Mohammed bin Zayid, the UAE's Crown Prince and Chief of Staff, is tied to al-Qaeda yet regularly meets with Bush Administration Officials to discuss the prevention of terrorism.
by Grant Noah
The United Arab Emirates, one of the U.S. government’s closest allies in the War on Terror, has a new King and Crown Prince. Earlier this month the UAE’s long-time ruler passed away at the age of 86.
Reuters, November 2, 2004:
“The president of OPEC member the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, has died… The UAE holds 98 billion barrels of oil reserves, close to nine percent of the world's total”…
“Last year he paved the way for a smooth transfer of power after his death, appointing his son Sheikh Mohammed as deputy crown prince of Abu Dhabi which puts him second in line to rule Abu Dhabi after the succession of his brother Sheikh Khalifa.”
Pakistan Times, November 7, 2004:
“Khalifa himself was succeeded as Abu Dhabi crown prince by his half-brother Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al-Nahayan, who had been appointed as his deputy by Sheikh Zayed in November 2003 despite him being younger than Sultan [UAE Prime Minister].”
So what can the West expect from this new generation of UAE royalty now that they have assumed the reigns?
What of the UAE’s rising star, Sheikh Mohammad, who was promoted to Crown Prince in place of his older brother?
If the past is any indication, we’re in some serious trouble.
From Salon.com, March 3, 2004:
Steve Coll [of The Washington Post, continues]…This is in the first weeks of 1999… and bin Laden is being watched by this group of paid agents. They follow him on this hunting trip into the southern Afghan desert and they start watching him from this overlook above this camp.
And it's a really luxurious camp in the manner of Persian Gulf traveling parties. There are big fancy tents with generators and refrigerators and they're hunting with falcons for a bird called a bustard, which is apparently a big sport in that part of the world.
So these agents report that they followed bin Laden to this camp and the CIA puts a satellite up and takes some pictures. Then they see a C-130 transport plane. They trace the plane to the United Arab Emirates…
From the 9/11 Commission Hearings; William Cohen, Former Secretary of Defense:
"During the winter of 1998-99, intelligence reported that bin Laden frequently visited a camp in the desert, adjacent to a larger hunting camp in Helmand Province of Afghanistan, used by visitors from a Gulf state… Public sources have stated that these visitors were from the United Arab Emirates. At the beginning of February, bin Laden was reportedly located there, and apparently remained for more than a week."
"Intelligence… showed the nearby presence of an official aircraft of the UAE. The CIA received reports that bin Laden regularly went from his adjacent camp to the larger camp where he visited with Emiratis…"
"On February 10th, [Terrorism Czar Richard] Clarke reported that a top UAE official had vehemently denied that high-level UAE officials were in Afghanistan."
"Evidence subsequently confirmed that high-level UAE officials had been there."
From the 9/11 Commission's report:
"Early in 1999, the CIA received reporting that Bin Ladin was spending much of his time at one of several camps in the Afghan desert south of Kandahar."
"On February 8, the military began to ready itself for a possible strike. The next day, national technical intelligence confirmed the location and description of the larger camp and showed the nearby presence of an official aircraft of the United Arab Emirates… No strike was launched…"
"According to CIA and Defense officials, policymakers were concerned about the danger that a strike would kill an Emirati [UAE] prince or other senior officials who might be with Bin Ladin or close by…"
"The United Arab Emirates was becoming… a persistent counterterrorism problem… UAE [was]… one of the Taliban's only travel and financial outlets to the outside world."
From the 9/11 Commission's report notes:
"Days before overhead imagery confirmed the location of the hunting camp, Clarke had returned from a visit to the UAE, where he where he had been working on counterterrorism cooperation and following up on a May 1998 UAE agreement to buy F-16 aircraft from the United States. His visit included one-on-one meetings with Army Chief of Staff bin Zayid…"
"General Shelton also told us that his UAE counterpart said he had been hunting at a desert camp in Afghanistan at about this time."
And if one was hunting in Afghanistan at this time, it was with bin Laden. From the Times of London on September 23, 2001:
"Bin Laden loves falcon hunting and had captured all the local falcons for his own pleasure."
Moreover, Shelton’s UAE ‘counterpart’ as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces would be the Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, Mohammed bin Zayid.
From The Gulf News March 21, 2002:
“Lt. Gen. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces…”
From a Department of Defense Briefing, October 13, 1999:
“[UAE] President [King] Zayid and also with the chief of staff, who is the president's son, Mohammed bin Zayid…”
Shelton is therefore revealing that Prince bin Zayid was the high level UAE official visiting bin Laden at his hunting compound.
Mohammed Bin Zayid is the very person Richard Clarke called (some would say tipped) on February 10th regarding UAE officials at Bin Laden’s hunting compound. Small World.
But did bin Zayid’s ties to al-Qaeda end after September 11th? Some habits are hard to break.
From The Boston Herald, October 7, 2001:
"Saif Salem al-Mehairbi… [is wanted] in connection with the probe of the terrorist hijackings. Al-Mehairbi's name is one of more than 300 contained on a list compiled by FBI and intelligence agencies that has been sent to banking officials in Europe..."
'"This is a pretty major thing and I can't comment in the middle of an FBI investigation," said McDonald, vice president for operations for Corcoran Management Co., which operates the 285-unit complex."
"A few days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, five FBI agents and a state trooper also went to 4 Canal Park in Cambridge, where al-Mehairbi lived until mid-July, according to building superintendent Richard Huber. FBI agents and a Boston police officer also spent several hours searching an apartment at Charles River Towers in Watertown, where al-Mehairbi's name is listed on a building directory."
"The list sent to European banks refers to the Watertown address as a "drop box location."'
"Al-Mehairbi also apparently operated two Internet sites, one called "WolfofDarkness.com,"
which were devoted to Islam and contain eerie statements about the "peace of death." One of the sites details al-Mehairbi's love of Islam, poetry writing and falcon hunting. He… also states: "Real love is not knowing the difference between death and life,"…"
“Life is art of fight and learn, I heard those words from someone "Give me the peace of death, and I will give you the joy of life". This is the way how I work with life, my day is my day, the past I throw it away the future I don't care about it.”
Mehairbi hit the terrorist trifecta. His address is labeled as al-Qaeda’s ‘drop box location’ on the FBI’s 9/11 suspect list. He speaks of the ‘peace of death’. And, of course, he puts his love of falcon hunting just after Islam (as you can see in the photo above).
You can just tell that al-Mehairbi would get along splendidly with the UAE’s Chief of Staff & King’s son, Mohammed bin Zayed, who enjoys falcon hunting and hanging out with the leader of al-Qaeda -- at the same time.
From The Gulf News March 21, 2002:
“A young UAE national… spent two months in jail after the FBI suspected he was involved in the September 11 attacks…”
“He packed up his belongings and drove to Washington, DC, where he had many friends. "I left Boston on September 16. The following day, I got a message from a friend telling me that a team of 15 or 16 FBI agents had come to our building looking for me," he said…”
“On October 10, the UAE Ambassador to the U.S. paid him a visit… Al Mehairbi… was released. The UAE embassy posted the $ 100,000 bail…”
“Al Mehairbi is especially grateful to President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan…”
“He is also appreciative of Lt. Gen. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, who took a personal interest in the case. "He supported me throughout, step by step."’
Yes, apparently they hit it off.
With many more questions regarding the case of Mr. al-Mehairbi, it is unfortunate these were the only two published articles concerning his involvement in 9/11.
Questions such as:
Why would the UAE’s Ambassador in D.C. visit someone in jail who was al-Qaeda's 'drop box location' for 9/11, and then bail him out?
Why would an immigrant from the UAE who lives in Boston have so ‘many friends’ in Washington D.C.?
Why go to D.C. in the first place?
As we have seen before with Morocco’s Chief Military Attache, Washington D.C. embassies are a good place to start looking for answers to 9/11.
Though only around 40 people in the U.S. have the last name al-Mehairbi (according to Lexis-Nexis), a Mohammed al-Mehairbi occupied one of the 20 or so senior positions at the UAE’s Washington embassy during 9/11.
There is something of a pattern developing here… Terrorists on the FBI’s 9/11 suspect list are turning out to be heavily connected to high-level officials around the world, and these same officials are heavily linked to the current U.S. Administration.