- More on Al Qaeda -- the database.
- Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign
Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that "Al Qaeda"
is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin
and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms,
and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Courtesy of World Affairs,
a journal based in New Delhi, WMR can bring you an important excerpt from
an Apr.-Jun. 2004 article by Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French
- "I first heard about Al-Qaida while I was attending
the Command and Staff course in Jordan. I was a French officer at that
time and the French Armed Forces had close contacts and cooperation with
Jordan . . .
- "Two of my Jordanian colleagues were experts in
computers. They were air defense officers. Using computer science slang,
they introduced a series of jokes about students' punishment.
- "For example, when one of us was late at the bus
stop to leave the Staff College, the two officers used to tell us: 'You'll
be noted in 'Q eidat il-Maaloomaat' which meant 'You'll be logged in the
information database.' Meaning 'You will receive a warning . . .' If the
case was more severe, they would used to talk about 'Q eidat i-Taaleemaat.'
Meaning 'the decision database.' It meant 'you will be punished.' For the
worst cases they used to speak of logging in 'Al Qaida.'
- "In the early 1980s the Islamic Bank for Development,
which is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, like the Permanent Secretariat
of the Islamic Conference Organization, bought a new computerized system
to cope with its accounting and communication requirements. At the time
the system was more sophisticated than necessary for their actual needs.
- "It was decided to use a part of the system's memory
to host the Islamic Conference's database. It was possible for the countries
attending to access the database by telephone: an Intranet, in modern language.
The governments of the member-countries as well as some of their embassies
in the world were connected to that network.
- "[According to a Pakistani major] the database was
divided into two parts, the information file where the participants in
the meetings could pick up and send information they needed, and the decision
file where the decisions made during the previous sessions were recorded
and stored. In Arabic, the files were called, 'Q eidat il-Maaloomaat' and
'Q eidat i-Taaleemaat.' Those two files were kept in one file called in
Arabic 'Q eidat ilmu'ti'aat' which is the exact translation of the English
word database. But the Arabs commonly used the short word Al Qaida which
is the Arabic word for "base." The military air base of Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia is called 'q eidat 'riyadh al 'askariya.' Q eida means "a
base" and "Al Qaida" means "the base."
- "In the mid-1980s, Al Qaida was a database located
in computer and dedicated to the communications of the Islamic Conference's
- "In the early 1990s, I was a military intelligence
officer in the Headquarters of the French Rapid Action Force. Because of
my skills in Arabic my job was also to translate a lot of faxes and letters
seized or intercepted by our intelligence services . . . We often got intercepted
material sent by Islamic networks operating from the UK or from Belgium.
- "These documents contained directions sent to Islamic
armed groups in Algeria or in France. The messages quoted the sources of
statements to be exploited in the redaction of the tracts or leaflets,
or to be introduced in video or tapes to be sent to the media. The most
commonly quoted sources were the United Nations, the non-aligned countries,
the UNHCR and . . . Al Qaida.
- "Al Qaida remained the data base of the Islamic
Conference. Not all member countries of the Islamic Conference are 'rogue
states' and many Islamic groups could pick up information from the databases.
It was but natural for Osama Bin Laden to be connected to this network.
He is a member of an important family in the banking and business world.
- "Because of the presence of 'rogue states,' it became
easy for terrorist groups to use the email of the database. Hence, the
email of Al Qaida was used, with some interface system, providing secrecy,
for the families of the mujaheddin to keep links with their children undergoing
training in Afghanistan, or in Libya or in the Beqaa valley, Lebanon. Or
in action anywhere in the battlefields where the extremists sponsored by
all the 'rogue states' used to fight. And the 'rogue states' included Saudi
Arabia. When Osama bin Laden was an American agent in Afghanistan, the
Al Qaida Intranet was a good communication system through coded or covert
- Meet "Al Qaeda"
- "Al Qaida was neither a terrorist group nor Osama
bin Laden's personal property . . . The terrorist actions in Turkey in
2003 were carried out by Turks and the motives were local and not international,
unified, or joint. These crimes put the Turkish government in a difficult
position vis-a-vis the British and the Israelis. But the attacks certainly
intended to 'punish' Prime Minister Erdogan for being a 'toot tepid' Islamic
- " . . . In the Third World the general opinion is
that the countries using weapons of mass destruction for economic purposes
in the service of imperialism are in fact 'rogue states," specially
the US and other NATO countries.
- " Some Islamic economic lobbies are conducting a
war against the 'liberal" economic lobbies. They use local terrorist
groups claiming to act on behalf of Al Qaida. On the other hand, national
armies invade independent countries under the aegis of the UN Security
Council and carry out pre-emptive wars. And the real sponsors of these
wars are not governments but the lobbies concealed behind them.
- "The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist
group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this.
But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence
of an identified entity representing the 'devil' only in order to drive
the 'TV watcher' to accept a unified international leadership for a war
against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US and the
lobbyists for the US war on terrorism are only interested in making money."
- In yet another example of what happens to those who challenge
the system, in December 2001, Maj. Pierre-Henri Bunel was convicted by
a secret French military court of passing classified documents that identified
potential NATO bombing targets in Serbia to a Serbian agent during the
Kosovo war in 1998. Bunel's case was transferred from a civilian court
to keep the details of the case classified. Bunel's character witnesses
and psychologists notwithstanding, the system "got him" for telling
the truth about Al Qaeda and who has actually been behind the terrorist
attacks commonly blamed on that group. It is noteworthy that that Yugoslav
government, the government with whom Bunel was asserted by the French government
to have shared information, claimed that Albanian and Bosnian guerrillas
in the Balkans were being backed by elements of "Al Qaeda." We
now know that these guerrillas were being backed by money provided by the
Bosnian Defense Fund, an entity established as a special fund at Bush-influenced
Riggs Bank and directed by Richard Perle and Douglas Feith.