March 01, 2006

The Ties that Bind...

or Undo - the Unholy Alliance between CAIR, the UAE and Our Enemies.

Paul Sperry from the Hoover Institution, writes an excellent and fact rich article in Front Page Mag which links terrorism's smiley American face, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, the UAE, the Taliban and even Osama bin Laden. Although the thrust of his article is to shed light on CAIR's nefarious alliances, I think what is most telling and significant are the facts he reveals about the UAE:

CAIR's landlord, Sheik Maktoum, doubles as UAE defense minister. Before 9/11, he provided UAE military C-130 cargo planes to supply al-Qaida hunting camps in Afghanistan with all the amenities they needed when he and other high-level UAE officials and princes took hunting trips there. On one trip in 1999, roughly half the UAE royal family was the guest of Osama bin laden at his camp near Kandahar. They flew in on an official UAE aircraft, according to a recently declassified CIA memo dated Feb. 19, 1999, and titled, "Recent High Level UAE Visits to Afghanistan." The memo also determined that Dubai officials had lied to U.S. officials about visiting the camps. And they were believed to have even tipped off bin Laden about a coming strike on his camps. Mind you, this was just months after bin Laden blew up the two U.S. embassies in Africa (a plot which was financed in part through Dubai banks), so they knew they were in bad company. Just like CAIR knows it's in bad company.

The Dubai officials also had a cozy relationship with the Taliban. By now you've probably heard that the UAE was one of only three countries in the world -- the others being Saudi Arabia and Pakistan -- to formally recognize the Taliban in diplomatic circles. What you haven't heard is that Dubai was one of the Taliban's only travel and financial outlets to the outside world. Dubai booked flights for them and acted as their banker. But CAIR doesn't care about that, either (nor apparently does the White House).

So with all the bonding that bin Laden did with Dubai royals before 9/11, it's little wonder that he deployed 13 of his 19 hijackers from Dubai to hit America. That's right, all 13 entered the U.S. from Dubai (and that's not even counting the original 20th hijacker Mohammed al-Katani, who also entered through Dubai before an alert INS inspector at Orlando airport sent him packing). Or little wonder that two were Emirates, and that one -- Marwan al-Shehhi -- in fact served under Sheik Maktoum in the UAE Army. He no doubt made the general proud by crashing his plane into the South Tower.

It's also not surprising, given Dubai's cozy ties to bin Laden and Taleb leaders, that the hijackers were able to use Dubai as their financial base in addition to their forward staging base. As they came through Dubai, they were outfitted by the nephew of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed with credit cards, cash, bank accounts and American-style clothing. More than $100,000 in al-Qaida funds were funneled through Dubai banks. One single transfer from Dubai into al-Shehhi's and his pal Mohamed Atta's Florida checking account totaled $70,000.

The day before crashing his hijacked United Airlines jet, al-Shehhi wired $5,400 in leftover al-Qaida funds back to Dubai. Other hijackers also wired residuals there. After the attacks, investigators traced al-Shehhi phone calls back to the UAE, where he is now celebrated as a hero in mosques and other local gathering places outside the gaze of Western investors, who are too intoxicated by glittering high-rises and other signs of modernity to understand that the desert oasis is still haunted by ancient demons.