The NATO Secretary General, in attributing authorship of the September 11 attack, said that all roads lead to Osama Bin Laden and the al Qaida network. Is it true that all the evidence leads to Osama and al Qaida?


There are four evidentiary roads possibly connecting the 19 Gulf Arab and Egyptian suicidists aboard the doomed planes with the group that financed and directed them.

1) The wire transfers amounting to $100,000.

Mohamed Atta received this money in June 2000 in Florida in several payments from source identifying himself as "Mustafa Ahmad" through the medium a bank in the United Arab Emirate. Since the money was used to finance training suicidists pilots, and the sender's name turned out to be an untraceable alias, it can be assumed that the sender represented the plotters directing Atta. Unfortunately, the sender successfully cloaked his identity (which is not difficult with a UAE bank), so the road leads to a dead end.

2) Surveillance by Czech intelligence of Ahmed Al-Ani, a diplomat at the Iraq Embassy in Prague.

Czech surveillance was routinely covering Al-Ani in the Spring of 2000. In June, it reportedly spotted him meeting with Atta who had briefly stopped in Prague just prior to his departure to the US. Shortly thereafter, Atta received the $100,000 bank transfers from "Mustafa Ahmad." Whether Atta knew the actual identity of Ahmad Al-Ani when they met or whether Ani was contacting him under a "false flag" is not known. Czech surveillance, however, certainly knew that Ani was an officer in the Iraq Intelligence service since it expelled him from the Czech Republic for espionage activities in April 2001. Secretary of State Powell took this report seriously enough to ask the Czech's about it following the September bombings. This road, if the reports are accurate (which is a big "if) leads directly to directly to Iraq.

3) Malaysian police surveillance of Al Qaida in Malaysia in December 1999. Khalid al Midhar, one of the 19 suicidists was videotaped meeting with al Qaida supporters in Kuala Lumpur at a Islamic conference. This was 18 months prior to his joining the hijackers in the US. This road, if it was uninterrupted, leads to al Qaida.

4) The transfer of $15,000 by Atta and two other suicidists on September 9, 2001. This money reportedly was sent through a UAE bank to an account traceable to Bin Laden. Who, if anyone, directed Atta to ghost this traceable trail is not known. If it was the "Mustafa Ahmad" who sent the money, the question as to his motive in putting a return address on the crime may be relevant.

So not all roads from the suicidists lead exactly in the same direction: one road is a dead end, one road leads to Iraq, and two road leads to al-Qaida and Bin Laden.