* must read * Al Qaeda and the U.S. Establishment


Richard Moore

Peter Dale Scott's page:

Original source URL:

[Draft chapter from new book]

Peter Dale Scott
October 15, 2005

Chapter 8: Al Qaeda and the U.S. Establishment [from forthcoming book

      The then leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Sayed
      Kuttub, a man Faisal sponsored to undermine Nasser, openly
      admitted that during this period [the 1960s] ³America made

What is slowly emerging  from Al Qaeda activities in Central Asia in the 1990s 
is the extent to which they involved both American oil companies and the U.S. 
government.[2] By now we know that the U.S.-protected movements of al Qaeda 
terrorists into regions like Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Kosovo have served the 
interests of U.S. oil companies. In many cases they have also provided pretexts 
or opportunities for a U.S. military commitment and even troops to follow.

This has been most obvious in the years since the Afghan War with the Soviet 
Union ended in 1989. Deprived of Soviet troops to support it, the Soviet-backed 
Najibullah regime in Kabul finally fell in April 1992. What should have been a 
glorious victory for the mujahedin proved instead to be a time of troubles for 
them, as Tajiks behind Massoud and Pashtuns behind Hekmatyar began instead to 
fight each other.

The situation was particularly difficult for the Arab Afghans, who now found 
themselves no longer welcome. Under pressure from America, Egypt, and Saudi 
Arabia, the new interim president of Afghanistan, Mojaddedi, announced that the 
Arab Afghans should leave. In January 1993 Pakistan followed suit, closed the 
offices of all mujahedin in its country, and ordered the deportation of all Arab
Afghans.[3] Shortly afterwards Pakistan extradited a number of Egyptian jihadis 
to Egypt, some of whom had already been tried and convicted in absentia.[4] 
Other radical Islamists went to Afghanistan, but without the foreign support 
they had enjoyed before.

Fleeing the hostilities in Afghanistan, some Uzbek and Tajik mujahedin and 
refugees started fleeing or returning north across the Amu Darya.[5] In this 
confusion, with or without continued U.S. backing, cross-border raids, of the 
kind originally encouraged by CIA Director Casey back in the mid-1980s, 
continued.[6] Both Hekmatyar and Massoud actively supported the Tajik rebels, 
including in the years up to 1992 when both continued to receive aid and 
assistance from the United States.[7] The Pakistani observer Ahmed Rashid 
documents further support for the Tajik rebels from both Saudi Arabia and the 
Pakistani intelligence directorate ISI.[8]

These raids into Tajikistan and later Uzbekistan contributed materially to the 
destabilization of the Muslim Republics in the Soviet Union (and after 1992 of 
its successor, the Conference of Independent States). This destabilization was 
an explicit goal of U.S. policy in the Reagan era, and did not change with the 
end of the Afghan War. On the contrary, the United States was concerned to 
hasten the break-up of the Soviet Union, and increasingly to gain access to the 
petroleum reserves of the Caspian Basin, which at that time were still estimated
to be ³the largest known reserves of unexploited fuel in the planet.²[9]

The collapse of the Soviet Union had a disastrous impact on the economies of its
Islamic Republics. Already in 1991 the leaders of Central Asia ³began to hold 
talks with Western oil companies, on the back of ongoing negotiations  between 
Kazakhstan and the US company Chevron.²[10] The first Bush Administration 
actively supported the plans of U.S. oil companies to contract for exploiting 
the resources of the Caspian region, and also for a pipeline not controlled by 
Moscow that could bring the oil and gas production out to the west. The same 
goals were enunciated even more clearly as matters of national security by 
Clinton and his administration.[11]

Eventually the threat presented by Islamist rebels persuaded the governments of 
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan to allow U.S. as well as Russian bases on
their soil. The result is to preserve artificially a situation throughout the 
region where small elites grow increasingly wealthy and corrupt, while most 
citizens suffer from a sharp drop in living standards.[12]

The gap between the Bush Administration¹s professed ideals and its real 
objectives is well illustrated by its position towards the regime of Karimov in 
Uzbekistan. America quickly sent Donald Rumsfeld to deal with the new regime in 
Kyrgyzstan installed in March 2005 after the popular ³Tulip Revolution² and 
overthrow there of Askar Akayev.[13] But Islam Karimov¹s violent repression of a
similar uprising in Uzbekistan saw no wavering of U.S. support for a dictator 
who has allowed U.S. troops to be based in his oil- and gas-rich country.[14]

U.S. Operatives, Oil Companies and Al Qaeda in Azerbaijan

In one former Soviet Republic, Azerbaijan, Arab Afghan jihadis clearly assisted 
this effort of U.S. oil companies to penetrate the region. In 1991, Richard 
Secord, Heinie Aderholt, and Ed Dearborn, three veterans of U.S. operations in 
Laos, and later of Oliver North¹s operations with the Contras, turned up in Baku
under the cover of an oil company, MEGA Oil.[15] This was at a time when the 
first Bush administration had expressed its support for an oil pipeline 
stretching from Azerbaijan across the Caucasus to Turkey.[16] MEGA never did 
find oil, but did contribute materially to the removal of Azerbaijan from the 
sphere of post-Soviet Russian influence.

Secord, Aderholt, and Dearborn were all career U.S. Air Force officers, not CIA.
However Secord explains in his memoir how Aderholt and himself were occasionally
seconded to the CIA as CIA detailees. Secord describes his own service as a CIA 
detailee with Air America in first Vietnam and then Laos, in cooperation with 
the CIA Station Chief Theodore Shackley.[17] Secord later worked with Oliver 
North to supply arms and materiel to the Contras in Honduras, and also developed
a small air force for them, using many former Air America pilots.[18] Because of
this experience in air operations, CIA Director Casey and Oliver North had 
selected Secord to trouble-shoot the deliveries of weapons to Iran in the 
Iran-Contra operation.[19] (Aderholt and Dearborn also served in the Laotian CIA
operation, and later in supporting the Contras.)

As MEGA operatives in Azerbaijan, Secord, Aderholt, Dearborn, and their men 
engaged in military training, passed ³brown bags filled with cash² to members of
the government, and above all set up an airline on the model of Air America 
which soon was picking up hundreds of mujahedin mercenaries in Afghanistan.[20] 
(Secord and Aderholt claim to have left Azerbaijan before the mujahedin 
arrived.) Meanwhile, Hekmatyar, who at the time was still allied with bin Laden,
was ³observed recruiting Afghan mercenaries [i.e. Arab Afghans] to fight in 
Azerbaijan against Armenia and its Russian allies.²[21] At this time, heroin 
flooded from Afghanistan through Baku into Chechnya, Russia, and even North 
America.[22] It is difficult to believe that MEGA¹s airline (so much like Air 
America) did not become involved.[23]

The operation was not a small one.

      Over the course of the next two years, [MEGA Oil] procured
      thousands of dollars worth of weapons and recruited at least
      two thousand Afghan mercenaries for Azerbaijan - the first
      mujahedin to fight on the territory of the former Communist

In 1993 the mujahedin also contributed to the ouster of Azerbaijan¹s elected 
president, Abulfaz Elchibey, and his replacement by an ex-Communist Brezhnev-era
leader, Heidar Aliyev.

At stake was an $8 billion oil contract with a consortium of western oil 
companies headed by BP. Part of the contract would be a pipeline which would, 
for the first time, not pass through Russian-controlled territory when exporting
oil from the Caspian basin to Turkey. Thus the contract was bitterly opposed by 
Russia, and required an Azeri leader willing to stand up to the former Soviet 

The Arab Afghans helped supply that muscle. Their own eyes were set on fighting 
Russia in the disputed Armenian-Azeri region of Nagorno-Karabakh, and in 
liberating neighboring Muslim areas of Russia: Chechnya and Dagestan.[25] To 
this end, as the 9/11 Report notes (58), the bin Laden organization established 
an NGO in Baku, which became a base for terrorism elsewhere.[26] It also became 
a transshipment point for Afghan heroin to the Chechen mafia, whose branches 
³extended not only to the London arms market, but also throughout continental 
Europe and North America.²[27]

The Arab Afghans¹Azeri operations were financed in part with Afghan heroin.

      According to police sources in the Russian capital, 184
      heroin processing labs were discovered in Moscow alone last
      year. ''Every one of them was run by Azeris, who use the
      proceeds to buy arms for Azerbaijan's war against Armenia in
      Nagorno- Karabakh,'' [Russian economist Alexandre]
      Datskevitch said.[28]

This foreign Islamist presence in Baku was also supported by bin Laden¹s 
financial network.[29] With bin Laden¹s guidance and Saudi support, Baku soon 
became a base for jihadi operations against Dagestan and Chechnya in 
Russia.[30]And an informed article argued in 1999 that Pakistan¹s ISI, facing 
its own disposal problem with the militant Arab-Afghan veterans, trained and 
armed them in Afghanistan to fight in Chechnya. ISI also encouraged the flow of 
Afghan drugs westward to support the Chechen militants, thus diminishing the 
flow into Pakistan itself.[31]

As Michael Griffin has observed, the regional conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh and 
other disputed areas, Abkhazia, Turkish Kurdistan and Chechnya

      each represented a distinct, tactical move, crucial at the
      time, in discerning which power would ultimately become
      master of the pipelines which, some time in this century,
      will transport the oil and gas from the Caspian basin to an
      energy-avid world.[32]

Two Arab oil companies, Delta Oil and Nimir Oil, participated in the western oil
consortium along with the American firm Unocal.

It is unclear whether MEGA Oil was a front for the U.S. Government or for U.S. 
oil companies and their Saudi allies. U.S. oil companies have been accused of 
spending millions of dollars in Azerbaijan, not just to bribe the government but
also to install it. According to a Turkish intelligence source who was an 
alleged eyewitness, major oil companies, including Exxon and Mobil, were ³behind
the coup d¹état² which in 1993 replaced the elected President, Abulfaz Elchibey,
with his successor, Heydar Aliyev. The source claimed to have been at meetings 
in Baku with ³senior members of BP, Exxon, Amoco, Mobil and the Turkish 
Petroleum Company. The topic was always oil rights and, on the insistence of the
Azeris, supply and arms to Azerbaijan.² Turkish secret service documents allege 
middlemen paid off key officials of the democratically elected government of the
oil-rich nation just before its president was overthrown.[33]

The true facts and backers of the Aliyev coup may never be fully disclosed. But 
unquestionably, before the coup, the efforts of Richard Secord, Heinie Aderholt,
Ed Dearborn and Hekmatyar¹s mujahedin helped contest Russian influence and 
prepare for Baku¹s shift away to the west.[34] Three years later, in August 
1996, Amoco¹s president met with Clinton and arranged for Aliyev to be invited 
to Washington.[35] In 1997 Clinton said that

      In a world of growing energy demandŠour nation cannot afford
      to rely on a single region for our energy supplies. By
      working closely with Azerbaijan to tap the Caspian¹s
      resources, we not only help Azerbaijan to prosper, we also
      help diversify our energy supply and strengthen our energy¹s

But the interest in Azerbaijan was bipartisan. James Baker, George H.W. Bush¹s 
Secretary of State, was and is a member of the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of 
Commerce. So was Dick Cheney, During the 1990s the council¹s co-chairman was 
Richard Armitage, who in this period visited Aliyev in Azerbaijan on behalf of 

Unocal, the Taliban, and bin Laden in Afghanistan

The accusations against Amoco, Exxon, and Mobil in Azerbaijan parallel those 
from European sources against Unocal in Afghanistan, which has been accused of 
helping, along with Delta Oil, to finance the Taliban¹s seizure of Kabul in 
1996. (This was at a time when the Taliban was also receiving funds from Saudi 
Arabia and Osama bin Laden.)

The respected French observer Olivier Roy has charged that "When the Taleban 
took power in Afghanistan (1996), it was largely orchestrated by the Pakistani 
secret service [ISI] and the oil company Unocal, with its Saudi ally Delta.²[38]
Unocal executive John Maresca then testified in 1998 to the House Committee on 
International Relations on the benefits of a proposed oil pipeline through 
Afghanistan to the coat of Pakistan.[39] A second natural gas pipeline (Centgas)
was also contemplated by Unocal.

For Unocal to advance its own funds for the Taliban conquest would have been in 
violation of U.S. law, which is why such companies customarily resort to 
middlemen. No such restraints would have inhibited Unocal's Saudi partner in its
Centgas consortium, Delta Oil. Delta Oil certainly had the assets; it was ³owned
by a Jeddah-based group of 50 prominent investors close to the [Saudi] royal 
family.²[40] Delta was already an investor with Unocal in the oilfields of 
Azerbaijan, and may have been a factor in the October 1995 decision of 
Turkmenistan to sign a new pipeline contract with Unocal.[41]

As I wrote a decade ago, citing the case of a U.S. oil company in Tunisia, "it 
is normal, not unusual, for the entry of major U.S. firms into Third World 
countries to be facilitated and sustained, indeed made possible, by 
corruption."[42] This has long been the case, but in the Reagan 1980s it was 
escalated by a new generation of aggressively risk-taking, law-bending, ³cowboy²
entrepreneurs. The pace was set by new corporations like Enron, a high-debt 
merger that was in part guided by the junk-bond impresario Michael Milken.

Some have speculated that Enron also had a potential interest in the Unocal gas 
pipeline project through Afghanistan. By 1997 Enron was negotiating a $2 billion
joint venture with Neftegas of Uzbekistan, to develop Uzbekistan's natural gas. 
This was a huge project backed by a $400 million commitment from the U.S. 
Government through OPIC. Uzbekistan also signed a Memo of Agreement to 
participate in the Centgas gas pipeline. But the Enron Uzbek negotiations 
collapsed in 1998.[43]

Enron¹s  short-term plans had been to export Uzbek gas west to Kazakhstan, 
Turkey, and Europe. However it has been claimed that Enron hoped eventually to 
supply, via the Centgas pipeline, its failing energy plant in Dabhol, India. 
(Without a cheap gas supply, the cost of electricity from Dabhol was so great 
that Indians refused to buy it.)[44]

In the first half of 2001 the Bush Administration attempted to revive 
negotiations with the Taliban for the pipeline, as a quid pro quo for agreeing 
to a national unity government with Massoud¹s Northern Alliance, and extraditing
Osama bin Laden.[45] As Chalmers Johnson has commented, ³Support for this 
enterprise [the dual oil and gas pipelines] appears to have been a major 
consideration in the Bush administration¹s decision to attack Afghanistan on 
October 7, 2001.²[46]

In my book Drugs, Oil, and War, I quote again from Olivier Roy: "It is the 
Americans who have made inroads in Central Asia, primarily because of the oil 
and gas interests. Chevron and Unocal are political actors who talk as equals 
with the States (that is, with the presidents).²[47]

It is clear they talk as equals in the current Bush Administration. Both the 
President and Vice-President are former oilmen, as were some of their oldest 
friends and political backers, like Kenneth Lay of Enron.[48]

Al Qaeda, the KLA in Kosovo, and the Trans-Balkan Pipeline

The U.S., Al Qaeda and oil company interests converged again in Kosovo. Though 
the origins of the Kosovo tragedy were rooted in local enmities, oil became a 
prominent aspect of the outcome. There the al Qaeda-backed UCK or ³Kosovo 
Liberation Army² (KLA) was directly supported and politically empowered by NATO,
beginning in 1998.[49] But according to a source of Tim Judah, KLA 
representatives had already met with American, British, and Swiss intelligence 
agencies in 1996, and possibly ³several years earlier.²[50] This would 
presumably have been back when Arab Afghan members of the KLA, like Abdul-Wahid 
al-Qahtani, were fighting in Bosnia.[51]

Mainstream accounts of the Kosovo War are silent about the role of al Qaeda in 
training and financing the UCK/KLA, yet this fact has been recognized by experts
and to my knowledge never contested by them.[52] For example, James Bissett, 
former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia, said ³Many members of the Kosovo 
Liberation Army were sent for training in terrorist camps in AfghanistanŠ. 
Milosevic is right. There is no question of their [al Qaeda¹s] participation in 
conflicts in the Balkans. It is very well documented."[53] In March 2002, 
Michael Steiner, the United Nations administrator in Kosovo, warned of 
"importing the Afghan danger to Europe" because several cells trained and 
financed by al-Qaeda remained in the region.[54]

As late as 1997 the UCK/KLA had been recognized by the U.S. as a terrorist group
supported in part by the heroin traffic.[55] The Washington Times reported in 
1999 that

      The Kosovo Liberation Army, which the Clinton administration
      has embraced and some members of Congress want to arm as
      part of the NATO bombing campaign, is a terrorist
      organization that has financed much of its war effort with
      profits from the sale of heroin.[56]

Alfred McCoy supplies a detailed and footnoted corroboration:

      Albanian exiles used drug profits to ship Czech and Swiss
      arms back to Kosovo for the separatist guerrillas of the
      Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In 1997-98, these Kosovar drug
      syndicates armed the KLA for a revolt against Belgrade¹s
      armyŠ.Even after the 1999 Kumanovo agreement settled the
      Kosovo conflict, the UN administration of the
      provinceŠallowed a thriving heroin traffic along this
      northern route from Turkey. The former commanders of the
      KLA, both local clans and aspiring national leaders,
      continued to dominate the transit traffic through the

Yet once again, as in Azerbaijan, these drug-financed Islamist jihadis received 
American assistance, this time from the U.S. Government.[58] At the time critics
charged that US oil interests were interested in building a trans-Balkan 
pipeline with US Army protection; although initially ridiculed, these critics 
were eventually proven correct.[59]  BBC News announced in December 2004 that a 
$1.2 billion pipeline, south of a huge new U.S. army base in Kosovo, has been 
given a go-ahead by the governments of Albania, Bulgaria, and Macedonia.[60]

The closeness of the UCK/KLA to al-Qaeda was acknowledged again in the western 
press, after Afghan-connected KLA guerrillas proceeded in 2001 to conduct 
guerrilla warfare in Macedonia. Press accounts included an Interpol report 
containing the allegation that one of bin Laden´s senior lieutenants was the 
commander of an elite UCK/KLA unit operating in Kosovo in 1999.[61]

This was probably Mohammed al-Zawahiri. The American right wing, which opposed 
Clinton¹s actions in Kosovo, has transmitted reports ³that the KLA's head of 
elite forces, Muhammed al-Zawahiri, was the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the 
military commander for bin Laden's Al Qaeda.²[62] Meanwhile Marcia Kurop in the 
Wall Street Journal has written that ³The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist 
leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass 
destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout 
Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia.²[63]

According to Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congressional Task Force on 
Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare,

      Bin Laden¹s Arab `Afghans¹ also have assumed a dominant role
      in training the Kosovo Liberation ArmyŠ[by mid-March 1999
      the UCK included] many elements controlled and/or sponsored
      by the U.S., German, British, and Croatian intelligence

Meanwhile by 2000, according to DEA statistics, Afghan heroin accounted for 
almost 20 percent of the heroin seized in the United States -- nearly double the
percentage taken four years earlier. Much of it is now distributed by Kosovar 

[Three paragraphs previously posted here, referring to the KLA and Haiti, have 
been deleted. The source for what I wrote was in error: There were no forces 
from KLA in Haiti: only US specialists who had previously trained KLA veterans 
in peacetime work.]

Al Qaeda and the Petroleum-Military Complex

It is important to understand that the conspicuous influence of petroleum money 
in the administration of two Bush presidents was also prominent under Clinton. A
former CIA officer complained about the oil lobby¹s influence with Sheila Heslin
of Clinton¹s National Security Council staff:

      Heslin¹s sole job, it seemed, was to carry water for an
      exclusive club known as the Foreign Oil Companies Group, a
      cover for a cartel of major petroleum companies doing
      business in the Caspian. . . . Another thing I learned was
      that Heslin wasn¹t soloing. Her boss, Deputy National
      Security Adviser Sandy Berger, headed the inter-agency
      committee on Caspian oil policy, which made him in effect
      the government¹s ambassador to the cartel, and Berger wasn¹t
      a disinterested player. He held $90,000 worth of stock in
      Amoco, probably the most influential member of the cartel. .
      . . The deeper I got, the more Caspian oil money I found
      sloshing around Washington.[69]

The oil companies¹ meeting with Sheila Heslin in the summer of 1995 was followed
shortly by the creation of an interagency governmental committee to formulate 
U.S. policy toward the Caspian.

The Clinton Administration listened to the oil companies, and in 1998 began 
committing U.S. troops to joint training exercises in Uzbekistan.[70] This made 
neighboring countries like Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, wary of Russia, more 
eager to grant exploration and pipeline rights to American companies.[71]

But Clinton did not yield to Unocal¹s strenuous lobbying in 1996 for U.S. 
recognition of the Taliban, as a condition for building the pipeline from 
Turkmenistan. Clinton declined in the end to do so, responding instead to the 
strongly voiced political opposition, especially from women¹s groups over the 
Taliban¹s treatment of women.[72]

The three way symbiosis of Al Qaeda, oil companies, and the Pentagon is still 
visible in the case of Azerbaijan, for example. Now the Pentagon is protecting 
the Aliyev regime (where a younger Aliyev, in a dubious election, succeeded his 

      The Department of Defense at first proposed that Azerbaijan
      also receive an IMET [International Military Education and
      Training] grant of $750,000 and an FMF [Foreign Military
      Financing] grant of $3 million in 2003 as part of the war on
      terrorism but later admitted that the funds were actually
      intended to protect U.S. access to oil in and around the
      Caspian Sea.[73]

We have seen that, thanks to al Qaeda, U.S. bases have sprung up close to 
oilfields and pipelines in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia, and Kosovo. And as 
Michael Klare has noted,

      Already [U.S.] troops from the Southern Command (Southcom)
      are helping to defend Colombia¹s Cano Limón
      pipelineŠ.Likewise, soldiers from the European Command
      (Eurcom) are training local forces to protect the newly
      constructed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in
      GeorgiaŠ.Finally, the ships and planes of the U.S. Pacific
      Command (Pacom) are patrolling vital tanker routes in the
      Indian Ocean, South China Sea, and the western
      PacificŠ.Slowly but surely, the U.S. military is being
      converted into a global oil-protection service.[74]

A survey of U.S. history since World War Two suggests that the United States 
power state has consistently used the resources of drug-trafficking terrorists, 
and more recently those of al Qaeda, to further its own ends, particularly with 
respect to oil, at the expense of the public order and well-being of the 
American public state.[75] For at least two decades, from Brzezinski¹s backing 
of Hekmatyar in 1979 to Bush¹s backing of the Afghan Northern Alliance in 2001, 
the United States has continued to draw on the resources of drug-trafficking 
Islamic jihadists who are or were associated at some point with Al Qaeda.

In the next chapter I shall argue that this alliance with al Qaeda terrorists 
against the United States public order underlies the conspiracy that made 9/11 
possible. But we must also look at how the military-petroleum complex came to 
project long-term military budgets, in the order of a trillion dollars, that its
advocates acknowledged that the American public state could not be persuaded 
easily to supportŠ..

In the absence, that is, of ³some catastrophic and catalyzing event ­ like a new
Pearl Harbor.²[76]


[1] Saïd K. Aburish, The Rise, Corruption and Coming Fall of the House of Saud 
(New York: St. Martin¹s Press, 1995), 130-31.

[2] Western governments and media apply the term ³al Qaeda² to the whole 
³network of co-opted groups² who have at some point accepted leadership, 
training and financing from bin Laden (Jason Burke, Al-Qaeda: The True Story of 
Radical Islam [London: I.B. Tauris, 2004], 7-8). From a Muslim perceptive, the 
term ³Al Qaeda² is clumsy, and has led to the targeting of a number of Islamist 
groups opposed to bin Laden¹s tactics. See Montasser al-Zayyat, The Road to 
Al-Qaeda: The Story of Bin Lden¹s Right-Hand Man [London: Pluto Press, 2004], 
100, etc.). I am reminded of certain right-wing hypostatizations of the Vietnam 
anti-war ³Movement² in which I took part, and which saw foreign-funded 
conspiracy where I could only see chaos. For this reason I will where possible 
try to use instead the clumsy but widely-accepted term (or misnomer) ³Arab 
Afghans.² [ZZ cf. fn 4 Chap 7]

[3] Guardian, 1/7/93; Evan F. Kohlmann, Al-Qaida¹s Jihad in Europe: The 
Afghan-Bosnian Network (Oxford and New York: Berg Publishers, 2004), 16. Despite
this public stance, ISI elements ³privately² continued to support Arab Afghans 
who were willing to join Pakistan¹s new covert operations in Kashmir.

[4] Montasser al-Zayyat, The Road to Al-Qaeda: The Story of Bin Lden¹s 
Right-Hand Man (London: Pluto Press, 2004), 55.

[5] Barnett Rubin, New York Times, 12/28/92.

[6] Robert Baer, Sleeping with the Devil (New York: Crown, 2003), 143-44. Former
CIA officer Robert Baer, who in 1993 was posted to Tajikistan, describes a raid 
at that time in which ³a Tajik Islamic rebel groupŠfrom AfghanistanŠmanaged to 
overrun a Russian border post and cut off all the guards¹ heads.² According to 
Baer, the local Russian intelligence chief was convinced that ³the rebels were 
under the command of Rasool Sayyaf¹s Ittehad-e-Islami, bin Laden¹s Afghani 
protector,² who in turn was backed by Saudi Arabia and the IIRO. More commonly 
it is claimed that Hekmatyar¹s terrorist drug network was supporting the Tajik 
resistance (Independent, 2/17/93, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/4/01). For Casey¹s
encouragement of these ISI-backed raids in 1985, see Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The
Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion 
to September 10, 2001 (New York: Penguin Press, 2004), 104.

[7] Michael Griffin, Reaping the Whirlwind: The Taliban Movement in Afghanistan 
(London: Pluto Press, 2001), 150 (Tajik rebels); Coll, Ghost Wars, 225 (U.S. 

[8] Ahmed Rashid, Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia (New Haven: 
Yale UP, 2002), 140-44.

[9] Griffin, Reaping the Whirlwind, 115. Exploration in the 1990s has 
considerably downgraded these estimates.

[10] Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central 
Asia (New Haven: Yale UP, 2001), 145.

[11] Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 
2003), 30-31.

[12] Martha Brill Olcott, ³The Caspian¹s False Promise,² Foreign Policy, Summer 
1998, 96; quoted in Michael T. Klare, Blood and Oil: The Dangers and 
Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum  (New York: 
Metropolitan/ Henry Holt, 2004), 129. Cf. Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 8, 64-66.

[13] Reuters, 4/24/05.
[14] Martha Brill Olcott, Washington Post, 5/22/05

[15] Thomas Goltz, Azerbaijan Diary: A Rogue Reporter¹s Adventures in an 
Oil-Rich, War-Torn, Post-Soviet Republic (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1999), 
272-75. Cf. Mark Irkali, Tengiz Kodrarian and Cali Ruchala, ³God Save the Shah,²
Sobaka Magazine, 5/22/03, http://www.diacritica.com/sobaka/2003/shah2.html. A 
fourth operative in MEGA Oil, Gary Best, was also a veteran of North¹s Contra 
support effort. For more on General Secord¹s and Major Aderholt¹s role as part 
of Ted Shackley¹s team of off-loaded CIA assets and capabilities, see Jonathan 
Marshall, Peter Dale Scott, and Jane Hunter, The Iran-Contra Connection: Secret 
Teams and Covert Operations in the Reagan Era (Boston: South End Press, 1987), 
26-30, 36-42, 197-98.

[16] It was also a time when Congress, under pressure from Armenian voters, had 
banned all military aid to Azerbaijan (under Section 907 of the Freedom Support 
Act). This ban, reminiscent of the Congressional ban on aid to the Contras in 
the 1980s, ended after 9/11. ³In the interest of national security, and to help 
in `enhancing global energy security¹ during this War on Terror, Congress 
granted President Bush the right to waive Section 907 in the aftermath of 
September 11th. It was necessary, Secretary of State Colin Powell told Congress,
to `enable Azerbaijan to counter terrorist organizations¹" (Irkali, Kodrarian 
and Ruchala, ³God Save the Shah,² Sobaka Magazine, 5/22/03).

[17] Richard Secord, with Jay Wurts, Honored and Betrayed: Irangate, Covert 
Affairs, and the Secret War in Laos (New York: John Wiley, 1992), 53-57.

[18] Secord, Honored and Betrayed, 211-16.
[19] Secord, Honored and Betrayed, 233-35.

[20] Goltz, Azerbaijan Diary, 272-75; Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War 
(Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), 7. As part of the airline operation, 
Azeri pilots were trained in Texas. Dearborn had previously helped Secord advise
and train the fledgling Contra air force (Marshall, Scott, and Hunter, The 
Iran-Contra Connection, 197). These important developments were barely noticed 
in the U.S. press, but a Washington Post article did belatedly note that a group
of American men who wore "big cowboy hats and big cowboy boots" had arrived in 
Azerbaijan as military trainers for its army, followed in 1993 by ³more than 
1,000 guerrilla fighters from Afghanistan's radical prime minister, Gulbuddin 
Hekmatyar.² (Washington Post, 4/21/94) Richard Secord was allegedly attempting 
also to sell Israeli arms, with the assistance of Israeli agent David Kimche, 
another associate of Oliver North. See Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 7, 8, 20. 
Whether the Americans were aware of it or not, the al Qaeda presence in Baku 
soon expanded to include assistance for moving jihadis onwards into Dagestan and

[21] Cooley, Unholy Wars, 180; Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 7.
[22] Cooley, Unholy Wars, 176.

[23] As the 9/11Commission Report notes (58), the bin Laden organization 
established an NGO in Baku, which became a base for terrorism elsewhere. It also
became a transshipment point for Afghan heroin to the Chechen mafia, whose 
branches ³extended not only to the London arms market, but also throughout 
continental Europe and North America (Cooley, Unholy Wars, 176).

[24] Mark Irkali, Tengiz Kodrarian and Cali Ruchala , ³God Save the Shah: 
American Guns, Spies and Oil in Azerbaijan,² 5/22/03, 
http://www.diacritica.com/sobaka/2003/shah.html. As we have just seen, they were
not the first.

[25] One of Bin Laden¹s associates claimed that Bin Laden himself led the Arab 
Afghans in at least two battles in Nagorno Karabakh. (Associated Press 

[26] Ibrahim Eidarous, later arrested in Europe by the FBI for his role in the 
1998 embassy bombings, headed the Baku base of Al Qaeda between 1995 and 1997 
(Strategic Policy 10/99). An Islamist in Baku claimed that they did not attack 
the U.S. Embassy there so as "not to spoil their good relations in Azerbaijan" 
(Bill of Indictment in U.S.A. vs. Bin Laden et. al. 4/01; Washington Post 

[27] Cooley, Unholy Wars, 176.
[28] Frank Viviano, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/18/92.
[29] 9/11 Report, 58.

[30] USA vs. Osama bin Laden, Transcript, Testimony of  Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl, 
February 6, 2001, http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/reports/pdfs/binladen/060201.pdf, 

[31] Levon Sevunts, Montreal Gazette, 10/26/99; cf. Michel Chossudovsky, ³Who Is
Osama bin Laden?² Centre for Research on Globalisation, 9/12/01,

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO109C.html. Those trained by ISI 
included the main rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Al Khattab. Cf. Rajeev 
Sharma, Pak Proxy War: A Story of ISI, bin Laden and Kargil (New Delhi: Kaveri 
Books, 2002), 84, 86, 89, 91.

[32] Michael Griffin, Reaping the Whirlwind, 115.

[33] London Sunday Times, 3/26/00. The U.S. private research firm Stratfor 
agrees that ³Western energy companies splashed cash about in an attempt to 
squeeze the country for its oil and natural gas² (Stratfor, 10/16/03).

[34] European sources have also alleged that CIA meetings with the Algerian 
fundamentalist leader Anwar Haddam in the period 1993-95 were responsible for 
the surprising lack of Islamist attacks on U.S. oil and agribusiness 
installations in Algeria. See Richard Labévière, Dollars for Terror: The United 
States and Islam (New York: Algora Publishing, 2000), 182-89. For partial 
corroboration, cf. Cooley, Unholy Wars, 207; Bradford Dillon, Middle East Policy
Council Journal, September 2001, 

[35] Washington Post, 10/4/98: ³Before the meeting ended, Amoco ­ the largest 
U.S. investor in Azerbaijan's oil boom ­ had what it wanted: a promise from 
Clinton to invite the Azerbaijani president to Washington. Six months later the 
company, which traditionally donated heavily to the Republicans, contributed 
$50,000 to the Democratic Party. In August 1997, Clinton received President 
Heydar Aliyev with full honors, witnessed the signing of a new Amoco oil 
exploration deal and promised to lobby Congress to lift U.S. economic sanctions 
on Azerbaijan.²

[36] White House Press Statement, 8/1/97; quoted in Michael Klare, Resource 
Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict (New York: Metropolitan/ Henry Holt, 
2001), 4; Scott, Drugs. Oil. and War, 30.

[37] Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of
the Republic (New York: Metropolitan/Henry Holt, 2004), 174; James Mann, The 
Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush¹s War Cabinet (New York: Viking, 2004) 
224-25 (Aliyev visit).

[38] Olivier Roy, quoted in Richard Labévière, Dollars for Terror: The United 
States and Islam (New York: Algora, 2000), 280.

[39] Senator Hank Brown was a supporter of the Unocal project, and welcomed the 
fall of Kabul as a chance for stable government (Rashid, Taliban, 166).

[40] Griffin, Reaping the Whirlwind, 124.

[41] Michael Griffin, Reaping the Whirlwind: The Taliban Movement in Afghanistan
(London: Pluto, 2001), 124.

[42] Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (Berkeley: University 
of California Press, 1996), 203.

[43] Alexander¹s Gas & Oil Connections, 10/12/98, 

[44] Enron¹s losses on its Dabhol project approached $900 million, and were a 
major factor in Enron¹s bankruptcy. ³Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and
a series of other top Bush administration officials and diplomats reportedly 
lobbied Indian leaders to save Dabhol. OPIC documents released in January 2002 
revealed that the National Security Council had intervened on behalf of Enron on
the Dabhol issue² (M. Asif Ismail, ³A Most Favored Corporation,² Center for 
Public Integrity, 7/29/05, http://www.publici.org/report.aspx?aid=104&sid=200.)

[45] Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban 
Secret Diplomacy and th Failed Hunt for Bin Laden (New York: Thunder¹s Mouth 
Press/ Nation Books, 2002), 41-44.

[46] Chalmers.Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of
the Republic ( New York: Metropolitan/Henry Holt, 2004), 176.

[47] Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 55n.

[48] According to David Corn, Bush ³claimed he had not gotten to know disgraced 
Enron chief Ken Lay until after the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election. But Lay 
had been one of Bush's larger contributors during that election and 
had--according to Lay himself--been friends with Bush for years before it² ( 
³The Other Lies of George Bush,² Nation Online, 9/25/03).

[49] KLA representatives had met with American, British, and Swiss intelligence 
agencies in 1996, and possibly several years earlier (Tim Judah, Kosovo: War and
Revenge [New Haven: Yale UP, 2002], 120).

[50] Tim Judah, Kosovo: War and Revenge (New Haven: Yale UP, 2002), 120.

[51] Evan F. Kohlmann, Al-Qaida¹s Jihad in Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network 
(Oxford and New York: Berg Publishers, 2004), 79. Al-Qahtani, who was killed by 
U.S. ordinance in Afghanistan in 2001, had previously fought in Afghanistan, 
Bosnia, Israel, Chechnya, and Kosovo.

[52] In 2001 the U.S. press paid brief attention to the case of David Hicks, an 
Australian al Qaeda fighter and convert to Islam. Captured when fighting with 
the Taliban, Hicks had previously been with Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan force 
targeting Kashmir. Before training at an al Qaeda camp, Hicks had joined the KLA
in mid-1999. See CNN, 12/13/01, 

[53] National Post, 3/15/02. Contrast e.g. Michael Ignatieff, Virtual War : 
Kosovo and Beyond (New York: Metropolitan/ Henry Holt, 2000), 13: ³the KLA, at 
first a small band of poorly trained and amateurish gunmen.² For the al Qaeda 
background to the UCK and its involvement in heroin-trafficking, see also Marcia
Christoff Kurop, ³Al Qaeda´s Balkan Links,² Wall Street Journal Europe, 11/1/01;
Montreal Gazette, 12/15/99.

[54] National Post, 3/15/02

[55] Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 29. ³According to Michel Koutouzis, the DEA's 
website once contained a section detailing Kosovar trafficking, but a week 
before the U.S.-led bombings began, the section disappeared² (Peter Klebnikov, 
³Heroin Heroes,² Mother Jones, January/February 2000, 
http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2000/01/heroin.html). Speaking in Kosovo
in February 1998, Robert Gelbard, the U.S. special envoy to the region, said 
publicly that the KLA ³is, without any questions, a terrorist group² (Judah, 
Kosovo: War and Revenge, 138).

[56] Washington Times, 5/3/99. Cf. San Francisco Chronicle, 5/5/99: ³Officers of
the Kosovo Liberation Army and their backers, according to law enforcement 
authorities in Western Europe and the United States, are a major force in 
international organized crime, moving staggering amounts of narcotics through an
underworld network that reaches into the heart of Europe.²

[57] Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (Chicago: 
Lawrence Hill Books/ Chicago Review Press, 2001), 517.: ³²The most militant of 
these local commanders, Muhamed Xhemajli, had reportedly been a major drug 
trafficker in Switzerland before joining the KLA in 1998.²

[58] See Lewis Mackenzie (former UN commander in Bosnia), ³We Bombed the Wrong 
Side?² National Post, 4/6/04: ³Those of us who warned that the West was being 
sucked in on the side of an extremist, militant, Kosovo-Albanian independence 
movement were dismissed as appeasers. The fact that the lead organization 
spearheading the fight for independence, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), was 
universally designated a terrorist organization and known to be receiving 
support from Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda was conveniently ignoredŠ.The Kosovar 
Albanians played us like a Stradivarius violin. We have subsidized and 
indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure Kosovo. We 
have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early 
1990s, and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today, in spite 
of evidence to the contrary. When they achieve independence with the help of our
tax dollars combined with those of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, just consider the 
message of encouragement this sends to other terrorist-supported independence 
movements around the world." Cf. John Pilger, New Statesman, 12/13/04.

[59] George Monbiot, Guardian, 2/15/01.

[60] BBC News, 12/28/04. Those who charged that such a pipeline was projected 
were initially mocked but gradually vindicated (Guardian, 1/15/01; Scott, Drugs,
Oil, and War, 34). See also Marjorie Cohn, ³Nato Bombing of Kosovo: Humanitarian
Intervention or Crime against Humanity?²  International Journal for the 
Semiotics of Law, March 2002, 79-106.

[61] Halifax Herald, 10/29/01, < 
http://www.herald.ns.ca/stories/2001/10/29/f126.raw.html >. Cf. Yossef Bodansky,
Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America [Roseville: Prima, 2001], 298: 
³In late 1998, despite the growing pressure from U.S. intelligence and its local
alliesŠa new network made up of bin Laden¹s supporters was being established in 
Albania under the cover of various Muslim charity organizationsŠ.Bin Laden¹s 
Arab `Afghans¹ also have assumed a dominant role in training the Kosovo 
Liberation Army.² Bodansky adds that by mid-March 1999 the UCK included ³many 
elements controlled and/or sponsored by the U.S., German, British, and Croatian 
intelligence servicesŠ. In early April [1999] the UCK began actively cooperating
with the NATO bombing--selecting and designating targets for NATO aircraft as 
well as escorting U.S. and British special forces detachments into Yugoslavia² 
(397-98). Cf. also Scott Taylor, ³Bin Laden¹s Balkan Connections,² 
http://www.realitymacedonia.org.mk/web/news_page.asp?nid=1186; San Francisco 
Chronicle, 10/4/01.

[62] Cliff Kincaid, ³Remember Kosovo?² Accuracy in Media, Media Monitor, 
12/28/04, http://www.aim.org/media_monitor/2393_0_2_0_C/.| Yossef Bodansky, Bin 
Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America [Roseville: Prima, 2001], 298.

[63] Wall Street Journal Europe, 11/1/01.
[64] Bodansky, Bin Laden, 397-98.
[65] Klebnikov, ³Heroin Heroes,² Mother Jones, January/February 2000.

[69]  Robert Baer, See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA¹s 
War on Terrorism (New York: Crown, 2002), 243-44. Cf. Scott, Drugs, Oil, and 
War, 31.

[70] Ahmed Rashid, Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia (New Haven:
Yale UP, 2002),  83.

[71] Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 65; Johnson, Sorrows of Empire, 172-73.

[72] Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central 
Asia (New Haven: Yale UP, 2001), 173-75, 182.

[73] Johnson, Sorrows of Empire, 137. Cf. 169: ³During the 1990s and especially 
after Bush¹s declaration of a `war on terrorism,¹ the oil companies again needed
some muscle and the Pentagon was happy to oblige.²

[74] Michael T. Klare, Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's 
Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum  (New York: Metropolitan/ Henry Holt, 
2004). 6-7.

[75] Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 1-105, 185-207.

[76] Project for the New American Century, ³Rebuilding America¹s Defenses:  
Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century,² September 2000, p. 51 (63), 

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