he tried and failed to keep the Curveball information out of the Powell speech (see February 4-5, 2003). “People died because of this,” he will say. “All off this one little guy who all he wanted to do was stay in Germany.” Drumheller will say he personally redacted all references to Curveball material in an advance draft of the Powell speech. “We said, ‘This is from Curveball. Don’t use this.’” But Powell later says neither he nor his chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, were ever told of any doubts about Curveball. “In fact, it was the exact opposite,” Wilkerson will assert. “Never from anyone did we even hear the word ‘Curveball,’ let alone any expression of doubt in what Secretary Powell was presenting with regard to the biological labs.” [ABC NEWS, 3/13/2007] Entity Tags: White House Iraq Group, Lewis (“Scooter”) Libby, Lawrence Wilkerson, John E. McLaughlin, George J. Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, Richard Armitage, Colin Powell, Stephen J. Hadley Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion, Domestic Propaganda Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

February 3-4, 2003: US Intelligence Analysts Do Not Believe There Are Links Between Iraqi Government, Al-Zarqawi, and Ansar al-Islam The Independent reports on February 3 that according to security sources in London, Colin Powell will attempt to link Iraq to al-Qaeda in his February 5 presentation to the UN. But the sources say that intelligence analysts in both Washington and London do not believe such links exist. [INDEPENDENT, 2/3/2003 SOURCES: UNNAMED BRITISH INTELLIGENCE SOURCES] This is followed by a report the next day in the London Telegraph, reporting that the Bush administration’s insistence of a link between al-Zarqawi, Ansar al-Islam, and Saddam Hussein “has infuriated many within the United States intelligence community.” The report cites one unnamed US intelligence source who says, “The intelligence is practically non-existent,” and explains that the claim is largely based on information provided by Kurdish groups, which are enemies of Ansar al-Islam. “It is impossible to support the bald conclusions being made by the White House and the Pentagon given the poor quantity and quality of the intelligence available. There is uproar within the intelligence community on all of these points, but the Bush White House has quashed dissent.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 2/4/2003 SOURCES: UNNAMED US AND BRITISH INTELLIGENCE SOURCES] The Telegraph predicts that “if Mr. Powell tries to prove the link between Iraq and al-Qaeda, the whole thing could fall apart,” explaining that the veto-wielding Security Council members, “France, Russia, and China… all have powerful intelligence services and their own material on al-Qaeda and they will know better than to accept the flimsy evidence of a spurious link with Baghdad.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 2/4/2003] Entity Tags: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Colin Powell, Saddam Hussein Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

February 4, 2003: Hussein Denies Any Relationship to Al-Qaeda Saddam Hussein gives a rare interview, with former Labour MP Tony Benn for Channel 4 News and flatly denies supporting al-Qaeda. He says, “If we had a relationship with al-Qaeda and we believed in that relationship, we wouldn’t be ashamed to admit it.” [BBC, 2/4/2003] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Saddam Hussein Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

February 4, 2003: US Reportedly Thinks Action against Iraq Will Increase Chances of Terrorism by 75 Percent The Australian reports, “The US is understood to estimate the prospect of terrorism will rise by about 75 percent if it launches military action against the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.” [AUSTRALIAN, 2/4/2003 SOURCES: UNNAMED US OFFICIALS] Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Iraq War Impact on Counterterrorism

(2:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m.) February 5, 2003: Scooter Libby Pushes for Inclusion of Claim about Prague Connection into Powell’s UN Speech At 2:30 a.m., Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, gets a call from one of CIA Director George Tenet’s aides (see 2:30 a.m. February 5, 2003). Vice President Dick Cheney’s staff is insisting that the widely discredited claim (see October 21, 2002) that Mohamed Atta had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer in April 2001 (see April 8, 2001) be reinstated into Powell’s forthcoming speech to the UN Security Council. The pressure continues throughout the night. Just before 9 a.m., when Powell begins his speech, Wilkerson’s phone rings again and again. Caller ID shows it is Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, presumably to try one more time to argue for the inclusion of the material. Wilkerson refuses to take the call. “Scooter,” one State Department aide will later explain to reporter Craig Unger, “wasn’t happy.” [VANITY FAIR, 5/2004, PP. 232; UNGER, 2007, PP. 283-284] Entity Tags: Lawrence Wilkerson, Lewis (“Scooter”) Libby, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Colin Powell Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

February 5, 2003: Rice Says She Is Sure that Iraq Is Linked to Al-Qaeda When asked on CNN if there is a clear connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, National Security Adviser Rice replies: “There is no question in my mind about the al-Qaeda connection. It is a connection that has unfolded, that we’re learning more about as we are able to take the testimony of detainees, people who were high up in the al-Qaeda organization. And what emerges is a picture of a Saddam Hussein who became impressed with what al-Qaeda did after it bombed our embassies in 1998 in Kenya and Tanzania, began to give them assistance in chemical and biological weapons, something that they were having trouble achieving on their own, that harbored a terrorist network under this man [Abu Musab] al-Zarqawi, despite the fact that Saddam Hussein was told that al-Zarqawi was there.” [CNN, 2/5/2003; US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM, 3/16/2004] Entity Tags: Saddam Hussein, Al-Qaeda, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Condoleezza Rice Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

February 6, 2003: US Politicians Question Why Bush Administration Highlights Training Camp as Justifying War Against Iraq without Actually Attacking the Camp One day after Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the United Nations in which he detailed an alleged al-Qaeda-linked training camp in northern Iraq said to be producing chemical weapons (see February 5, 2003), a number of US politicians question why the US has not taken any action against the camp. The camp, located near the town of Khurmal in territory controlled by the Kurdish rebel group Ansar al-Islam, is said to be closely linked to Islamist militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The Los Angeles Times reports that, “Lawmakers who have attended classified briefings on the camp say that they have been stymied for months in their efforts to get an explanation for why the United States has not launched a military strike on the compound…” Sen. Joe Biden (D) asks Colin Powell in a public hearing, “Why have we not taken it out? Why have we let it sit there if it’s such a dangerous plant producing these toxins?” Powell declines to answer, saying he cannot discuss the matter publicly. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) complains that she has been asking about striking the camp well before Powell’s speech based on intelligence given in private briefings, but, “We’ve been asking this question and have not been given an answer.” Officials have replied that “they’ll have to get back to us.” Representative Jane Harman (D) notes that Powell’s speech could have cost the US an opportunity to prevent the spread of chemical weapons produced at the camp, saying, “By revealing the existence of the camp, it’s predictable whatever activity is there will probably go underground.” One anonymous US intelligence official suggests, “This is it, this is their compelling evidence for use of force. If you take it out, you can’t use it as justification for war.” [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 2/7/2003] Entity Tags: Colin Powell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Jane Harman, Dianne Feinstein, Joseph Biden Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links, Counterterrorism Action After 9/11

February 7-13, 2003: Orange Alert Causes Duct Tape and Plastic Sheeting Buying Panic The government raises the threat level to orange. The announcement is made by Attorney General John Ashcroft, Homeland Security Secretary Ridge, and FBI Director Mueller. CIA Director George Tenet calls the threat “the most specific we have seen” since 9/11 and says al-Qaeda may use a “radiological dispersal device, as well as poisons and chemicals.” Ashcroft states that “this decision for an increased threat condition designation is based on specific intelligence received and analyzed by the full intelligence community. This information has been corroborated by multiple intelligence sources.” [CNN, 2/7/2003] Ashcroft further claims that they have “evidence that terrorists would attack American hotels and apartment buildings.” [ABC NEWS, 2/13/2007] A detailed plan is described to authorities by a captured terror suspect. This source cited a plot involving a Virginia- or Detroit-based al-Qaeda cell that had developed a method of carrying dirty bombs encased in shoes, suitcases, or laptops through airport scanners. The informant specifies government buildings and Christian or clerical centers as possible targets. [ABC NEWS, 2/13/2007] Three days later, Fire Administrator David Paulison advises Americans to stock up on plastic sheeting and duct tape to protect themselves against radiological or biological attack. This causes a brief buying panic. [MSNBC, 6/4/2007] Batteries of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles are set up around Washington and the capital’s skies are patrolled by F-16 fighter jets and helicopters. [BBC, 2/14/2003] The threat is debunked on February 13, when the main source is finally given an FBI polygraph and fails it. Two senior law enforcement officials in Washington and New York state that a key piece of information leading to the terror alerts was fabricated. The claim made by a captured al-Qaeda member regarding a “dirty bomb” threat to Washington, New York, or Florida had proven to be a product of his imagination. Vincent Cannistraro, former head of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, says the intelligence turned out “to be fabricated and therefore the reason for a lot of the alarm, particularly in Washington this week, has been dissipated after they found out that this information was not true.” But threat levels remain stuck on orange for two more weeks. [ABC NEWS, 2/13/2007] Bush administration officials do admit that the captured terror suspect lied, but add that this suspect was not the only source taken into consideration. Ridge says that there is “no need to start sealing the doors and windows.” Bush says that the warning, although based on evidence fabricated by an alleged terrorist, is a “stark reminder of the era that we’re in, that we’re at war and the war goes on.” [BBC, 2/14/2003] The alert followed less than forty-eight hours after Colin Powell’s famous speech to the United Nations in which he falsely accused Saddam Hussein of harboring al-Qaeda and training terrorists in the use of chemical weapons (see February 5, 2003). [ROLLING STONE, 9/21/2006 ] Anti-war demonstrations also continue to take place world-wide. [MSNBC, 6/4/2007] Entity Tags: Vincent Cannistraro, Tom Ridge, John Ashcroft, Robert S. Mueller III, Colin Powell, David Paulison, George J. Tenet, Saddam Hussein Category Tags: Terror Alerts, Internal US Security After 9/11

February 8, 2003: Bush Assures US that WMD and Al-Qaeda Training Camps Exist in Iraq In a radio address to the US nation, President Bush reiterates the two main reasons for military action against Iraq, named the certain existence of WMD and al-Qaeda training camps in Iraq. He says, “We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons—the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.… We also know that Iraq is harboring a terrorist network headed by a senior al-Qaeda terrorist planner. This network runs a poison and explosive training camp in northeast Iraq, and many of its leaders are known to be in Baghdad.” [PRESIDENT BUSH, 8/2/2003] Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

February 9, 2003: Prisoner Interviews Debunk Allegations of Al-Qaeda-Iraqi Government Ties Journalist Jason Burke writes in the Observer about recent interviews he has conducted with prisoners held by Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. One prisoner, Mohammed Mansour Shahab, claims to have been an Iraqi government agent who repeatedly met with Osama bin Laden over a several year period. The New Yorker published an article in March 2002 largely based on Shahab’s allegations and concluded, “the Kurds may have evidence of [Saddam Hussein’s] ties to Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network.” But Burke is able to find a number of inconsistencies and falsehoods in Shahab’s account, and after he points them out, Shahab does not deny that he was lying. Burke suggests that Shahab, like other prisoners being held by the Kurds, was lying in hopes of getting his prison sentence reduced since his Kurdish captors are looking to promote propaganda against their enemy, the Hussein government. Burke also interviews a number of prisoners belonging to the Ansar al-Islam militant group that is allegedly linked to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He does not see evidence of any link between that group and Hussein’s government and concludes, “Saddam may well have infiltrated the Ansar al-Islam with a view to monitoring the developments of the group (indeed it would be odd if he had not) but that appears to be about as far as his involvement with the group, and incidentally with al-Qaeda, goes.” [OBSERVER, 2/9/2003] Entity Tags: Jason Burke, Al-Qaeda, Saddam Hussein, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Ansar al-Islam, Mohammed Mansour Shahab Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

February 11 or 12, 2003: Powell Obtains Advance Copy of New Speech Allegedly by Bin Laden, Misrepresents Contents to Senate Secretary of State Colin Powell obtains an advance transcript of a new audio tape thought to be from Osama bin Laden before it is broadcast on Al Jazeera, but misrepresents the contents to a US Senate panel, implying it shows a partnership between al-Qaeda and Iraq. [CNN, 2/12/2003] Following Powell’s initial claim the tape exists, Al Jazeera says that it has no such tape and dismisses Powell’s statement as a rumor. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 2/12/2003] However, later in the day Al Jazeera says that it does have the tape. [REUTERS, 2/12/2003] It is unclear how Powell obtains the advance copy, and Counterpunch even jokes, “Maybe the CIA gave Powell the tape before they delivered it to Al Jazeera?” [COUNTERPUNCH, 2/13/2003] In his testimony to the Senate Budget Committee Powell says, “[Bin Laden] speaks to the people of Iraq and talks about their struggle and how he is in partnership with Iraq.” [CNN, 2/12/2003] Powell’s spokesperson, Richard Boucher, says that the recording proves “that bin Laden and Saddam Hussein seem to find common ground.” [REUTERS, 2/11/2003; NEW YORK TIMES, 2/12/2003; WASHINGTON POST, 11/12/2003] However, although bin Laden tells his supporters in Iraq they may fight alongside the Saddam Hussein, if the country is invaded by the US (see November 12, 2002), he does not express any direct support for the current regime in Iraq, which he describes as “pagan.” [CNN, 2/12/2003] A senior editor for Al Jazeera says the tape offers no evidence of ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. “When you hear it, it doesn’t prove any relation between bin Laden or al-Qaeda group and the Iraqi regime,” he argues. [ABC NEWS, 2/12/2003] Several news reports also challenge Powell and Boucher’s interpretation. For example, CNN reveals that the voice had criticized Saddam’s regime, declaring that “the socialists and the rulers [had] lost their legitimacy a long time ago, and the socialists are infidels regardless of where they are, whether in Baghdad or in Aden.” [CNN, 2/11/2003; NEW YORK TIMES, 11/12/2003] Similarly, a report published by Reuters notes that the voice “did not express support for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein—it said Muslims should support the Iraqi people rather than the country’s government.” [REUTERS, 2/11/2003] Entity Tags: Colin Powell, Richard A. Boucher, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Al Jazeera Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Osama Bin Laden, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics, Alleged Al-Qaeda Media Statements

February 11, 2003: CIA Director Tenet Sees Poverty and Misery as Root Causes of Terrorism, but President Bush Believes Terrorists Hate US for Its Freedom CIA Director George Tenet publicly states that “the numbers of societies and peoples excluded from the benefits of an expanding global economy, where the daily lot is hunger, disease, and displacement… produce large populations of disaffected youth who are prime recruits for our extremist foes.” However, in October 2004, the Washington Post will report that President Bush and most of his influential advisers do not see these factors, or US foreign policy, as the primary cause of terrorism. “Bush’s explanation, in private and public, is that terrorists hate America for its freedom.” Former CIA officer Marc Sageman will comment that the Bush administration’s analysis is “nonsense, complete nonsense. They obviously haven’t looked at any surveys.” He says that international polls show that large majorities in much of the world “view us as a hypocritical huge beast throwing our weight around in the Middle East.” Bush also believes that eliminating the top thirty or so al-Qaeda leaders can effectively destroy the group, while most analysts believe al-Qaeda is more of an ideology that will survive without its top leaders, and that root causes need to be addressed to make the ideology less appealing for potential new recruits. Wayne Downing, Bush’s counterterrorism “tsar” in late 2001 and 2002, will say: “This is not a war. What we’re faced with is an Islamic insurgency that is spreading throughout the world, not just the Islamic world.” Because it is “a political struggle, the military is not the key factor. The military has to be coordinated with the other elements of national power.” [WASHINGTON POST, 10/22/2004] Entity Tags: George J. Tenet, Marc Sageman, Wayne Downing, George W. Bush Category Tags: Counterterrorism Policy/Politics

February 12, 2003: Swiss Analysts Decline to Analyze New Bin Laden Tape Swiss voice analysts at the Dalle Molle Institute for Perceptual Artificial Intelligence decline to examine a new recording issued by a man thought to be Osama bin Laden (see February 11 or 12, 2003 and February 12, 2003). The institute previously analyzed a speech made by a man thought to be bin Laden and concluded that the speaker was not actually him (see November 29, 2002). The institute says that the previous analysis was done at the request of a French TV channel and was “mainly motivated by pure scientific curiosity.” It also says that the poor quality of that recording coupled with the limited number of voice examples meant that it was unlikely the recording could ever be properly authenticated. [SWISSINFO (.ORG), 2/12/2003] However, US officials tell CNN that “this tape was of much better quality than the previous one presumed to be from bin Laden, which Al Jazeera broadcast in November.” [CNN, 2/12/2003] The institute does not analyze any later tapes thought to be released by bin Laden. Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Dalle Molle Institute Category Tags: Osama Bin Laden, Counterterrorism Action After 9/11, Alleged Al-Qaeda Media Statements

February 12, 2003: New Alleged Bin Laden Speech Is Aired Discussing Iraq, Speaker Says Saddam Is Finished A new speech thought to be from Osama bin Laden is aired on Al Jazeera. On the 16-minute audiotape the speaker predicts the US will invade Iraq to “loot Muslim riches” and “install a stooge government to follow its masters in Washington and Tel Aviv… to pave the way for the establishment of a greater Israel.” He also advises Iraqis on defensive tactics al-Qaeda has tested in Afghanistan, recommending trenches against aerial bombardment and saying “what the enemy fears most is urban and street warfare, in which heavy and costly human losses can be expected.” He also stresses the capacity of “martyrdom operations” to inflict “unprecedented harm” on the enemy. He predicts the US will use an “enormous propaganda machine” and “intense air strikes” to “hide its most conspicuous weak points: fear, cowardice, and lack of fighting spirit among its troops,” who are fighting for “the criminal gang in the White House.” Bin Laden also attacks Arab leaders allied with the US, calling them hypocrites and apostates, but highlights only six Arab countries as being in need of liberation: Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Yemen. It is unclear why he omits Egypt and the Gulf sheikdoms, for example. He tells his supporters in Iraq that they may fight with Saddam Hussein’s “pagan” Ba’ath forces, as they are finished anyway. [LADEN, 2005, PP. 179-185] Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Osama Bin Laden, Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links, Iraq War Impact on Counterterrorism, Alleged Al-Qaeda Media Statements

February 12, 2003: Witness Says Future Madrid Bombers Are Planning Specific Suicide Bombing in Madrid The wife of Mouhannad Almallah gave Spanish police stunning details about a group of Islamist militants planning attacks in January 2003 (see January 4, 2003), and she returns to the police to give them a new lead. She previously said that her husband, his brother Moutaz Almallah, Serhane Abdelmajid Fakhet, and Mustapha Maymouni have been holding meetings planning attacks. Now she says that her husband told her that “one day” he would like to attack the Torres Kio towers of the Plaza de Castilla, an important Madrid landmark, with a car bomb. That attack does not occur, but all the men she mentions will be killed or arrested for roles in the 2004 Madrid bombings, except for Maymouni, who will be arrested for a role in bombings in Casablanca several months later (see May 16, 2003). Police apparently take her warnings seriously because they begin monitoring her apartment one month later (see January 17, 2003-Late March 2004). The wife’s brother, who is also Mouhannad’s business partner, will testify in 2007 that Mouhannad also told him about a desire to destroy the Torres Kio towers. [EL MUNDO (MADRID), 7/28/2005; EL MUNDO (MADRID), 3/13/2007] Entity Tags: Serhane Abdelmajid Fakhet, Moutaz Almallah, Mouhannad Almallah’s wife, Mustapha Maymouni, Mouhannad Almallah Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Spain, 2004 Madrid Train Bombings

February 13, 2003: Blind Sheikh’s Son Captured in Pakistan

The Blind Sheikh’s sons Mohammad Omar Abdul-Rahman and Ahmad Abdul-Rahman in 1998. It is not clear which is which. [Source: CNN] Pakistani authorities raid an apartment in Quetta, Pakistan, and apparently arrest Mohammad Omar Abdul-Rahman, a son of the Blind Sheikh,’ Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. Supposedly, communications found at the apartment lead to the later arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (see March 1, 2003). [NEW YORK TIMES, 3/4/2003] Government officials say he is a senior al-Qaeda operative who ran a training camp in Afghanistan before 9/11 attacks and also had a role in operational planning. Another son of the blind sheik, Ahmad Abdul-Rahman, was captured in Afghanistan in late 2001, but Ahmad was not considered to be high ranking. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 3/4/2003] But even though Mohammad Omar’s arrest is reported in the New York Times and elsewhere, there is no official announcement. In December 2005, his name will be on a list published by ABC News of high-detainees being held in a secret CIA prison (see November 2005). [ABC NEWS, 12/5/2005] In 2006, the US will announce that it is emptying the CIA prisons and transferring all high-level prisoners to Guantanamo, but he will not be one of those transferred and it is unclear what happened to him (see September 2-3, 2006). Entity Tags: Ahmad Abdul-Rahman, Mohammed Omar Abdul-Rahman, Omar Abdul-Rahman Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action After 9/11, Key Captures and Deaths, Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, High Value Detainees

February 14, 2003: CIA Produces Report Mentioning Suspicious Indicators of Terrorist Affiliation in 9/11 Hijackers’ Passports, Does Not Disseminate It The CIA produces a report entitled “A Reference Guide to Terrorist Passports.” The report discusses a suspicious indicator of terrorist affiliation that was contained in the passports of at least three of the 9/11 hijackers, possibly more. The indicator was placed there deliberately by the Saudi government, which used such indicators to track suspected radicals (see November 2, 2007). However, this report is classified and is not disseminated, meaning that if a radical were to arrive at a US port with a passport indicating he was a terrorist, an immigration official would be unable to recognize the indicator and would admit him. Over a year after this report is completed, the 9/11 Commission will show a passport bearing this indicator to one of the immigration officials who admitted 9/11 hijacker Khalid Almihdhar to the US, but she will still be unable to recognize the indicator. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 25, 27, 41 ] Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, 9/11 Commission Category Tags: Saudi Arabia, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics

February 14, 2003-June 4, 2004: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld Frequently Recounts Sultan Calling 9/11 a ‘Blessing in Disguise’

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said. [Source: Government of Oman] In numerous public appearances, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recounts a conversation with the Sultan of Oman (Qaboos Bin Said) a month or two after 9/11. The sultan said to him words to the effect of that September 11 was a “blessing in disguise,” because it would “wake up the world, before terrorists get their hands on massive destruction, before they get biological weapons and kill not 3,000 but 30 or 300,000.” [RUMSFELD, 2/14/2003; US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 2/25/2003; US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 9/10/2003; US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 11/18/2003; US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 6/4/2004] When he is asked in an interview, “Do you feel that [9/11] was a wake- up call?” Rumsfeld responds, “I think so absolutely, yeah.” [PBS, 9/10/2003] Rumsfeld makes a similar claim in his prepared testimony for the 9/11 Commission in March 2004: “Think about what has been done since the September 11th attacks: two state sponsors of terrorism have been removed from power, a 90-nation coalition has been formed which is cooperating on a number of levels… All of these actions are putting pressure on terrorist networks. Taken together, they represent a collective effort that is unprecedented—which has undoubtedly saved lives, and made us safer than before September 11th.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/23/2004] Entity Tags: Qaboos Bin Said, Donald Rumsfeld Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other Post-9/11 Events

Mid-February 2003: Head 7/7 London Bomber Possibly Monitored by NSA, Stopped from Entering US In his 2006 book The One Percent Doctrine, journalist Ron Suskind will claim that Mohammad Sidique Khan, the head suicide bomber in the 7/7 London bombings, was monitored as he attempted to fly to the US. According to Suskind, NSA surveillance discovers that Khan is coming to the US soon and has been in contact with suspect US citizens, including Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, an Islamist radical living in Virginia. E-mails between Khan, Ali, and others discuss plans for various violent activities, including a desire to “blow up synagogues on the East Coast.” FBI agent Dan Coleman, an expert on al-Qaeda, reads the intercepts and advocates either a very intensive surveillance of Khan when he is in the US, or not letting him in at all. Officials, including Joe Billy, head of the FBI’s New York office, worry about being held responsible if Khan is allowed into the country and then manages to commit some violent act. With Khan scheduled to come to the US in one day, “top bosses in Washington” quickly decide to put him on a no-fly list. Khan does fly to the US, and is stopped and sent back to Britain. As a result, he realizes the US is onto him and presumably takes greater precautions. [SUSKIND, 2006, PP. 200-203] Confusion - However, when Suskind’s book is published in June 2006, a number of articles will dispute Suskind’s claim. For instance, Newsweek will report that “several US and [British] law-enforcement and counterterrorism officials” anonymously claim that Suskind is mistaken, and is confusing Sidique Khan with another British suspect named Mohammed Ajmal Khan. [NEWSWEEK, 6/21/2006] The Telegraph reaches the same conclusion, and points out that Ajmal Khan pleaded guilty in a British trial in March on charges of providing weapons and funds to the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba. During that trial, it was revealed that he made several trips to the US and met with a group of suspected militants in Virginia, including one named Ahmed Omar Abu Ali. Stands by Story - However, Suskind will resolutely stand by his story, saying, “In my investigation and in my book and in my conversations with people in the US government, there was no mistake or doubt that we are talking about Mohammad Sidique Khan, not Mohammed Ajmal Khan.” He says he was aware of the difference between the two and suggests British officials may have been trying to push Ajmal Khan instead to cover up their failures to stop the 7/7 bombings. The two officials mentioned by name in Suskind’s account, Coleman and Billy, apparently say nothing to the press to confirm or deny the story. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 6/22/2006] Visit to Israel - Curiously, it will be reported shortly after the 7/7 bombings that Khan visits Israel around this time, February 19-20, 2003, and the Israeli daily newspaper Maariv will claim he is suspected of helping two Pakistani-Britons plot a suicide bombing that kills three Israelis several months later (see February 19-20, 2003). [GUARDIAN, 7/19/2005] Entity Tags: Ron Suskind, National Security Agency, Joe Billy, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Mohammad Sidique Khan, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, Dan Coleman, Mohammed Ajmal Khan Category Tags: 2005 7/7 London Bombings, Remote Surveillance, Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism, Counterterrorism Action After 9/11

February 16, 2003: Condoleezza Rice Alleges Iraqi Government Is Allowing Al-Qaeda to Operate in Iraq Asked for concrete evidence that Hussein has links to al-Qaeda, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice points to the presence of operatives allegedly being hosted in Iraq. “Well, we are, of course, continually learning more about these links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, and there is evidence that Secretary [of State Colin] Powell did not have the time to talk about. But the core of the story is there in what Secretary Powell talked about. This poisons network with at least two dozen of its operatives operating in Baghdad, a man [Abu Musab al-Zarqawi] who is spreading poisons now throughout Europe and into Russia, a man who got medical care in Baghdad despite the fact that the Iraqis were asked to turn him over, training in biological and chemical weapons.” [FOX NEWS SUNDAY, 2/16/2003; US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM, 3/16/2004] Entity Tags: Condoleezza Rice, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

Before February 17, 2003: Italian Military Intelligence Approves Kidnap of Milan Imam The Italian military intelligence agency SISMI is briefed by the CIA on a plan to kidnap radical imam Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (a.k.a. Abu Omar) in Milan (see Noon February 17, 2003). SISMI agrees to the plan, but it appears other Italian agencies are not informed of it. The CIA will later claim the plan is even approved by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, although documentation to support this will not be produced. When Italian anti-terrorist authorities, who are monitoring Nasr and planning to arrest him, find he has been kidnapped, they will charge several CIA officers with breaking Italian law (see June 23, 2005 and After). [WASHINGTON POST, 12/6/2005] Entity Tags: Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, SISMI, Central Intelligence Agency, Silvio Berlusconi Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action After 9/11, Al-Qaeda in Italy

February 17, 2003: CIA Report Predicts More Than 90 Percent Chance Hussein and Terrorists Will Attack US with WMDs Newsweek reports: “In recent weeks a small group of CIA analysts have been meeting as part of a ‘predictive analysis project’ to divine if and when Saddam might strike the United States with a weapon of mass destruction. The theory is that Saddam might slip one of his chem-bio or radiological weapons to al-Qaeda or some other terrorist group to create a massive diversion, a crisis in the American homeland that could stall an attack on Iraq.” The CIA has no hard evidence supporting this idea, but the CIA has calculated the odds, and in a report obtained by Newsweek, these analysts predict “that under the stipulated scenario there is a 59 percent probability that an attack on the US homeland involving WMD would occur before March 31, 2003, a 35 percent probability an attack would occur at a later date, and a 6 percent probability an attack would never occur.” But Newsweek will comment that “it is important to remember that the odds are determined by averaging a bunch of guesses, informed perhaps, but from experts whose careers can only be ruined by underestimating the threat.” [NEWSWEEK, 2/17/2003] No such attack occurs. Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Saddam Hussein, Central Intelligence Agency Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

Noon February 17, 2003: CIA Kidnaps Own Informer in Broad Daylight in Italy, Damaging Italian Al-Qaeda Investigation

A surveillance photograph of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr. [Source: Central Intelligence Agency] The CIA kidnaps an Islamic extremist who previously informed for it in Milan, Italy. The man, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (a.k.a. Abu Omar), who was a member of the Egyptian terror group Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya and was close to al-Qaeda, provided information to the CIA in Albania (see August 27, 1995 and Shortly After) and operated in Italy (see Summer 2000). [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/2/2005] While the kidnap is happening, one of the CIA officers involved in the operation, Robert Seldon Lady, is having a meeting on the other side of Milan with Bruno Megale, head of Milan’s antiterrorism police service, DIGOS. The meeting’s purpose is to allow Lady to keep an eye on Megale in case something goes wrong. [GQ, 3/2007 ] The US will say that Nasr is a dangerous terrorist and that he once plotted to assassinate the Egyptian foreign minister. However, Italian officials, who were monitoring him, will deny this and say his abduction damages an intelligence operation against al-Qaeda. A senior prosecutor will say, “When Nasr disappeared in February [2003], our investigation came to a standstill.” Italian authorities are mystified by the kidnap, as they are sharing the results of their surveillance with the CIA. Nor can they understand why Egypt wants Nasr back. When Nasr reaches Cairo, he is taken to the Egyptian interior minister and told that if he agrees to inform again, he will be set free. However, he refuses and spends most of the next 14 months in prison, facing “terrible tortures.” The Chicago Tribune will ask, “Why would the US government go to elaborate lengths to seize a 39-year-old Egyptian who, according to former Albanian intelligence officials, was once the CIA’s most productive source of information within the tightly knit group of Islamic fundamentalists living in exile in Albania?” One possible answer is that he is kidnapped in an attempt to turn him back into the informer he once was. The kidnapping generates a substantial amount of publicity, leading to an investigation of the CIA’s practice of extraordinary rendition, and an Italian official will comment, “Instead of having an investigation against terrorists, we are investigating this CIA kidnapping.” [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/2/2005] Arrest warrants will later be issued for some US intelligence officers involved in the kidnapping (see June 23, 2005 and After). Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Robert Seldon Lady, Bruno Megale, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives Category Tags: Other Possible Moles or Informants, Counterterrorism Action After 9/11, Al-Qaeda in Italy

February 18, 2003: Alleged Al-Qaeda Member El Motassadeq Convicted in Germany for 9/11 Role Mounir El Motassadeq, an alleged member of Mohamed Atta’s Hamburg al-Qaeda cell, is convicted in Germany of accessory to murder in the 9/11 attacks. His is given the maximum sentence of 15 years. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 2/19/2003] Motassadeq admitted varying degrees of contact with Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Said Bahaji, Ziad Jarrah, and Zakariya Essabar; admitted he had been given power of attorney over Alshehhi’s bank account; and admitted attending an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan from May to August 2000; but he claimed he had nothing to do with 9/11. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/24/2002] The conviction is the first one related to 9/11, but as the Independent puts it, “there are doubts whether there will ever be a second.” This is because intelligence agencies have been reluctant to turn over evidence, or give access to requested witnesses. In Motassadeq’s case, his lawyers tried several times unsuccessfully to obtain testimony by two of his friends, bin al-Shibh and Mohammed Haydar Zammar—a lack of evidence that will later become grounds for overturning his conviction. [INDEPENDENT, 2/20/2003] Entity Tags: Zakariya Essabar, Said Bahaji, Ziad Jarrah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Mounir El Motassadeq, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Germany, Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta, Al-Qaeda Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Germany

February 19, 2003: Expert with Access to Classified Evidence Claims There Is No Al-Qaeda-Iraqi Government Link Shortly after 9/11, counterterrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna, a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, begins researching for his book, Inside al-Qaeda: Global Network of Terror. He examines several tens of thousands of documents acquired from al-Qaeda and Taliban sources. During the course of his investigation, he finds no evidence of an Iraqi-al-Qaeda link. In an op-ed piece printed in the International Herald Tribune on February 19, 2003, he writes: “In addition to listening to 240 tapes taken from al-Qaeda’s central registry, I debriefed several al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees. I could find no evidence of links between Iraq and al-Qaeda. The documentation and interviews indicated that al-Qaeda regarded Saddam, a secular leader, as an infidel.” [INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, 2/19/2003 SOURCES: ROHAN GUNARATNA] Entity Tags: Rohan Gunaratna Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

February 19-20, 2003: Lead 7/7 London Bomber Visits Israel, Allegedly Assists Suicide Bombing There Mohammad Sidique Khan, the lead suicide bomber in the 7/7 London bombings (see July 7, 2005), travels to Israel, staying there for only 24 hours. Israeli officials will confirm the visit in 2006. This is seven weeks before two British citizens, Omar Sharif and Asif Hanif, attack a cafe in Tel Aviv, Israel, with suicide bombs, killing three (see April 30, 2003). It is strongly suspected that Khan comes to Israel to help facilitate the bombing in some way, especially since Khan was seen in the company of Sharif and Hanif as far back as 2001 and was Sharif’s friend (see Summer 2001). However, Khan’s precise role, if any, in the cafe bombing is unknown, and apparently his connection to the two bombers will not be discovered by authorities until after the 7/7 bombings. [BBC, 7/9/2006] Entity Tags: Asif Hanif, Omar Sharif, Mohammad Sidique Khan Category Tags: 2005 7/7 London Bombings, Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism

February 22-March 15, 2003: CIA Milan Chief Flies to Cairo, Following Abducted Imam Who Is Allegedly Tortured Robert Seldon Lady, chief of the CIA’s substation in Milan, Italy, travels to Egypt for three weeks. A radical imam named Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (a.k.a. Abu Omar) was kidnapped by the CIA in Milan five days before and taken to Egypt, and Lady will later be accused of being a party to the abduction (see Noon February 17, 2003 and June 23, 2005 and After). According to the Washington Post, “many counterterrorism analysts take [Lady’s trip to Egypt] to mean he took part in the initial interrogation.” A search of Lady’s villa will later turn up computer disks showing a flight reservation from Zurich to Cairo and cell phone records will show that a phone associated with Lady was used to place calls from Cairo during the period Lady is thought to be there. Nasr will later say he is tortured when in Egypt (see April-May 2004). [WASHINGTON POST, 12/6/2005] Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Robert Seldon Lady, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action After 9/11

February 24, 2003: Voice Analyst of Alleged Bin Laden Tapes Discusses Methodology in Interview Popular Science magazine carries a rare interview with Tom Owen, a voice analyst who has worked on identifying Osama bin Laden in recordings allegedly released by the al-Qaeda leader. Owen worked for US media on the identification of bin Laden’s voice in a November 2002 recording (see November 12, 2002), assisted by a captain of the Saudi Interior Ministry’s forensics department he had apparently been teaching at the time. Owen, one of only eight forensic voice analysts certified by the American Board of Recorded Evidence, and other US experts identified the voice as bin Laden’s, although a Swiss facility disagreed (see November 29, 2002). The interview describes Owen’s lab and how he works, pivoting off the November recording. Owen criticizes the Swiss analysis, saying that the advanced biometrics software the Swiss used cannot work with the noise on the tape, as it is “designed to work with perfect samples.” Cleaning up the tape would not help, as this would remove the high and low frequencies a biometric system needs to make its identification. Voice Identification Methodology - To identify voices, Owen uses a spectrograph, which produces spectrograms—“a kind of graphic speech rendering that has changed little since the 1940s”—that are then compared. His favorite tool for analyses is a “piece of vintage equipment—a reel-to-reel Voice Identification 700 spectrograph built in 1973,” which “differs little from the analog machines US Army intelligence officers built to identify and track German radio operators during World War II.” When analyzing a new recording thought to be from bin Laden, Owen compares the spectrograms it produces with spectrograms from a known bin Laden interview, such as one he granted to ABC in 1998 (see May 28, 1998). According to the magazine, there are “only a half-dozen words in common between the November tape and the ABC interview,” although the standards of the American Board of Recorded Evidence demand 20 identical words, preferably spoken in the same order. Listening for 'Quirky Mannerisms' - However, Owen also listens for “the multitude of quirky mannerisms and pronunciation foibles peculiar to each voice,” because a trained ear can detect “the subtle whistle caused by a missing tooth, a person’s tendency to swallow in the middle of a sentence, even the way someone sets his or her jaw when speaking.” Owen plays the reporter what he calls a short-term memory tape, apparently a crucial tool in aural voice identifications. The spliced tape toggles between 2.5-second segments of bin Laden’s ABC interview and the November tape; Owen uses the tape to listen for peculiarities in a voice, especially when vowels are spoken. According to Owen, who says bin Laden’s voice is what the magazine calls “plenty peculiar,” the tape proves it is the “same guy” on the November tape and in the 1998 interview. However, the reporter comments: “To my untrained ear, it could be Darth Vader behind the static.… This is the sort of gray area that tends to make legal observers worry about the state of forensic science.” Comments on NSA - According to the magazine, Owen’s technology is similar to that which the NSA probably uses to analyze voices, although Owen thinks the NSA has samples of bin Laden’s voice he does not. However, he does not think it has made biometric breakthroughs in analysis despite its advanced technology, which is “mostly devoted to listening.” [POPULAR SCIENCE, 2/24/2003] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Tom Owen, National Security Agency, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Osama Bin Laden, Alleged Al-Qaeda Media Statements

February 25, 2003: More 9/11 Terrorist Plotters Believed to Be in Germany The Chicago Tribune reveals that there appear to be many more members of Mohamed Atta’s Hamburg cell than previously reported. While many members of the cell died in the attacks or fled Germany just prior to 9/11, up to a dozen suspected of belonging to the Hamburg cell stayed behind, apparently hoping to avoid government scrutiny. Many of their names have not yet been revealed. In some cases, investigators still do not know the names. For instance, phone records show that someone using the alias Karl Herweg was in close communication with the Hamburg cell and Zacarias Moussaoui, but Herweg’s real identity is not known. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/25/2003] Entity Tags: Karl Herweg, Zacarias Moussaoui Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Germany

February 26, 2003: Whistleblower Believes FBI Not Prepared for New Terrorist Threats Coleen Rowley, the FBI whistleblower who was proclaimed Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2002, sends another public letter to FBI Director Mueller. She believes the FBI is not prepared for new terrorist attacks likely to result from the upcoming Iraq war. She also says counterterrorism cases are being mishandled. She claims the FBI and the Justice Department have not questioned captured al-Qaeda suspects Zacarias Moussaoui and Richard Reid about their al-Qaeda contacts, choosing instead to focus entirely on prosecution. She writes, “Lack of follow-through with regard to Moussaoui and Reid gives a hollow ring to our ‘top priority’ —i.e., preventing another terrorist attack. Moussaoui almost certainly would know of other al-Qaeda contacts, possibly in the US, and would also be able to alert us to the motive behind his and Mohamed Atta’s interest in crop-dusting.” Moussaoui’s lawyer also says the government has not attempted to talk to Moussaoui since 9/11. [NEW YORK TIMES, 3/5/2003; NEW YORK TIMES, 3/6/2003] Entity Tags: Richard C. Reid, Zacarias Moussaoui, US Department of Justice, Robert S. Mueller III, Coleen Rowley Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, Internal US Security After 9/11, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics

Late February 2003: DNA Identifies Passenger Remains, but Hijacker DNA Is Not Tested Medical examiners match human remains to the DNA of two of the hijackers that flew on Flights 11 and/or 175 into the WTC. The names of the two hijackers are not released. The FBI gave the examiners DNA profiles of all ten hijackers on those flights a few weeks earlier. Genetic profiles of five hijackers from Flight 77 and the four from Flight 93 that did not match any of the passengers’ profiles have been given to the FBI, but the FBI has not given any DNA profiles with which to match them. [CNN, 2/27/2003] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: FBI 9/11 Investigation

February 28, 2003: CIA Refuses to Say Whether Bush Has Approved Enhanced Interrogation Techniques CIA general counsel Scott Muller writes to Jane Harman (D-CA), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, but fails to respond fully to questions about the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques. [CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, 2/28/2003 ] Following a briefing earlier in the month about the legality of the techniques (see February 2003), Harman had written to Muller and CIA Director George Tenet asking whether using the techniques was good policy for the US: “I would like to know whether the most senior levels of the White House have determined that these practices are consistent with the principles and policies of the United States. Have the enhanced techniques been authorized and approved by the President?” She also urges the CIA not to destroy videotapes of detainee interrogations because they are “the best proof that the written record is accurate,” and their destruction “would reflect badly on the Agency.” [US CONGRESS, 2/10/2003 ] In his reply, Muller completely fails to mention the tapes or say whether Bush has been consulted. He also says it would be inappropriate for him to comment on policy issues, merely that “it would be fair to assume that policy as well as legal matters have been addressed within the Executive Branch.” [CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, 2/28/2003 ] Entity Tags: House Intelligence Committee, Central Intelligence Agency, George W. Bush, Scott Muller, Jane Harman, George J. Tenet Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives Category Tags: Destruction of CIA Tapes, High Value Detainees, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics

Spring 2003: US Green Berets Repeatedly Denied Permission to Go After Mullah Omar There are several credible sightings by CIA and military informants of top Taliban leader Mullah Omar entering a mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan. A Green Beret team located at a base just minutes away are ready to deploy to go after Omar, but each time US military commanders follow strict protocol and call in the Delta Force commando team instead. But this team is based hundreds of miles away near Kabul and it takes them several hours to arrive in Kandahar. By that time, Omar has disappeared. Apparently this is part of a pattern only allowing certain Special Forces units to go after important targets. The Washington Post will report in 2004 that any mission that takes Special Forces farther than two miles from a “firebase” requires as long as 72 hours to be approved. And on the rare occasions that such forces are authorized to act, they are required to travel in armed convoys, a practice that alerts the enemy. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/5/2004] Entity Tags: Mullah Omar, Delta Force, Green Berets Timeline Tags: War in Afghanistan Category Tags: Afghanistan

Spring 2003: Spanish Authorities Turn Down Chance to Videotape Secret Meetings of Madrid Bombers The Spanish inteligence agency Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (CNI) has a highly trusted informant named Abdelkader Farssaoui, a.k.a. Cartagena, placed within a group of suspected Islamist militants in Madrid (see September 2002-October 2003). Police have been monitoring this group for months and learning all about the group in part thanks to Farssaoui’s leads. Farssaoui is so trusted in the group that he is considered one of the group’s leaders, behind only Serhane Abdelmajid Fakhet and Mustapha Maymouni. Farssaoui attends all the group’s secret meetings, and since he is an imam he usually leads them in prayer. As a result, some of the others suggest holding some of the group’s long weekly meetings at Farssaoui’s residence. Farssaoui reports this to his handlers and suggests it is an opportunity to easily record the meetings with audio and video. However, Farssaoui’s handlers reject the idea, saying it is not necessary. [EL MUNDO (MADRID), 2/13/2006] Entity Tags: Mustapha Maymouni, Centro Nacional de Inteligencia, Abdelkader Farssaoui, Serhane Abdelmajid Fakhet Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Spain, 2004 Madrid Train Bombings

Spring 2003: Aid to Afghanistan Falls Short of Promises At the beginning of 2002, the US, Britain, and other countries around the world made large pledges of aid to Afghanistan (see November 2001-January 2002). But with a new war in Iraq taking considerable focus in the West, those pledges appear to be largely unfulfilled. In February 2003, Sen. Joseph Biden (D) says, “I think [the Bush administration has] already given up the ghost in Afghanistan. They’ve basically turned it over to the warlords.” In December 2002, President Bush signed a law authorizing close to $1 billion a year in aid to Afghanistan for the next four years. But one month later, when Bush submitted his actual budget to Congress, it authorized no money for Afghanistan aid whatsoever. Congress soon authorizes $300 million, but Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) notes that this amount “does not come near” the promise made a short time before. Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of Afghanistan’s president Hamid Karzai, complains to the press, “What was promised to Afghans with the collapse of the Taliban was a new life of hope and change. But what was delivered? Nothing…There have been no significant changes for people.… [I don’t] know what to say to people anymore.” [SALON, 4/10/2003] As of early 2003, there are only about 3,000 Afghan soldiers who have been trained for the country’s new army, and many of those have quit because they had not been paid in more than six months. By contrast, there are roughly 200,000 fighters controlled by warlords. [SALON, 4/10/2003; OBSERVER, 5/25/2003] A study of post-conflict zones done by Care International estimates that Bosnia is receiving international aid of $326 per person, and Kosovo $288 per person, but Afghanistan is receiving only $42 per person. There is one peacekeeper per 113 people in Bosnia, one per 48 people in Kosovo, but one per 5,380 in Afghanistan (and those are not allowed outside the capital of Kabul). [OBSERVER, 5/25/2003] Only 3 percent of all international aid spent in Afghanistan has been for reconstruction, 13 percent is for emergency aid, and the rest is spent on security. One Afghan minister complains, “We don’t even have enough money to pay [government] wages, let alone plan reconstruction.” [GUARDIAN, 9/20/2003] The Independent reports, “Afghans have also listened with astonishment as Americans portray their country’s experience since the overthrow of the Taliban as a ‘success’. Another Western observer summed up his views more acidly. ‘If the Americans think this is success, then outright failure must be pretty horrible to behold.’” [INDEPENDENT, 2/24/2003] Entity Tags: Taliban, Bush administration, Joseph Biden, Chuck Hagel, Ahmed Wali Karzai, George W. Bush Timeline Tags: War in Afghanistan Category Tags: Afghanistan, Iraq War Impact on Counterterrorism

Spring 2003 and After: Spanish Police Increase Surveillance of Madrid Bombers Spanish police have been monitoring an apartment on Virgen de Coro street in Madrid owned by the brothers Moutaz and Mouhannad Almallah since January 17, 2003 (see January 17, 2003-Late March 2004). Police are now aware that the Almallah brothers are part of a group of Islamist militants regularly meeting there. On March 3, police extend the surveillance to the apartment of Serhane Abdelmajid Fakhet, since he appears to be a leader of the group and the group holds meetings at his apartment as well (see March 3, 2003-March 2004). On March 14, police also start monitoring Mouhannad Almallah’s apartment (his brother Moutaz is mostly living in London) (see March 14, 2003). Over the next months, the surveillance of this group is intensified:

Police also keep a very close eye on the cars used by the militants. Police witness many of them taking evasive maneuvers while driving around town. 
They notice the militants are taking evasive action such as frequently using pay phones and speaking in code, which are signs they are taking part in illegal activities. 
They discover that Amer el-Azizi, a Spanish al-Qaeda operative wanted for a role in the 9/11 attacks, had probably escaped to Afghanistan in late 2001 using Mouhannad Almallah’s passport (see Shortly After November 21, 2001). 
They find that Fakhet sometimes uses a car owned by relatives of Jamal Ahmidan (Ahmidan is the member of the group who will later lead the effort to buy the explosives for the Madrid bombings, see September 2003-February 2004). 
One police report before the bombings says that all three apartments are “regarded as essential points of the logistical network to support the recruitment of ‘mujaheddin’” in Spain and that Moutaz Almallah makes the group an international threat, with links in Britain and the Netherlands. [EL MUNDO (MADRID), 8/10/2005]

Entity Tags: Serhane Abdelmajid Fakhet, Jamal Ahmidan, Mouhannad Almallah, Moutaz Almallah, Amer el-Azizi Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Spain, 2004 Madrid Train Bombings

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