Saturday, February 11, 2012

And why...

...has this story never become important?
The Aug. 11, 1982, explosion was no accident. Ozawa was murdered — killed by a sophisticated bomb, one of many that spread like a virus around the world in the 1980s, killing and injuring scores in more than two dozen terrorist attacks. The man behind them: Abu Ibrahim, who controlled a web of dangerous operatives while living in Baghdad under the protection of Saddam Hussein.
Emphasis added.  His given name is Husayn al-Umari. He's about 75 years old now but still one of the most-wanted men on the Rewards for Justice list, according to ex-CIA agent Bob Baer:
"He was the most capable and the most dangerous bomb maker in the world barring none during my time as a CIA officer. He's a man who could open up a lot of old cases."
So why was this guy not trotted out by the administration as a link between Iraq and terrorism?   Well, the story goes on to say he was operating under the blessing of Saddam during the 80s when the State Dept pressured them to abandon terrorism (because we had removed them from the State Sponsored list and needed their help to fend off the Ayatollah).  Iraq responded that the 15 May Organization was defunct but most counter-terror agents in the FBI and CIA didn't buy it, emphasizing his role as teacher...
"He still made the bombs and he still taught people how to do it," Kline said. "He had a little shop in Baghdad. He had this cadre of couriers who went out and placed them like Rashed. He was a dedicated terrorist." Kline said the FBI was able to connect at least 21 devices to Ibrahim. Others continued to circulate in the hands of terrorists; they would be traced to two airline bombings in 1986 and 1989 that killed 174 people, including the wife of an American ambassador to Chad.
Here's a guy who was directly connected to the Iraqi Intelligence Service (he lived only a few blocks away) engineering terrorist attacks on US assets and citizens, a man described by many intelligence officers as "Dr. Frankenstein" yet he never became a household name like Abu Abbas, Abu Nidal, or Ramzi Yousef.  Yet when the coalition went into Iraq in 2003 his name wasn't included on the "Deck of Cards" of most-wanted regime thugs.
So where is Ibrahim today? Federal law enforcement and former CIA officials believe that Ibrahim has fled to Syria. His sons, daughter and longtime wife Selma could also be with him. While the FBI declined to discuss specific efforts to find Ibrahim, the official did say the window to bring him to justice is closing. Rashed, whom prosecutors called a "cold-blooded killer" in a court filing, is scheduled to be released from prison in 2013 — which would leave any case against Ibrahim without its star witness.
Emphasis again to point out that he was last thought to be in Syria, a hotbed connected to Iran featuring a regime that just released the 'Red-Headed Terrorist", another purported mastermind who allegedly engineered the Madrid and London bombings (while remaining almost anonymous to the public) and someone who reportedly got training in Saddam's Iraq while also serving as a trainer for the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan against the Soviets.  Meanwhile 15 May operator Mohammed Rashed is still locked up at the Supermax along with a more infamous bomber who used 'seat bombs' to attack large aircraft, Ramzi Yousef.  One has to wonder what they talk about, if they can talk.  One also has to wonder what the Feds know about any connections between the two that might link to Iraq. 

But back to the question of 'why'.  Maybe the answer stems from something mentioned in the linked story.  Perhaps that something explains why an outfit like MSNBC or Newsweek or Time or AP would even report such a story in the first place--a possibility that the Reagan/Bush White Houses didn't want him captured back when he was acting on behalf of Iraq as state terrorist agent against Iran. 

And if true, perhaps he got the last laugh by teaching other terrorists how to use bombs against western targets.  One may also ask why the left wouldn't want to exploit such a story, hoping to show the hypocrisy of messers Bush and Cheney, but the answer could be that doing so would also prove what they said never occurred--Iraq's complicity in global terror.  They've set up Iraq as the political gift that keeps on giving and they probably figure it gives a lot more than actually admitting that while Bush was a flying hypocrite about Saddam he was technically correct.  It might also explain the vigor with which they demonized Saddam in the 90s.

In the end perhaps the Bush folks thought it best to leave al-Umari under the realpolitik rug even if his existence made the case of Saddam Hussein working with terrorists or perhaps even proving a thin link between Iraq, al-Umari, and al Qaeda.  Maybe somebody knows the names of his students over the past 20 years.  Maybe that somebody is locked up in Colorado right now.   Maybe we'll never know.

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