[Devlin Buckley, freelance writer and avid reader of FTW, offers this story reviewing the new book by Pakistani President, Pervez Musharraf, which by its curious silences on key issues, corroborates the analyses of 9/11 written by Mike Ruppert, Nafeez Ahmed, and Michel Chossudovsky—CB]
Musharraf names 9/11 suspect as possible British asset
Fails to mention links to 9/11, ISI, CIA
By Devlin Buckley
© Copyright 2006, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. This story may NOT be posted on any Internet web site without express written permission. Contact email@example.com. May be circulated, distributed or transmitted for non-profit purposes only.
October 25th 2006, 4:47[PST] - The man identified by the FBI as one of the primary financers of the 9/11 attacks, Omar Sheikh, may have worked for British intelligence during the 1990s, according to a newly released book by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
“It is believed in some quarters that while Omar Sheikh was at the LSE (London School of Economics) he was recruited by the British intelligence agency MI6,” Musharraf writes in his book, In the Line of Fire: A Memoir. “It is said,” Musharraf notes, “that MI6 persuaded him to take an active part in demonstrations against Serbian aggression in Bosnia and even sent him to Kosovo to join the jihad.”1
The man in question, Omar Sheikh, became infamous in 2002 when he was sentenced to death for the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, a crime Musharraf and several others claim Omar did not commit.2
While Omar Sheikh’s reported ties to Pearl’s death have been making headlines for years, his alleged links to 9/11, as well as to Pakistani and Western intelligence agencies, have gone significantly underreported.
Similarly, several key points have been omitted from Musharraf’s book, perhaps in an attempt to cover up embarrassing and possibly criminal activities of Pakistani and US officials.
Musharraf’s book does not mention Omar Sheikh’s alleged role in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, nor does it mention Omar’s widely reported connections to Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, nor does mention Omar’s alleged history with the CIA.
A brief review of such details would have revealed startling information.
Prior to the 9/11 attacks, the head of Pakistan’s ISI, General Mahmud Ahmed, ordered Omar Sheikh to wire $100,000 to the lead hijacker, Mohammed Atta—a report that has been confirmed by the director of the FBI’s financial crimes unit, Dennis Lormel.3
General Mahmud, who is portrayed in Musharraf’s book as a close military advisor and a strong ally during the 1999 coup,4 maintained simultaneous relationships with the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and the governments of both Pakistan and the United States.5
In fact, General Mahmud (who allegedly ordered Omar Sheikh to finance the 9/11 attacks) was in Washington the week of 9/11 for, as one Pakistani report put it, “mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security Council.”6
As the attacks were occurring, General Mahmud was actually meeting with members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees,7 and according to Senator Bob Graham, who attended the meeting, General Mahmud had just received a gift (a book about the American Civil War) from Rep. Porter Goss—then Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a former CIA agent who would go on to become CIA Director in 2004.8
This seemingly explosive information, however, is curiously absent from Musharraf’s book.
Perhaps even more astonishing is the fact that Omar Sheikh, who allegedly financed the 9/11 attacks under orders from General Mahmud, reportedly acted as an asset for U.S., British, and Pakistani intelligence services during the 1990s9—adding significant depth to Musharraf’s latest claims regarding Omar’s affiliations with the MI6.
As Musharraf notes in his book, it is believed that Omar was originally recruited by the MI6 to fight in Bosnia, and later sent to “join the jihad” in Kosovo. What Musharraf neglects to mention is that both the U.S. and Pakistan played an instrumental role in these operations—continuing a strategy used by both countries during the Afghan jihad of the 1980s when the CIA and the ISI backed Osama bin Laden and the Islamic ‘mujahedin’ against the Soviets.10
As London’s The Spectator has noted, “If Western intervention in Afghanistan created the mujahadeen, Western intervention in Bosnia appears to have globalised it.”
“From 1992 to 1995,” according to The Spectator, “the Pentagon assisted with the movement of thousands of mujahadeen and other Islamic elements from Central Asia into Europe, to fight alongside Bosnian Muslims against the Serbs. … In the late 1990s, in the run-up to Clinton's and Blair's Kosovo war of 1999, the USA backed the [Osama bin Laden-linked] Kosovo Liberation Army against Serbia. … It seems that, for all its hand-wringing, the USA just couldn't break the pact with the devil.”11
Such reports have been corroborated and expanded upon by several reputable authors, journalists, and experts, including Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Michel Chossudovsky, and Michael Ruppert, to name a few.12
In regards to Omar Sheikh in particular, according to Bahukutumbi Raman, a former senior counter-terrorism official in India, it was the ISI at the request of the CIA that originally sent Omar to fight in Bosnia.
The British-born Omar Sheikh was reportedly part of a contingent consisting of a large number of British Muslims of Pakistani origin, who were indoctrinated, trained, and sent to fight against the Serbs, as Raman writes, “with the full knowledge and complicity of U.S. and British intelligence agencies.”13
Omar was recruited into the militant group, the Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen (HUM), which, according to a 2002 report by Raman, was one of three organizations given the “leadership role” by the CIA during the Afghan jihad of the previous decade.
“Omar Sheikh,” as Raman has noted, “had his jihadi inoculation in Bosnia just as bin Laden had his in Afghanistan.”
During the 1990s, according to Raman, “the CIA asked the ISI to divert part of the dregs of the HUM…to Bosnia to assist the Muslims there in their fight against the Serbs. … From Bosnia, they were diverted to Kosovo by the CIA and thereafter again left in the lurch after they had done the USA's hatchet job in the Balkans.”14
Omar Sheikh was arrested by Indian authorities in late 1994, but freed in December of 1999 in exchange for the safe release of the passengers of Indian Airlines Flight 814, which had been hijacked by HUM militants. The ransom operation, according to Indian authorities, was “masterminded” by the ISI.15
Immediately following his release, according to Vanity Fair, Omar “stayed at a Kandahar guesthouse for several days, conferring with Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar and — reports had it — Osama bin Laden, who was said to refer to him as ‘my special son.’”
When Omar Sheikh “crossed the Pakistan frontier in early January 2000, an ISI colonel was waiting to conduct him to a safe house in Islamabad. From there he proceeded to London, where he reunited with family,” Vanity Fair reported.16
Despite Omar’s affiliations to terrorism, the British government did not prosecute him or even dispute his presence in the country. On the contrary, Omar was welcomed with open arms.
“It is quite possible that Mr Sheikh will come back to this country where his family is. … And as a full British national he has every right to return,” a spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office was quoted by BBC News as saying at the time. “[I]f he was to contact us, and asked us for passport facilities,” the spokesman added, “we would issue him with a passport.”17
Omar’s time in the UK was brief, however, and he soon returned to Pakistan to continue his work as a terrorist operative. But of course, Omar was not the typical fundamentalist.
As Newsweek reported, Omar began living “openly-and opulently-in a wealthy Lahore neighborhood. U.S. sources say he did little to hide his connections to terrorist organizations, and even attended swanky parties attended by senior Pakistani government officials.”18
During this time, as Omar would later tell Karachi police, he orchestrated several terrorist attacks in India on behalf of the ISI; regularly traveled to Kandahar to meet with Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mulla Mohammad Omar; and even met with the ‘ringleader’ of the 9/11 attacks, Mohammad Atta.
In addition, Omar told investigators he had prior knowledge of the plans for the 9/11 attacks and had even discussed the plans with his superiors at the ISI.
For this and other reasons, Bahukutumbi Raman interestingly notes, “It is…impossible that the Pakistani authorities would not have known of Al Qaeda's plans for the 9/11 terrorist strikes,” adding:
“The relevant question from the point of view of any credible investigation is: Why the Pakistani military regime did not pass on the information conveyed by Omar Sheikh to the US and alert it to the imminence of the terrorist strikes? If it had and the US agencies had not acted on the information, they are guilty of gross negligence. If it had not, Pakistan is guilty of complicity in the terrorist strikes.”19
As mentioned earlier, not only did Pakistan do nothing to prevent the attacks, the head of the ISI, who was in Washington on 9/11, reportedly ordered Omar Sheikh to wire $100,000 to the lead hijacker, Mohammed Atta. Furthermore, investigators in Britain believe Omar trained the 9/11 attackers in hijacking techniques.20
This suggests Pakistan is not only guilty of complicity in the 9/11 attacks, but is directly responsible for financing and coordinating the operation, which may explain why Musharraf chose to omit such pertinent information from his new book.
Moreover, there are several members of Musharraf’s own government, according to The Pittsburgh Tribune, who believe Omar Sheikh’s true power “comes not from the ISI, but from his connections with our own CIA.”21
Given Omar’s reported history, this certainly seems like a plausible explanation; and if true, it would establish a significant degree of U.S. government culpability for the 9/11 attacks.
Musharraf neglects to mention this, however, and instead focuses on Omar’s widely reported connections to the kidnap and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Even when discussing the Pearl case, however, Musharraf leaves out relevant parts of the story.
Musharraf’s main argument, which is corroborated by other reports, is that although Omar Sheikh admittedly helped to plan Pearl’s kidnapping, the execution was carried out against Omar’s instructions, possibly by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.22
While this may be true, Musharraf neglects to mention that Daniel Pearl was investigating links between the ISI and Islamic militant groups affiliated with al-Qaeda—the reason many believe he was kidnapped in the first place.23
Furthermore, in 2002, after turning himself in for plotting Pearl’s abduction, Omar Sheikh began speaking openly to interrogators about his involvement with the ISI, his meetings with al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, his orchestration of attacks in India, and his foreknowledge of the plans for 9/11.
It was Musharraf who personally stepped in to persuade Omar to retract his statements; and after such attempts ultimately failed, the Pakistani President reportedly ordered all interrogations of Omar Sheikh to be stopped. “I am prepared to talk to them, but they are afraid of my talking,” Omar reportedly said at the time.24
Moreover, while Omar’s trial was still ongoing Musharraf publicly expressed his desire to see Omar put to death, leading Omar’s attorneys to file a contempt of court application against the Pakistani President.
“To demand the sentence of death for Omar is to tell the courts to convict and sentence the accused to capital punishment,” one of Omar’s lawyers reportedly said at the time. As BBC News noted, the lawyers said they “did not believe the accused could be convicted on what they called circumstantial evidence.”25
Nonetheless, in 2002 Omar was sentenced to death for killing Pearl. His appeal, however, has been adjourned more than thirty times and he remains alive in Pakistani custody.
Ironically, Omar Sheikh’s lawyer now plans to use President Musharraf's book to support Omar’s appeal.26
It would appear the U.S. has no interest in extraditing Omar Sheikh; and neither Omar nor General Mahmud Ahmed has been charged in connection with the 9/11 attacks.
In fact, as The New Yorker reported, following his forced resignation from the ISI General Mahmud “resurfaced in Pakistan as the head of a subsidiary of a prominent business consortium, a position that required government backing.”27
Meanwhile, according to Labour MP Michael Meacher, “reports from Pakistan suggest that [Omar] Sheikh continues to be active from jail, keeping in touch with friends and followers in Britain.”28
Indeed, several of the suspects arrested in connection with the UK ‘liquid explosive plot’ this summer reportedly met with Omar in Pakistan;29 and according to Raman, there are even “grounds to suspect that the [London 7/7] blasts were orchestrated by Omar Sheikh from his jail in Pakistan.”
Devlin Buckley is a freelance writer and journalist residing in Troy, New York. His blog, the American Monitor, may be viewed here and you may contact him via e-mail at PDevlinBuckley@yahoo.com.
For more information regarding Omar Sheikh, see Paul Thompson’s “Sept. 11's Smoking Gun: The Many Faces of Saeed Sheikh,” at cooperativeresearch.org. For more information pertaining to the use of Islamic militants as proxy forces by Western intelligence agencies, as well as Omar Sheikh’s “simultaneous intelligence connections to the CIA, ISI and MI6,” see The War on Truth and The London Bombings by British author Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed. And for additional underreported details regarding the events leading up, during, and after the 9/11 attacks, see Crossing the Rubicon by Michael Ruppert.
1 Pervez Musharraf, In the Line of Fire: A Memoir (Free Press, 2006), p. 225. Pervez Musharraf, “How we found Pearl buried in ten pieces,” The Times book extracts, 26 September 2006,
Paul Thompson, “Sept. 11’s Smoking Gun: The Many Faces of Saeed Sheikh,” Cooperativeresearch.org, http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/essay_pf.jsp?article=essaysaeed. Michael Meacher, “Britain now faces its own blowback—Intelligence interests may thwart the July bombings investigation,” The Guardian, 10 September 2005, http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1566916,00.html.
4 Pervez Musharraf, In the Line of Fire: A Memoir (Free Press, 2006), p. 106, 120-122,134, 143.
8 Bob Graham with Jeff Nussbaum, Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia, and the Failure of America’s War on Terror (Random House Publishing Group, 2004), p. ix-xi.
9 Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism (Olive Branch Press, 2005) p. 139-144. Bahukutumbi Raman, “How London brought terror on itself,” Asia Times Online, 16 July 2005, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/GG16Df04.html. Paul Thompson, “Sept. 11’s Smoking Gun: The Many Faces of Saeed Sheikh,” Cooperativeresearch.org, http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/essay_pf.jsp?article=essaysaeed.
10 Michel Chossudovsky, “Osamagate,” Centre for Research on Globalisation, 9 October 2001, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO110A.html. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism (Olive Branch Press, 2005) p. 31-57.
12 Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism (Olive Branch Press, 2005) p. 31-57. Michel Chossudovsky, “Osamagate,” Centre for Research on Globalisation, 9 October 2001, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO110A.html. Michael C. Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil (New Society Publishers) p. 71, 73, 134-136. Michael C. Ruppert, “Beyond Bush II,” From The Wilderness, 1 July 2003, http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/102003_beyond_bush_2.html.
18 Daniel Klaidman, “Federal Grand Jury Set to Indict Sheikh,” Newsweek, National Affairs Web Exclusive, 13 March 2002, archived online at http://nl.newsbank.com.