THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 08, 2001
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Bush took FBI agents off Laden family trail

BY RASHMEE Z AHMED

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
ONDON: America was itself to blame for the events of September 11 because the US administration was using "kid gloves" in tracking down Osama bin Laden and "other fanatics linked to Saudi Arabia", a special BBC investigation has alleged in a damning indictment of the two presidents Bush and American foreign policy.

The report, which the BBC claimed was based on a secret FBI document, numbered 199I WF213589 and emanating out of the FBI’s Washington field office, alleged that the cynicism of the American establishment and "connections between the CIA and Saudi Arabia and the Bush men and bin Ladens" may have been the real cause of the deaths of thousands in the World Trade Centre attacks.

The investigation, which featured in the BBC’s leading current affairs programme, Newsnight, said the FBI was told to "back off" investigating one of Osama bin Laden’s brothers, Abdullah, who was linked to "the Saudi-funded World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a suspected terrorist organisation," whose accounts have still not frozen by the US treasury despite "being banned by Pakistan some weeks ago and India claiming it was linked to an organisation involved in bombing in Kashmir".

Newsnight said there was a long history of "shadowy" American connections with Saudi Arabia, not least the two presidents Bush’s "business dealings" with the bin Ladens and another more insidious link revealed by the former head of the American visa section in Jeddah.

The official said he had been concerned about visas issued to large numbers of "unqualified" men "with no family links or any links with America or Saudi Arabia", only to find out later that it "was not visa fraud" but part of a scheme in which young men "recruited by Osama bin Laden" were being sent for "terrorist training by the CIA" after which they were sent on to Afghanistan.

In a reiteration of a now well-known claim by one of George W Bush’s former business partners, the BBC said he made his first million 20 years ago on the back of a company financed by Osama’s elder brother, Salem. But it added the more disturbing assertion that both presidents Bush had lucrative stakes along with the bin Ladens in Carlyle Corporation, a small private company which has gone on to become one of America's biggest defence contractors. The bin Ladens sold their stake in Carlyle soon after September 11, it said.

American politicians later told the BBC programme that they rejected the accusation that the establishment had called the dogs of the intelligence agencies off the bin Ladens and the royal House of Saud because of a strategic interest in Saudi Arabia, which has the world's biggest oil reserve.
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