9/11 and Russia: connecting the dots in "the darkness of the lowly truths" and the "infinity of mirrors"

9/11 and Russia: The Dots, The Darkness, and The Infinity of Mirrors

"The Kremlin and the Defense Ministry have never abandoned Soviet (perhaps historically Russian) paranoid mirror-imaging about their enemies." 

Summary and Introduction 

In a (big) nutshell (from a nut and in a shell): 

The American people want to know "the full, unvarnished and ugly truth” about the 9/11. The investigative (in journalism) hypothesis and criminal investigation (in law enforcement) hypothesis of the Russian connection to 9/11 is the untouchable third rail of the American politics and the mainstream mass media, a self-imposed taboo subject. This flies in the face of logic, common sense and healthy skeptical analysis.  

9/11 inquiry, based on the FBI investigations, leaves some issues and questions open or unaddressed, well beyond the issue of 28 pages

The 9/11 operation was certainly very carefully, professionally planned and executedMany important questions about Al Qaeda's style (sloppy and "amateurish"), capabilities, and also motivation were raised, doubting their conceptual and operational capacity for such a complex and "flawlessly executed fit" as 9/11. Zawahiri's and bin Laden's (self-admitted) lack of knowledge about the details of this operation (they learned that it is going to happen just 4-5 days in advance, and the hijackers were told about their targets just before boarding the planes) also indicate that there were some outside managers involved. 
At the same time, there are some signs of the possible GRU (or its derivatives) involvement in the 9/11. 
Plausibility of 9/11 Aircraft Attacks Generated by GPS-Guided Aircraft Autopilot Systems was pointed out and can be viewed as a part of this hypothesis. 

Major Players
When Zawahiri spent some time in the southern Russia  in 1996-97, and later, in Afghanistan in 1998, he reportedly had contacts with the GRU
Viktor Bout's and his circle's connection to Osama, and therefore the hypothetical GRU's connection is the most mysterious and interesting circumstance. What is the significance (investigated or not) of "Osama bin Laden -Richard Chichakli - Viktor Bout - Taliban - UAE - Dubai -Ariana airlinesconnection
Bout's connections with the "Far West" group (do note the name), and the possible role of this unusual "company" in the 9/11 events should also be of intense interest to the investigators. 

Was the 9/11 connection with Dubai, a financialintelligence and organised crime center for the Russians and the Chechens, as well as the headquarters locations for the "Far West LLC" and "Bout Airlines", around the time of 9/11, explored sufficiently? 
The 9/11 Commission Report stated that "...the origin of the funds remains unknown... Most of the transfers originated from the Persian Gulf financial center of Dubai, UAE... To date, the U.S. government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks." 
History and Organisations
The particular role and influence of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and its operatives indicate that the roots of Al Qaeda can be traced to the Sadat assassination, circumstances around it and its participants; in sum, essentially to the Russian intelligence. Mohamed Atta was an Egyptian and a former EIJ member also. 
The “Albanian returnees” affair might have been arranged by the GRU after its infiltration of EIJ  to turn the EIJ-Al Qaeda against the US and the West.  
The Bosnian connectionZawahiri, just like KSM and many other jihadists, had a Bosnian passport and was able to travel there freely, where the contacts with the Russians and their recruitment efforts might have occurred. 
The Hamburg cell hijackers planned to go to Chechnya but instead, for some reasons (it is doubtful that it was just a chance encounter) went to Afghanistan to meet with the Al Qaeda people.  “The core group behind the 9/11 attacks was Al Qaeda’s so-called “Hamburg cell,” led by Bosnian jihad veteran Mohammed Haydar Zammar", a German citizen born in Syria  who was a recruiter for the Al Qaeda. Was he also a recruiter for the GRU?
Mohamed Atta's widely reported visit to Prague, "generally considered to be false" is another (although questionable) sign of the hypothetical "9/11 Russian Connection". 

R. Hanssen and his PROMISes 
And last, but by no means least: R. Hanssen, a Russian mole in the FBI, sold a monitoring software PROMIS to them for $2 M, which they then sold to bin Laden (most likely the "doctored version") for the same amount, enabling him (and the GRU) to monitor his and others’ investigations, including the financial transactions. 

Is Al Qaeda the GRU's special construction: arm, front, false flag and myth? 
There is enough circumstantial evidence to form the impression that it was and is all four. It would also be logical to assume that it was not and is not the only front organisation created by the KGB (GRU) but is a part of their network and a part of their more general and broader strategy: exploiting the false flag of Islamic terrorism.
"The modern al-Qaeda organization is the combination of bin Laden’s financial resources with al-Zawahiri’s ideological and operational leadership." 

The review of the open sources, although inevitably limited and incomplete, might provide some insights. 
Both aspects: the financing and the operational leadership could have been decisively influenced by the GRU and/or its various derivatives, in its hypothetical preparation for the 9/11. 

Only rarely there are the hard proofs in this business, most often just "the darkness of the lowly truths" which, sometimes and for some reasons, is liked much less than the "elevating lies". Lament the powers of denial and self-deception, in addition to the powers of  denial and deceptionThe second part of this "formula" is the comlexity of the environment, the psychology, the mindset, the culture and traditions, and the rules of the trade in which and by which the agencies and services operate, as was so aptly summed up by J.J. Angleton: the "infinity of mirrors... the intricacies of agent to double agent to triple agent so common in counterespionage..." 

Poetry reigns supreme where the facts are few and in between and their meanings are and were deliberately obscured. But the implications of any, including the poetically expressed hypotheses, can be quite practical. 

"The U.S. has, then, one remaining option: to view counterterrorism as a subset of counterintelligence. Whereas counterterrorism focuses on terrorist groups, counterintelligence focuses on the link between a particular state's intelligence service and terrorist groups." 
The "shock of the loss of CIA’s main target and object of analysis" might have contributed to "a culture of failure", to "an “atmosphere of declining confidence in the abilities of U.S. intelligence to do its job.”"

The impact of 9/11 on America as a culture and society was enormous, and the psychological impact probably more significant than any other. The "lowly and ugly truths" have to come out. 
Without it, it will be no healing and no closure
After this monumental counterintelligence failure, caused by the self-induced ("Oedipal"?blindness, FBI has to come up with the new 9/11 follow-up report, summarizing the recent findings and the continuing investigations that fit to be disclosed. 

Michael Novakhov


The darkness of the lowly truths is dear less to me
Than elevating lies…

It’s now nearly 15 years since 9/11. The American people finally deserve to learn the full, unvarnished and ugly truth”, demands in its editorial The New York Post. 
"The KGB-FSB continuity does not extend merely to espionage; it also includes all of the traditional KGB activities: active measures, disinformation, propaganda, assassination — and terrorism... Putin and the Russian Politburo continue to use terrorism as a form of asymmetric warfare against us, our leaders insist on pretending it isn’t happening. In fact, they insist Putin & Co. are our trusted “allies” against terrorism. The Obama administration is continuing the course set by George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks." 

One can only lament the psychological and political powers of denial and self-deception. 
The Cold war has never ended, it entered a new stage. While the West was lulled and elated by the false sense of victory, the Russians, led by the new generations of the KGB-FSB-SVR-GRU elites, ever more cynical, deceitful, determined and aggressive, free from any old ideological constraints and armed with the newly acquired powers of the "free markets" and rights to private property - the old, invincible, all encompassing powers of money; in alliance with the Russian and international organised crime, continue the fight. 

This article below is not about the "fingerpointing" and "warmongering": "The Russians did it!" 
This article is about what is on the many people's minds: the Russians had the capability and the motivation to have it done and this hypothesis has to be examined and investigated very thoroughly and methodically. 
The Russian connection to 9/11 is the untouchable third rail of the American politics. If we continue to avoid touching (good gloves are needed), exploring and fixing it, it will continue to produce the dysfunctional sparks, fires and crashes. 
"This is... unusually controversial... Linkages between Al-Qa'ida and Russian intelligence have been discussed in hushed tones among spies in many countries, for years... spurring additional discussion and research into this important yet murky matter. This is particularly necessary given rising tensions between Moscow and the West at present." 
Between the official history and the "secret history" lays there the unexplored history, a no man's land. Its blind spots are dangerous, they are not just ignorance but the missed knowledge, experiences, their interpretations and the historical lessons from which we learn. 

Lt.Gen. Igor Sergun served as a military attache in Tirana in 1998-99 and engineered a plan to capture the Pristina airport on 12 June 1999. The airport itself and the neighboring with Russia airspace were blocked, no reinforcements could come in and no one could get into the airport. Apparently, the precise purpose of this Russian maneuver, except for the mini-strategic bravado remains unknown or under question but the incident itself has to be mentioned. Sergun’s initiative in this affair was described gingerly, in very brief bits and pieces and many years later in the Russian press. It is not clear what impact, if any it had on his career in the military-diplomatic field, which was completed soon after, at some point in 1999, but the overall impact was quite positive for him (he got a special medal for his service: "Медаль «Участнику марш-броска 12 июня 1999 г. Босния — Косово»"), and his stellar performance and rise in the field of Russian military intelligence continued unabated. This was quite a difficult time for Russia: financial default of 1998, bitter emotional reaction to what they saw as a defeat in the Yugoslav wars, the threat of continuing instability in Chechnya and, on a larger scale a threat to the territorial integrity of the country itself, which appeared to be unraveling. Bin Laden’s and others’ sponsorship of “Islamic International Brigade” (read: Chechen rebels and terrorists, including foreigners) could be a significant factor in the emerging events. However, something happened during Mr. Sergun’s tenure in Tirana that did change the calculus and probably, the course of these events. It is not known (just like practically everything else is not known about him, at least in the open press) if he played any role in those events but it would be surprising if he did not. One might even wonder if the case of “Albanian returnees” and other “returnees” were on the top of the list in his military-diplomatic mission and of his agenda, when, in August of 1998, the American embassy in Tirana was threatened and virtually evacuated "in the wake of several arrests... of suspected Islamic militants here, as part of a widening crackdown by U.S. and Albanian intelligence officials on alleged extremists..." Albania was "working with intelligence officials from several foreign countries to examine a network of Islamic organizations established here under a previous government that had links to radical Islamic regimes.'" 

The mechanics of his hypothetical involvement, again, are not known; his objectives might had included to prevent the mass of the exiled Egyptian Islamists from entering Chechnya as reinforcements, to promote (his agent's?) Zawahiri leadership in the EIJ, merge it with the bin Laden group and change their direction to the radically anti-Western and anti-American (as opposed to the internal anti-Egyptian government activities direction), with, possibly the additional benefit of curtailing the US intelligence activities from the embassy in Tirana while pretending to offer the US his cooperation in "anti-terrorist actions". 

The "Jihad International"

In a word, it was the first step in the "globalization of Jihad" strategy of the GRU (inspired by the Y. Primakov's studies and directions, among the others? His demonstrative turn-around in mid-Atlantic is echoed in the turnarounds of the 9/11 planes), and the first step in the attempt to introduce the "new rules of the game" and to change the balances of the Global Security ("transform it") with the tilt into their favor, towards the "New World Order" as they envisioned and conceptualized it. And the tactical key was the same: covert actions, special operations, and terrorism: "in the first half of 1998, leaders of "Al-Qaeda" tried in every possible way to increase the level of coordination with terrorist groups worldwide." 
The "Jihad International" was formed, and just as the previous "Internationals", it was, first of all, a front organization of the Russian Intelligence services. So much for the powers of the "institutional culture" and traditions. Jihad International, as if in the childish game of radical Islamist domination, taught by the "older brothers", tried to wage an "anti-crusade" campaign by establishing the human and ideological corridors into Europe: through Chechnya, Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo, and the most recently via the migrations of the Syrian and the North-African refugees. 

Gen. Sergun"s objectives in Tirana could have been achieved through his infiltration of the EIJ and the use of his double agents. Later the transfer  of information about the EIJ members in Europe, arrested  and returned to Egypt, was conveniently blamed on Ahmad Salam Mabruk's computerized database captured with his arrest in Baku in 1998, the same Mabruk, who accompanied Zawahiri in Chechnya and Dagestan in 1996-97. I doubt if there even was a need for this computer, all this membership information might have been stored in the GRU files long ago. The non-arrested and the non-returned apparently joined the strengthened Zawahiri faction. Smells like an old Stalinist trick. 
All these objectives were achieved and the end results soon became evident: the mass arrests and the trial of the "returnees" led to the radicalization of EIJ-Al Qaeda and eventually turned it into the GRU front organization. 

The Chechen Wars

The tactic of setting up his enemies against each other which Gen. Sergun probably learned and used during the First Chechen war, did serve him well on a global stage too. The Second Chechen War was launched by the Russian Federation, starting 26 August 1999, in response to the Invasion of Dagestan by the Islamic International Brigade (IIB). [Read: it was planned and prepared long in advance, to finish the job. This reading is consistent with Sergun's hypothetical "military-diplomatic" activities in Tirana: to arrange "the Albanian returnees" affair: their arrests and future mass trial in Egypt, with dual purposes: to prevent their infiltration into Chechnya and to turn EIJ-Al Qaeda against the West. - M.N.] On 1 October, Russian troops entered Chechnya.[21][22] The campaign ended the de facto independence of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and restored Russian federal control over the territory. The war attracted a large number of foreign fighters.” Not as large as it could be if Al Qaeda got really involved. The Russian success in the Second Chechen war led directly to Putin’s rule in Russia for the last 16 years. “After Yeltsin’s retirement, Acting President Vladimir Putin won the March 2000 election largely on the strength of his continuing war against the Chechens and Islamic “terrorists.” 
"“September 11 was an unexpected gift for Mr. Putin," Martagov says. "From then on, he started calling the fight against the Chechen separatist movement in the North Caucasus a ‘fight against international terrorism.’ If before he was perceived in the West as [someone using aggressive jargon] like ‘strangle, kill, wipe out,’ after the events of September 11 he managed to enter the league of those combating international terrorism.” Since 9/11, Russian officials have repeatedly made implicit connections between Chechen separatists and Al-Qaeda, blamed for the 9/11 attacks. Afghan and Arab fighters have routinely been reported as battling alongside separatist forces in Chechnya. Chechen militants, likewise, have allegedly been found among terror cells in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, and, more recently, Iraq. One year after the 9/11 attacks, Chechen fighters were reported to be seeking refuge in Georgia's remote Pankisi Gorge." 

In other words, Putin used and converted (and possibly pre-arranged) the post - 9/11 "War on Terror" into his war on Chechen separatism (the desirability or undesirability and consequences of which is a separate question, no pun intended). 

Politicization of Intelligence

Mark Galeotti relayed the opinion of one of the Sergun’s colleagues that “Sergun was acutely aware of what the Kremlin wanted to hear from him” (and I would add: “and of what the Kremlin expected from him”), and apparently he did not hesitate to please the boss (or “a father”, if you wish to wane psychoanalytic: reduce it to the symbolism of psychoanalytical concepts). This tactic is old, simple and even primitive: “Don’t worry, we will soften them up for you”. The source told him further that “it was exactly this skill of Sergun’s that was very helpful in restoring the GRU’s authority and strengthening of its positions after the protracted period of disfavor”. Sounds about right. He practically revived the GRU, brought it back from the dead. It is logical to assume that his successful operations (including the false flags of Islamic terrorism) as well as his Kremlin attuned ears were “very helpful” in reviving the GRU’s former glory and fortunes and were good for his own professional advancement also. 
Galeotti comments that the Russian Intelligence suffers from the excessive politicization. To make a comparison, it is tempting to conclude that this feature becomes almost the universal trend and the problem for many intelligence agencies and probably was frequently so historically: it is rewarding and gratifying not just to serve but “to please a father”. The complete and robust, muscular independence of intelligence analysis, especially the strategic one, remains an elusive goal, despite all its obvious values and advantages. 
Sergun, apparently, played very complex and sophisticated games: with himself, with the political powers and with the world. Just like his “friend” Bandar, Sergun was “a man with chutzpah”. In Sergun’s case, he was a man with a lot of chutzpah, but also with the first class brains, ability to solve and manage combinations and complexities, cynical sense of humor and utter ruthlessness. I never met him, of course, and this is an entirely impressionistic and subjective assessment. 

Sergun and Bandar 

They had a meeting on July 30, 2013 in Moscow. The precise subject of their conversation, revolving around Syria, just like the details of their acquaintanceship and common dealings, if any, are not known. 
 Were they “the good old friends?” For how long did they know each other? Did they conduct any “common bidniz’? Was 9/11 a part of it? Did the Saudis supply money and manpower and the Russians – brains and experience? Ask Bandar at the “28 Pages Trial”. He will surely tell you.
It is known however, that the next day, on August 1 2013, reportedly and based on the later leaks to the Russian press, Bandar “got thrown out” of the Putin’s office in the Kremlin after threatening him with Chechen terrorism against the 2014 Olympics in Sochi if he does not agree to the concessions on Syria. “Bandar has had long ties to Jihadist terrorism. Bandar, on a pre-Sochi Olympics trip to Moscow, offered Russia a lucrative weapons deal if Russia ceased its support for Assad. Bandar also told Putin that if Russia rejected Saudi Arabia’s offer, Saudi-backed Islamist terrorists in the Caucasus region would be free to launch terrorist attacks on the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Putin reportedly ordered Bandar out of his office in the Kremlin.” So much or so little for Sergun’s “military-diplomatic preparations” and his acumen as a spymaster. 
Essentially, Bandar tried to blackmail Putin with Chechen terrorist threat to 2014 Olympics to extract concessions on Syria, claiming the American support of this position and also dangling the carrots of oil cooperation and weapons deals. If this is a reflection of general approach and attitude (and a common tactic in the Middle East dealings), then it might be practiced not only with the opponents but with the “friends” or "pseudo-friends", or "frenemies", as we say nowdays, also; only in much more subtle and perverted ways: “I’ll kiss you on the lips and plunge a knife into your back…” Another example of the attempted blackmail is the Saudi threat to sell $750 billion of US bonds in response to the investigation of their role in 9/11. 
Soon after the Moscow encounters of July 30 - August 1 2013, in January of 2014, closer to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, it was claimed, in the Russian mouthpiece “Global Research”, in an article “Global Terrorism and Saudi Arabia: Bandar’s Terror Network” that “Bandar bin Sultan has transformed Saudi Arabia from an inward-looking, tribal based regime totally dependent on US military power for its survival, to a major regional center of a vast terror network, an active financial backer...", etc., etc. 

Sergun's "swan song" on the "Global Security and the new rules for the game"

In his “swan song”, one of the last and very few public pronouncements, on the subject of the “globalisation of Islamic terrorism“, titled “Global Security: Radical Transformation or Creation of New Rules for the Game?”, Mr. Sergun shared his observations: “In general, under the slogan of struggle for ‘pure Islam’, international terrorism is becoming a form of transnational crime. In fact, it has become a lucrative business with capital turnover running into billions, with drug trafficking, hostage taking, smuggling weapons and precious metals.
In search of additional sources of funding, jihadists purposefully develop links with nationalist organizations, pirates and separatists.
Thus, we should expect that, in the short term, the level of terrorist threats in the world would remain high enough.” 
It is difficult to resist the feeling that he described his own achievements. It is an interesting (if uncomfortable for some) question to entertain, if Sergun was engaged in the Middle East-European drug trade (which is not an unusual “branching out” for the intelligence services) and (hush-hush, just in passing), had some hard core drug problems himself. 
On February 1, [about a month after Sergun’s mysterious death on January 1 or 3, by some reports – murder in Lebanon – M.N.] a joint international law enforcement sting lead by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) dubbed “Project Cassandra” made a major drug bust of Hezbollah..." Further exploration of this subject, related to some long standing claims and problems with the Russian Anti-narcotics agencyrecently disbanded, and its embattled former chief, Victor Ivanov, especially in the light of Litvinenko death inquiry, might be a relevant, but a separate issue. 
The global security landscape had indeed been “radically transformed” and the “new rules for the game were created”. They are called the false flag of Islamic terrorism exploited by the Russian intelligence 

    Darwinistic game in the Middle East

    Deep duplicity and smiles covering hatred and disgust is the name of this old, Darwinistic game in the Middle East, its “rules” are as old as the Middle East itself. Russia has a long historical experience of playing this game. It is in the Saudi’s interests to drive a a wedge between US and Russia, to get a larger piece of the Middle East power pie. It is in the Russia’s interests to drive a wedge between US and Saudis to diminish the US global political and economic power. 
    I wonder if the Saudi majority of 9/11 hijackers and also the presently emerging conflict between US and Saudis were and are a part of these Russian efforts at driving wedges also. 

    With all this, the external (Russian) efforts at sowing the discord might be, probably, a relatively minor factor in comparison with the deep, intrinsic, historical problems of today's Middle East and Arab states which are at the heart of the divisions and the disagreements with the US. 
    Good news: they might even warm up to the old enemy to fill up the vacuum. 
    It is reasonable to ask a question if the Arab Gulf theocracies (just like their Persian neighbors across the pond) use international Islamic terrorism as a foil against the threats to their very existence. 

    US and the Pakistanis

    The same is true about the Russian efforts with regard to the US - Pakistan relations. They relate to the reports about the ISI involvement and the role in the 9/11 events. The outcome of this affair (ISI personnel changes, initiated by the US) was quite positive for the Russians: the ISI in October 2001 was (supposedly) purged of the active Islamists, starting with the ISI chief. 
    Recall the visit of ISI chief, Mahmood Ahmed and his meeting with the US officials exactly on 9/11/2001 and the emerged later (dis-, mis- or the conveniently popped up?) information that he authorized $100,000 wire transfer to hijackers in August of 2001. 
    Ahmed is suspected of being the paymaster who oversaw the financial end...
    Ahmed got as much as $15,000 from Atta and two other hijackers, Al-Shehhi and Waleed M. Alshehri, in the three days before the attacks..."
    The FBI has said that the hijackers returned money back to the paymaster so they would not be seen as "thieves" before their martrydom. Seems plausible."
    It does not seem very "plausible" to me. Suicidal terrorists-hijackers concerned about the "theft" of money wired to them? Did it ever occur to the FBI that the money transfers forth and back could serve as a system of communications between the hijackers and their coordinator and between themselves, with the exact amounts of transfers as the codes, with the Arabic numerals transliterated into Arabic alphabet letters?  
    General Mahmud was known to visit the United States regularly during his time as the head of ISI consulting senior officials in the U.S. administration in the weeks before and after 9/11..." 
    Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a man who allegedly wired $100'000 to hijackers, at, allegedly Gen. Mahmud request, is the most mysterious figure, with multiple aliases, backgrounds and connections, surrounded by the complex and massive disinformation and multiple cover stories. A "Master of Disguise", Saeed was ideal for this task..." 
    "Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, in his book In the Line of Fire, stated that Saeed was originally recruited by British intelligence agency, MI6... Musharraf later says, "At some point, he probably became a rogue or double agent". 
    "ISI Director Mahmood Ahmed, who is found to have had several telephone conversations with Saeed (see Summer 2000), is replaced (see October 7, 2001), and the story soon disappears from view (see September 24, 2001-December 26, 2002)." 

    Was it ever considered that Saeed, behind the covers of "multiple agent" affiliations, was first of all and most of all a Russian agent? He was in the ideal position of being the hijackers' coordinator and financier with the additional "fringe benefit" of the role as a driving and splitting wedge between the ISI and the US intelligence. 

    The reports about the money transfer and ISI involvement originated in the Indian press and might have been planted there by the Russians. The possibility of the ISI infiltration by the Russians, mentioned in a different context, in relation to Taliban and Hekmatyar, might be a broader interpretation and explanation of the 9/11 - ISI connection. 
    "Although Hikmatyar was (like the Taliban leaders later) a Sunni Muslim, he regarded Iran as his model, and took refugee in Iran, where he sympathized the Taliban until he was forced to disappear from Tehran in February 2002. A great mystery, wondered by many western researchers and journalists who had observed the Afghan war, was how notoriously anti-American Hikmatyar, despite his bad reputation and terrorist sympathies, became a favourite of the Pakistani ISI (until 1993), and thus a main recipient of US military aid for Afghan guerrillas in the mid-1980s. Several explanations, including KGB infiltration of the CIA (or rather ISI), have been provided."
    "The means with which the U.S. could most efficiently undermine Pakistan's covert state sponsorship of terrorism would be counterintelligence. 
    At the center of the problem is Pakistan's ISI, which is made up of four "wings": The A Wing which directs analysis and is the "bureaucratic" department. The T Wing is the technical wing and provides assistance to the other wings. The C Wing is the counterintelligence wing. After 9/11, the CIA helped fund a sub-department within the C Wing specifically designed to go after al-Qaeda, and which is the only wing that interacts with the CIA. Then there is the S Wing which oversees external security and is responsible for state sponsorship of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other jihadist groups... 
    It is not far-fetched to conclude that perhaps one-fifth of the ISI could be bought off."

    Was the 9/11 connection with Dubai, a financialintelligence and organised crime center for the Russians and the Chechens, and also the headquarters location for the "Far West LLC" and the "Bout Airlines" around the time of 9/11, explored sufficiently? 
    "Lawyers for Dubai Islamic Bank  [which was named as a source of financing for bin Laden - M.N.] told a magistrate judge Friday that it likely wouldn’t be able to produce some information about its role in funding the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks because a fire in an offsite warehouse destroyed tens of thousands of records.
    Victims and family members of those killed when attackers flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are pushing U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank Maas to force the bank to turn over paper transactional records..." 

    The 9/11 Commission Report stated that "...the origin of the funds remains unknown... Most of the transfers originated from the Persian Gulf financial center of Dubai, UAE... To date, the U.S. government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks." 
    Of the alleged 19 hijackers, 15 were Saudis. CIA sources have confirmed testimony from Michael Springman, the former head of the US Visa Bureau in Jeddah, about the Saudi “muscle hijackers”: They were CIA agents, presumably with a background in Saudi intelligence, who came to America on CIA “snitch visas.” These were special visas that the CIA offered as a reward to Saudis who spied for the US. (Saudi Intelligence is so closely connected to the CIA that it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.)” 
    They might be very close but not the same. Given the high degree of resentment in Saudi society and, probably some of it in the Saudi IA toward American culture and the ways of life, is it possible that those “muscle hijackers” were resented also as the “American spies” or the double agents (besides this, no country, whatever the closeness, likes to be spied on) and someone in Saudi IA, possibly Turki or Bandar, wanted to get rid of them and sent them to the US on “snitch visas” under the pretense of preparation for some “work” in Chechnya, for example? Picture the Russian analog of 9/11 with the planes crashing into the Kremlin (if they could get there). 
    Turki al Faisal, who was a head of Saudi intelligence, abruptly resigned this post just 10 days prior to 9/11 and allegedly had 37% stake in a private security firm run by the Russians: Far West LLC, which was reported to be “behind many black operations”. 

    Is it possible that the whole 9/11 scheme was conceived in the heads of some GRU officers and was thought out and planned very carefully, as their custom is? 

    Professional operations: planning and organization 

    Many important questions about Al Qaeda's style (sloppy and "amateurish"), capabilities, and also motivation were raised, doubting their capacity for such a "flawlessly executed fit" as 9/11. 
    "One thing that can be said with cast iron certainty is that the attack on the Pentagon, like the attacks on the World Trade Center, was a hugely sophisticated and lavishly resourced event. From the technology and the planning through to the subsequent propaganda onslaught, 9-11 was a class act." 
    "Andreas von Buelow... went on to give his Tagesspeigel interviewer his overall perspective of the 9/11/01 attacks: '"I can state: the planning of the attacks was technically and organizationally a master achievement. To hijack four huge airplanes within a few minutes and within one hour, to drive them into their targets, with complicated flight maneuvers! This is unthinkable, without years-long support from secret apparatuses of the state and industry ... I have real difficulties, however, to imagine that all this all sprang out of the mind of an evil man in his cave."
    Is it possible that the hypothetical GRU authors or author “sold” their idea to Zawahiri – bin Laden – Al Qaeda, playing on their (engineered and enhanced by the GRU with the “Albanian returnees” affair) resentments? And they, in turn, sold it, or to be precise, just “the Chechen part” of it, to Turki – Bandar – Saidi IA? Everything, of course, is possible, especially in the intelligence world. 
    It is also "possible that all the planes were commandeered by way of existing remote control technology, which would explain a number of the unanswered questions.
    Remote piloting could explain why the planes did not squawk the hijack code, why the auto-pilot stayed on during the hijacking process, and how these planes were flown with extreme precision at very high speeds regardless of the poor skills of the alleged pilots. It would also explain how those who planned the attacks could have remained confident of their success, despite having employed unreliable, cocaine-snorting, alcoholic perverts as “hijackers.”"
    Did the GRU have this capability in 2001 (and does it have it now)? The answers to these questions lay outside the scope of the open sources review; however, it would not be surprising at all if they did. 
    Regardless of the mode of execution of this operation, in this case scenario, if it was conceived, planned and managed by the GRU through its false flag handlers and intermediaries, then the hijackers, in fact, were the Russian agents, most (but not entirely) likely  without even knowing it themselves, who thought that they are Al Qaeda or Saudi agents and simply blindly, without questioning, in a robotic fashion, followed their superiors instructions and orders, as their (terrorists’) custom is; be it Zawahiri, KSM, or someone else, be it directly, or most (but not entirely) likely  indirectly from the Russians. This scenario is confirmed by the bin Laden's November 2001 acknowledgement that the hijackers learned about their targets just before boarding the planes. 

    "We had notification since the previous Thursday [5 days prior to 9/11/01 - M.N.] that the event would take place that day. ... The brothers, who conducted the operation, all they knew was that they have a martyrdom operation and we asked each of them to go to America but they didn't know anything about the operation, not even one letter. But they were trained and we did not reveal the operation to them until they are there and just before they boarded the planes. ... Mohammed [Atta] ... was in charge of the group."
    November 1, 2001, Osama bin Laden privately discussing details of the attack. A videotape of the conversation was found by U.S. forces on November 9 and released in December. Apart from 19 hijackers running around in the United States, from this it seems clear that Al Qaeda, whoever is behind them in terms of financing and control, plotted the attack, but also that even a very optimistic Osama did not expect a full collapse of the towers - not to mention WTC 7." 

    "As for ties to Al Qaeda, one gets the impression that Zawahiri, officially the number two in the organization, became an increasingly important asset to Far West and western elites as controversy around Osama bin Laden grew. According to one source, Ruslan Saidov, a Muslim director of Far West who ran the Caucasus branch of the Saudi-financed, pro-terrorist Al Haramain Foundation, and Zawahiri were conning Osama bin Laden by secretly working with the CIA on certain occasions. [343] Back in the late 1990s, Saidov is said to have helped Zawahiri get out of a Dagestani prison, indicating he is an important intelligence asset. It appears that at some point Zawahiri (and reportedly also Osama) was hidden away in the region of Miramshah, North Waziristan [344], a Taliban stronghold in Pakistan, the same country where Osama bin Laden was found and where most likely former Taliban head Mullah Omar is also hiding. Both bin Laden and Zawahiri have always fully supported the official version of events when it comes to 9/11, at least when on camera. But strangely, even Zawahiri doesn't seem to have a clue whether his Flight 93 hijackers were going to attack the White House or Congress. Isn't that a little strange as the right hand of Osama and a co-plotter in the attacks?" 
    Osama bin Laden's videotaped (and staged?) conversation dated November 9th, 2001 may be interpreted as his denial of the foreknowledge and the planning details of the 9/11 attacks by him and the others, including the hijackers; contrary to the interpretations that see it as his confirmation of this foreknowledge. 

    "KSM presents himself as an entrepreneur seeking venture capital and people. He simply wanted al Qaeda to supply the money and operatives needed for the attack while retaining his independence. It is easy to question such a statement. Money is one thing; supplying a cadre of trained operatives willing to die is much more. Thus, although KSM contends he would have been just as likely to consider working with any comparable terrorist organization, he gives no indication of what other groups he thought could supply such exceptional commodities.37" 
    This description from 9/11 report, pointing to the KSM operational "independence" and his desire just for "money and operatives" and his willingness to work  "with any comparable terrorist organization" might also indicate his role as a liaison and agent for some "independent" subcontractors, organisers and managers ("Far West" -  GRU?) who would not trust the "amateurish" Al Qaeda with the operational details, rather than his alleged role as an "architect" of the 9/11 attacks. 

    "In retrospect, the speed with which Atta, Shehhi, Jarrah, and Binalshibh became core members of the 9/11 plot-with Atta designated its operational leader-is remarkable. They had not yet met with KSM when all this occurred. It is clear, then, that Bin Ladin and Atef were very much in charge of the operation." 
    The conclusions might be just directly the opposite: the "Hamburg cell" might have been thoroughly vetted while in Hamburg (and carefully selected prior to that) by their invisible and shadowy GRU handlers, and, after their "hostile intent" to go fight in Chechnya was confirmed, they were redirected instead to Afghanistan for the formal presentation and the pledge of loyalty to Osama and his rubber stamp approval, for the future legend and a "cover story", which means that Osama and his circle were not "very much in charge of the operation". 
    The "Requirements for a Successful Attack", which as 9/11 Commission believes, were met by Al Qaeda by the summer of 2000, do not address the issues of high degree of technical sophistication in execution, and coordination and "flawless" operational organization of these attacks, which are different from simply collecting and moving the money and finding "the right people". 
    The same forces which acted as the true authors, organizers and managers of the 9/11 attacks, might have played a role later, in their aftermath, in the massive disinformation campaign, shifting the blame and responsibility to bin Laden and Al Qaeda and "assisting" in capturing, eliminating or hiding of the lower levels intermediaries and agents, to cover their tracks. 

    And, finally and as a side note, with regard to the some of the GRU's main rivals: is it just a coincidence, that around the time of the 9/11 and later, some of these rival agencies were essentially, effectively, only if temporarily, decapitated: Saudi 10 days prior to 9/11 (and later, again in April of 2014), ISI on 8 October 2007, and the most recently, importantly, sadly and almost incomprehensibly, CIA with the Petraeus affair, which also has its Middle East extensions? 

    Who are the real culprits?

    The point is not to identify the executors (or executioners) only, the point is to find the real masterminds, organizers and managers. To find the real culprits is the objective of the continuing 9/11 investigation. It is impossible, that any of the US government agencies, be it CIA or FBI or some “demolition crews” had anything to do with this planning and organisation, even hypothetically, and these “versions” have to be discarded as the overt or covert disinformation and the attempts to provide or to enhance the “cover”, including the Putin’s claim of proof of the US government’s involvement in 9/11 “on satellite photos”, reported by none less than “Pravda”. There are some signs indicating that massive, deliberate, orchestrated, prepared in advance (by Russia?) disinformation campaign accompanied the 9/11 events from the beginning, just like, possibly, the pre-orchestrated “warning fatigue” induced by the various world intelligence agencies, friends and foes alike. 
    "Moderate elements of the Taliban are reported to have given the USA advance warning of the attacks.[74] The BBC reports that Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, the Taliban’s Foreign Minister, sent the USA an advance warning of the attack following a tip-off he received from Tohir Yo‘ldosh, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Like al-Qaeda, the Taliban allowed the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to place training camps in Afghanistan. Tohir Yo‘ldosh was reported to have been concerned that if al-Qaeda was not stopped prior to launching the attacks, the USA would retaliate against all of Afghanistan, which would have a negative effect on his movement’s efforts." 
    "Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly stated that he ordered his intelligence agencies to alert the US in the summer of 2001 that suicide pilots were training for attacks on US targets. [Fox News, 5/17/02] The head of Russian intelligence also stated, “We had clearly warned them” on several occasions, but they “did not pay the necessary attention.” [Agence France-Presse, 9/16/01]The Russian newspaper Izvestia claimed that Russian intelligence agents knew the participants in the attacks, and: “More than that, Moscow warned Washington about preparation for these actions a couple of weeks before they happened.” [Izvestia, 9/12/02]"
    How and what exactly did they know? As some astute observers noted, no warnings came from the Saudi IA, which "is very close to CIA" and from the ISI, which was called "the top" of the 10 best" world intelligence  agencies (at least for 2015). 
    The explanation might be a very simple one: both the Saudis and the ISI knew about the hijackers (but not about their true and ultimate mission, of which they were not aware themselves) and their ties (with Al Qaeda, which did not become the Al Qaeda yet, as far as some officials were concerned) and were duped by their cover story of training "for martyrdom" or to go to fight for the Chechens or the Taliban as the airplane pilots, and therefore it did not ring the alarm bells for them. Besides that, if it was a part of the 9/11 operation - to get the hijackers into the US, bribes and connections could be very helpful, as it was reported. Russians, on the other hand, might have had this information about impending attacks from the original sources, but it might have been distorted and operationally unusable and served the main purpose of being a part of the official "alibi" and cover. 

    Whatever their ultimate source, the multiple warnings from the CIA, according to George Tenet, were ignored by the Bush administration prior to 9/11
    We have to recognize the criticisms of the 9/11 Commission Report and to take into account even those which dismiss it outright as “a piece of fiction“. The scope of the issues should not only be limited to "who did not serve well to whom and how responsibly", but also and mainly: "What went wrong" (in this particular case)? and "Where is the truth (in this particular case)"?
    The questions of the hypothetical spectrum of “Who really done it?” and the main among them, regarding the attribution and responsibility, remain, essentially, unanswered. We have to try to answer them, not just for the sake of the truth, which is important in and by itself, but also for the sake of the correct understanding and analysis of these and other events, correct orientation, assessment, planning, and prevention. 

    The Albanian Connection

    “The first of the “Albanian returnees”Ahmad Ibrahim al-Sayyid al-Naggar was arrested on July 2, 1998 as he stepped off the plane in Cairo, having been deported from Albania with the help of the CIA.” The others followed soon and “a massive criminal trial in an Egyptian military court  was held from February to April 1999.” This trial led to the great turmoil within the EIJ from which Zawahiri eventually emerged a victor in the EIJ intra-party struggle and strengthened his leadership position. “Dissent among EIJ members to this change of direction and abandonment of the taking over Egypt as the group’s primary goal, was so strong that “in the end, Zawahiri pledged to resign if the members failed to endorse his actions. The organization was in such disarray because of arrests and defections, and so close to bankruptcy, that the only choice was to follow Zawahiri or abandon al-Jihad.” These arrests, trials and imprisonments were a turning point: Al Qaeda turned vehemently against the West and, specifically, against the US. Both bin Laden and Zawahiri issued their fatwas. “In Afghanistan Zawahiri wrote the 1998 fatwa for the “International Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders,” calling for the killing of Americans and their allies, both civilian and military, which was signed by representatives of several jihadi organizations, including EIJ.[35]”.

    The terror war started and left some "visit cards" 

    It started with the 1998 United States embassy bombings, then the 2000 millennium attack plots and USS Cole bombing on 12 of October 2000. In the case of the USS Cole, a “visit card”: the deliberate clues, might have been left. “Former CIA intelligence officer Robert Finke said the blast appeared to be caused by explosives molded into a shaped charge against the hull of the boat.[3]” The English word”cole” sounds almost the same as the Russian word ” “кол”, which is a “shaped charge”. Someone somewhere might have a predilection for leaving the linguistic “visit cards”. Another example of this predilection might be "The plot is also known as Oplan Bojinka, Operation Bojinka, Project Bojinka, and Bojinga. FBI officials described Operation Bojinka as "48 hours of terror".[3] Several news media outlets, including Time Asia,[4] incorrectly stated that the word Bojinka means "loud bang" or "explosion" in the Serbo-Croatian language.[5] Bojinka is similar to the Russian word "боженька" (bozhinka,[6] sometimes transcribed as "божинька"), which is the diminutive form of the Russian word God, "бог"." 
    Mixed Russian-English "post-card" could be read in the 9/11 attacks also: "9/11, WTC 1&2, Pentagon, Pennsylvania": "Call 911! W, ты ссы! ("Be afraid!") This is first, and second - Pentagon. Penciled by Vanya".
    These terrorist acts were the precursors and lead directly to the 9/11/2001. “In late 1998 or early 1999, bin Laden summoned Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to Kandahar and gave approval for Mohammed to go forward with the plot.[14]” Russia, however, was apparently saved from what appeared at that time as the almost inevitable break-up. When Zawahiri assumed the command of Al Qaeda after bin Laden’ death, he continued to counsel ‘patience and insistence’ in Chechnya

      Zawahiri, the “real brains” of al-Qaeda, was formed psychologically and ideologically by the Sadat’s assassination, likely organized by the KGB (or GRU). He had close ties with Egyptian military intelligence (heavily influenced by Russian intelligence prior to Sadat’s expulsion of the Russians and purges) officer, Abbud al-Zumar, who organized the Sadat’s assassination, and Zawahiri eventually became the Zumar’s successor in Egyptian Islamic movement. 
      ""By the summer of 1968, the Soviet Union had progressed far toward converting Egypt into its principal base of subversion against the Arab world." (Barron, p. 62) Thirty-three years later, Egypt was the principal base of Islamic terrorists. Soviet Union, however, failed in Egypt. In May 1971, Anwar Sadat wiped out most of KGB agents. In July 1972, Soviet advisors were expelled from Egypt. Eight years later, Sadat paid for this with his life, being assassinated by members of an Islamist group. Sadat’s peace policy toward Israel made it easy for the remnants of the KGB network to ally with the right-wing Muslim Brotherhood. This is the background of Ayman az-Zawahiri, the second man of al-Qayda."
      Zawahiri spent some time in the southern Russia (from December 1, 1996 until April 1997) and later, in Afghanistan, in June of 1998, had contacts with the GRU officer who, apparently was later implicated in Yandarbiyev murder (or was a part of this plot, or was discovered accidentally as a visitor to the Russian embassy in the course of the investigation – it is not clear from the description of this episode) as was demonstrated by the computerized analysis of the officer’s photograph. It is tempting to assume that the so called “Al Qaeda” (whose existence as well structured and defined paramilitary group or groups was and is questioned by many observers) was the creation of the Russian (military) intelligence from the beginning as their front organisation, after Zawahiri’s “priming” or conversion, his introduction to bin Laden and formation of Zawahiri – bin Laden group in 1998. Was Zawahiri directly instructed by the mentioned above GRU officer to proceed with this merger, according to the GRU plan? 
      "Significantly, these contacts [with the GRU - M.N.] led to a change in Zawahiri's political orientation. Long talks with Russian intelligence officers "forced a critical change in his lethal planning. ...America, not Egypt, became the target... Freed from Russian jail in May 1997, Dr. Zawahri found refuge in Afghanistan, yoking his fortunes to Mr. bin Laden. [Zawahiri's group] Egyptian Jihad, previously devoted to the narrow purpose of toppling secular rule in Egypt, became instead the biggest component of al Qaeda and a major agent of a global war against America. Dr. Zawahri became Mr. bin Laden's closest confidant and talent scout."" 

      It is also possible that they tried to influence (“обработать”) bin Laden (as well as others) directly, in bin Laden case capitalizing on his assumed resentments about his older brother Salem’s mysterious death in the US (similarity: death in a plane crash, is alluded to by the circumstances). 
      Victor Bout's and his circle's connection to Osama is the most mysterious and is most interesting to both the investigators and the public. It was well described and documented, although remains poor in details and poorly explored in details, for some reasons. However, the Bout's (and Chichakli's) and therefore the GRU's influence on Osama, in terms of supplying the information and ideas and "help" with the management, operations, ties and decision making, apparently is more than just hypothetical. If they (Bout & Co and those behind them) helped Taliban and bin Laden to manage and service the Ariana airlines, then it is likely that they provided their help, assistance and guidance in other matters too, although from a different angle. 
      In this regard, what is the significance of "Osama bin Laden -Richard Chichakli - Viktor Bout - Taliban - UAE - Dubai -Ariana airlinesconnection? 

      "In 1993, Richard Chichakli becomes friends and business partners with Bout. In 1995, Sharjah airport hires Chichakli to be the commercial manager of a new free trade zone now being heavily used by Bout. Chichakli, a Syrian by birth, has an interesting background. He claims to have been friends with Osama bin Laden while studying in Saudi Arabia in the early 1980s..." 
      "According to the Los Angeles Times: With the Taliban's blessing, Bin Laden effectively had hijacked Ariana, the national civilian airline of Afghanistan...
      "The Taliban sources report that it was Bout who secretly flew Osama Bin Laden and his family out of Afghanistan prior to the massive U.S. bombing of Tora Bora in late 2001..."
      "Bout leaned forward. ''I woke up after Sept. 11 and found I was second only to Osama.'' He put his hand on the papers. The truth, he said, was much bigger than his personal story. ''My clients, the governments,'' he began. Then, ''I keep my mouth shut.''
      Later he said, ''If I told you everything I'd get the red hole right here.'' He pointed to the middle of his forehead." 
      It is difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff in the following claim (just like the other claims from the same source), but it does add the grist for the mill, somewhat bizarrely tinged, of the "Bout connection: "According to Dimitri Khalezov, a former Soviet military officer who specialized in nuclear intelligence, the Soviet-built P-700 Granit Missile struck the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. In an interview with researcher and author Daniel Estulin on October 14, 2010, Khalezov said that in order to cover up this crime and save face the U.S. and Russian governments are cooperating together to find a fall guy. The guy's name is Viktor Bout, a former Russian military officer, and an alleged arms trafficker." 

      File:Sergey Shoigu in GRU 05.jpg

      Министр обороны России генерал армии Сергей Шойгу в Главном разведывательном управлении Генерального штаба Вооруженных Сил в День военного разведчика - 5 November 2013

      Lt.Gen Igor Sergun presents what appears to be a 4 volume (secret?) history of Russian intelligence to Gen. Shoigu and Gen. Gerasimov 


      Operation "Far West - 9/11/2001" or "Trust"-2

      Historically, it seems, the style of the Russian and the Soviet Counterintelligence was a "very proactive stance": to create the perfect traps and to teach the public lessons. The associated features were the extensive use of disinformation, political subservience and the relative de-ideologisation (ideological trends or shifts in Stalin's times and "pragmatic ideologism": flexible, adaptive, survivalist - people "served"; in a word, a certain "professionalism"). 
      Operation "Trust" is one of the early and best examples. 
      "The one Western historian who had limited access to the Trust files, John Costello, reported that they comprised thirty-seven volumes and were such a bewildering welter of double-agents, changed code names, and interlocking deception operations with "the complexity of a symphonic score", that Russian historians from the Intelligence Service had difficulty separating fact from fantasy." 
      The musical allusions echo with some later observations on a different subject: Mr Chichakli continues to remain shrouded in mystery,” the judge said, noting that his passports were “so filled with immigration stamps that they looked like a sheet of Rachmaninoff’s music.” 
      It probably started with the traditions of the secret political police of Tzarist Russia, whose operations were so complex and complicated that no one could separate the "sheep from the goats": the informants and agent provocateurs from the 'true revolutionaries", which probably reflected the promiscuous liberal ambivalence of the ruling classes at that time, as much as anything else.  

      "Russia has long traditions in the political art of provocation, dating back to the imperial age, when the secret police finally lost track of its own web of "agents provocateurs", who successfully infiltrated and compromised opposition parties by committing themselves to so serious crimes, that they could just as well be considered revolutionaries in police disguise. Provocations were adopted by the Soviet secret services, and widely used in the "ethnic conflicts" that appeared suddenly in Central Asia and the Caucasus, between 1987 and 1993... 
      Through these phases, Russian secret services gained a tight hold on international terrorism, and specially on Islamism. It was nothing new. During the 1920s, Soviet intelligence had succeeded in thoroughly infiltrating fiercely anti-Soviet monarchist emigrant organizations. Furthermore, "dozens of mythical organizations came into being. One of these, the ‘Trust’, has become well known in both Western and Soviet writings. For many years the Soviet leaders claimed to have cunningly infiltrated a monarchist resistance organization, but in the 1970s they admitted that they themselves had created it. … Similar ones attacked… the church hierarchy of every denomination; and ‘nationalists’ inside and outside the country, with a ‘line’ of provocation covering each political tendency within each major ethnic subdivision – Ukrainians, Cossacks, Armenians, Georgians, Central Asians. Fragmentary information on at least two dozen ‘lines’ has become known in the West through the years." (Deriabin & Bagley, p. 262 and 263)
      Unfortunately, "Soviet provocation… remains little understood in the West. People safe in a democratic system may find it difficult to conceive that rulers would systematically use such hostile techniques against their own subjects. 
      Back in the 1920s, anti-Soviet emigrants were compromised in front of western governments to reduce their credibility, and they were used in domestic propaganda to stage sabotage actions, to scare the populace, and to provoke dissidents into revealing themselves. This excellent experience was certainly in the minds of post-Andropov and post-Ivashutin intelligence officers, who "may in fact have launched a new golden era of provocation. …"

      The old Russian and Soviet traditions of political provocations and styles of counteruntelligence operations can be traced in the 9/11 events. It looks that the operation "Far West - 9/11/2001" is the "Trust-2".  It probably started as the Russian counterintelligence operation (as well as the lucrative business venture - the irresistible combination!): to learn about and to neutralise the Chechen separatists-terrorists and their "Western and Middle Eastern sponsors" and later, as a result of the political expediency (Putin was actively climbing the staircases and ladders of power and the "survival of Russia as a nation" was at stake! - eche-eche...), it evolved into the aggressive and offensive terrorist operation ("to teach them a lesson" and to "soften them up", and most likely, providing the "plausible deniability" for the upper circles of power). The broad ideological construction of the "Trust" operation was: "The unfinished white guard villains conspire against the Soviet Russia". In the "Far West - 9/11/2001" operation it is a bit more complex: "The ungrateful and greedy (Far) West wanted to destroy Mother Russia with the Islamic terrorism but we hit them back hard (working as subcontractors, on $1M of Arab money, to deliver a show) and sent all this garbage back to them. And we will help them to fight it too, at the right time and in the right places of our choosing. Or else! Emergency! Call 911!" This "or else", the implicit threat of further attacks, in combination with the almost immediate anthrax letters and deaths - what effect did it have on the G.W. Bush administration and on the rest of the country's leadership, and what were the choices and alternatives? Did this situation result in the explicit or implicit complicity with the "conspiracy of silence" and later in the precedent and pattern setting persecution of Khodorkovsky , who could not be arrested without the explicit or implicit US consent? Or, to put it simply, was the US invisibly but effectively and successfully blackmailed by the emerging Putin's Russia, the fledgling "KGB cum mafia state"? What were the effects of the 9/11/2001 on the subsequent US foreign policy choices, decisions, and directions? The intricacies of the US - Russian relations of the post-9/11 period, during the G.W. Bush Presidency, is an important but separate historical subject. 

      "The controversial “consulting agency” Far West, Ltd. had suddenly left Europe in the end of January 2006 , citing the fear of criminal prosecution by US law enforcement agencies and changing its name to Far West, LLC." 

      Смерть генерала Сурикова, скорее всего, убийство

      It was claimed later that he was poisoned with Polonium, in the same fashion as Litvinenko. Is this a some type of a trend? Just a year earlier, in 2008, he was reportedly named, true or not, by none other than S. Belkovsky, as one of the candidates to head the GRU. The same information is confirmed by some "General-Ivanov": "В начале 2009 при поддержке окружения президента Медведева готовился занять пост начальника ГРУ, но наткнулся на сильнейшее противодействие (в результате ГРУ возглавил генерал-лейтенант Александр Шляхтуров)." 

      "1.01.2010. Антон Суриков был убит? [...]23 ноября в Ижевске скоропостижно скончался Антон Суриков – полковник ГРУ. По некоторым сведениям, 48-летний Суриков был отравлен. Все кажется тем более подозрительным, что смерть наступила во время обеда в кафе. Но, главное, многое в его биографии позволяет предположить такой финал.
      [...] По некоторым сведениям, Суриков был одним из организаторов военного сопротивления грузинской интервенции в Абхазию в августе 1992 года, именно он от имени ГРУ «завербовал» Шамиля Басаева и его головорезов на эту войну, что сыграло важную роль в ее исходе. До этого в конце 1991-го – начале 1992 года Суриков принимал активное участие в разработке и осуществлении плана переворота в Грузии с целью свержения Гамсахурдиа. В дальнейшем, используя свои отношения с Басаевым, именно он убедил его совершить вооруженную вылазку в Дагестан в августе 1999 года – с нее началась вторая чеченская война, которая в свою очередь открыла Владимиру Путину дорогу к власти, позволив ему из неизвестных чиновников стать популярным политиком.
      [...]в сентябре [2009], Суриков вновь заявил о себе, выступив с прогнозом, согласно которому, если в ближайшее время не произойдет отстранения Путина от власти, «то еще на протяжении 10-15 лет продолжится распад России в формате «примитивной сырьевой экономики», а народам России и бывшего СССР нужно будет готовиться к войне».
      По одной из версий, Суриков был одним из лидеров и идеологов влиятельной группировки в недрах спецслужб, крайне недовольной нынешним курсом.
       "Совершенно секретно", январь 2010." 

      "02.01.2008. Караул, измена!...Наши источники подтверждают информацию Белковского. Примерно две недели назад в верхах начались разговоры о назначении Сурикова начальником ГРУ. Причем, на полном серьезе, в том числе самим Медведевым. На днях Корабельникову, начальнику ГРУ, исполнится 60 лет. Ему срок службы на полгода продлят, а после его может сменить Суриков. Это еще не подписано, но его кандидатуру лоббируют, возможно сам Путин. Тогда Саидов станет его первым замом. Об этом тоже говорят, Кадыровбуквально из штанов выпрыгивает, требует этого, и с ним не спорят. Предполагается, что Саидов будет курировать Кавказ, Центральную Азию, Ближний Восток, торговлю оружием и т. д. Если это случится, резко поднимутся котировки Филина и Лихвинцевана Украине и Лунева в Белоруссии. Лунев сейчас якобы кандидат на начальника ГРУ Белоруссии. Белковский также близок к истине, говоря о грядущем назначении Черкесова[...]С сайта left.ru.
      От библиотекаря. Версия маловысокодостоверная, но занимательная."

      A. Surikov stated in his interview of 18.02.06: "Я, как известно многим в Москве, больше ничем другим в политике сейчас не занимаюсь и, кстати, никакие политические силы и организации ни я, ни наши партнеры не спонсируем. У нас с июля прошлого года [July 2005? - M.N.] есть четкие обязательства перед одной из «кремлевских башен» этого не делать, которые мы строго выполняем."

      Does this mean that prior to July 2005 "Far West" did not have any obligations to abstain from the "political activities", including the "special operations"? 

      It might be a question if A. Surikov is really dead or the mysterious circumstances of his sudden death in a far away Izhevsk served as a cover for him to go underground, into hiding, and to continue his activities and "valuable services" in the secure (from retaliations) anonymity. This version might not be that unusual, given his background and the circumstances. 
      Karen Dawisha also pointed out the possible link between A. Surikov's political affiliations and views and his assumed demise.

       The "Far West" group "is alleged to be a spy network"

      "Far West, LLC, also known as Far West Ltd., Far West LLTS, and Far West DDS, is alleged to be a spy network responsible for numerous acts of smuggling, espionage, drug dealing, assassinations, and starting wars. Nearly all reporting on the subject originates from unreliable and unverifiable sources, often appearing to include disinformation."

      "The journalistic investigation by burtsev.ru has also revealed that throughout the 1990s Saidov and Nukhaev provided financing to Chechen separatists in part through the family of Adnan Khashoggi, partly through narcotrafficking and racket. In the process, Saidov amassed significant personal wealth. With the help of Saudi intelligence, Saidov received access to construction business and his companies now participate in the management of commercial real estate, including Jumeira Beach Residence and Mall of the Emirates . Using his connections in Russian Ministry of Defence Saidov played important role in the heroin operation by the FarWest organized crime group, moving dozens tons of heroin from Afghanistan to Kosovo. After the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kosovo, Saidov and his FarWest partners became more involved in subversive politics in Russia. There are reasons to believe that Saidov played some role in events in Andijan and in the bloodshed in Nalchik in 2005. According to our sources, Saidov's Istanbul Bureau carried out the assassination of Paul Khlebnikov and Anna Politkovskaya, as well as assisted in the assassination of Andrei Kozlov, the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, in 2006." 
      In January 2012, Far West Ltd was characterised as the "murky anonymous zone where for the last fifteen years or so, former officers of Soviet secret services have been converting their expertise and connections into wealth, power, and more connections. What is different about Saidov is that this son of a high-ranking party apparatchik, known for his militant atheism, is a hardcore convert to Muslim fundamentalism and thought to be a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood's Special Organization in the former Soviet Union." 

      How did "Mr. Saidov" know all these following alleged details? 
      "...About the Philippines terrorist organization Abu-Sayyaf. After all, this organization was created in the early 1990s by the Philippine military intelligence closely supervised by DIA and the CIA. As it was proved in the Philippines court, this organization was for a long time headed by an officer of this military intelligence. It was also established that several years prior to 9/11 this officer discussed in Manila plans [see "oplan Bojinka" - M.N.] for an aerial attack against the WTC Towers not with the representatives of Osama bin Laden, but with one ultra-right US organization, whose member, Timothy McVeigh, soon afterwards blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing hundreds of people." 
      Far West Ltd is linked by Anton Surikov with the Kosovo war (see also: 9/11 Bosnian connection and Yugoslav wars), Pristina airport capture (with some senior additions to Gen. Sergun as dramatis personae) and future heroin trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe and the US. It also confirms the GRU's involvement in the drug trade, especially in the "difficult 1990-s", when it was starved almost to death by the financial cuts. 

      The "Far West", the Afghani - Balkans heroine route and the "Pristina dash"

      "Building on this reading of the conspiracy in Nice, Professor Peter Dale Scott went further and all but suggested that the Prishtina dash itself could have been driven by the imperatives of drug trade. He observed that 
      Within a year of the troops' arrival, by 2000, according to DEA statistics, Afghan heroin accounted for almost 20 percent of the heroin seized in the United States nearly double the percentage taken four years earlier. Much of it was now distributed in America by Kosovar Albanians. 
      It is significant therefore, he continued, that 
      The `Pristina dash' by Russian parachutists in 1999 during the Kosovo crisis (the purpose of the `dash' was to force NATO to guarantee for Russia a separate sector of responsibility in Kosovo) was organized by the head of the General Staff, Anatoly Kvashnin, and his deputy, Leonid Ivashov, without the knowledge of minister of defense Igor Sergeyev and most likely without Yeltsin's knowledge. 
      While the question of whether Sergeev did or did not know about Kvashnin's operation remains a matter of some debate, there could not be any doubt that Yeltsin and his closest circle did know and sanctioned it. Virtually all sources, including Ivashov, confirm this. It is also clear that Kvashnin could not communicate with Yeltsin directly, but only through the powerful head of his administration Alexander Voloshin, the most trusted member of the Family. It can be assumed therefore that had the Prishtina dash was conceived, at least in part, as the means to establish a secure hub for moving Afghan heroin to Europe through the network of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Voloshin would have been in the know from the very beginning and would actually be the guarantor of the Kremlin roof (protection) for Kvashnin and the obshchak of the GRU and Ministry of Defense. 6 

      Russia's Role in Kosovo, with Primakov's active involvement, is the backdrop of the activities there of Russian intelligence, and the most interestingly of "Far West" group, which shifted its attention from Afghanistan, where it allegedly protected and directed the drug trafficking, to the Balkans as the hub for the heroin supply routes to Europe and the US, with "the geostrategic goal of maintaining the War of Terror". 

      "Как мы понимаем, спецгруппа “Н” была первым звеном в героиновой линии ГРУ по маршруту Афган – база ГРУ в Фергане – Куба – Центральная Америка – США. Там Суриков становится специалистом по наркоторговле. Из некоторыx сообщений (в частности, Петрова и Саркисяна) можно сделать вывод, что люди Гусева сотрудничала с пакистанцами, саудовцами и американцами, пропуская подконтрольные им караваны с опием на север к Масуду и переxватывая конкурентов иx агента Хекматьяра – главного наркоторговца моджаxедов." 

      "В январе 2004 года на сайте компромат.ру было опубликовано сенсационное интервью с Сергеем Петровым. Это был тот самый Петров, который служил у Косякова в 84-85 гг. Причем, как отмечает Армен, с марта по август 84-го, вместе с Петровым там находились все питомцы Гусева: Владимир Филин, Алексей Лихвинцев, Антон Суриков, Руслан Саидов и Валерий Лунев. Вот, что рассказал Петров за неделю до гибели в Южной Африке.

      • Я знаю его [Сурикова – ред.] еще по Афгану. Там все они: ну Антон, Валера [Лунев -ред.], Леша, Володя, еще был такой Саидов Руслан Шамильевич, они были ну что ли на особом положенииКонтактировали с явными душманами, с эмиссарами Масуда, хромого Исмаил-Хана, даже с арабами. Вели себя как настоящие мародеры, сколько было жалоб, сплошная дискредитация, всегда полные карманы валюты. И это по тем временам! Просто они, их командир Косяков Леонид Леонидович по кличке Леня Слон, сейчас, кстати, у него крупный туристический бизнес в Дубае, в общем, он делился и все сходило с рук. Я думаю, тогда Антон к американцам и переметнулсяПросто наше начальство, через него, ну через этот канал, всегда поддерживало неформальные что ли связи с американцами и поэтому Антону многое дозволялось." 
      "Yasenev’s charge of a military organized crime group under Filin had been reported a year earlier by Russian journalist Nikita Kaledin: There is a powerful military organized crime community which from 1992 through to the present has controlled substantial drug flows from Afghanistan to Russia and Europe and is also involved in laundering “dirty” money and is actively involved in Russia’s political life. The community is controlled by former intelligence officers, Afghan war veterans, and now drug barons Vova Filin and Lesha Pribalt. The former lives in Switzerland, the latter in London. Both make quite frequent trips to Moscow, Dushanbe, Nazran, and Khankala….
      Filin and Pribalt literally flooded Russia with heroin." 

      "Through Tajikistan and the other CIS states, heroin is also increasingly smuggled into Eastern and Western Europe along the old 'Silk Road'. The International Narcotics Control Board estimates that up to 65 percent of opiates intended for export from Afghanistan, may pass through the porous Central Asian borders to Europe. In most cases, these heroin cargoes are also brought across Russia. Furthermore, Russia is increasingly used to transfer large amounts of cannabis products, originating from Southern CIS countries and Afghanistan, into Western Europe.

      The expansion of the Russian drug consumption and trade during the 1990s, entailed the emergence of a nation-wide drug distribution system, which brings illicit drugs from producers to consumers, and the consolidation of the professional role of the drug dealer. This role did not exist in Russia up to the early 1990s, as much as it did in Western Europe and the USA up to the mid-1970s. In Soviet times, drug users largely consumed psychoactive substances that were available in their region, and often either harvested or produced the drugs themselves."

      On February 8, 2006 Pravda-info, the Internet newspaper that belongs to Far West, LLC, published Anton Surikov's article "The Government of the United States Is Seriously Concerned about the Safety of CIA Analyst," in which he reveals the following information about the then executive director of Far West, Ltd. and the alleged leader of the drug meta-group, the military oligarch Vladimir Ilyich Filin." 
      The same Mr. Filin, after the dispersal of Far West from Europe to avoid the criminal prosecutions, published an article in Pravda-info, in which he almost appeals for the help from the Russian state. 
      "Under these conditions, the leadership of "Far West LLC"--who does not wish to smear themselves and to play into the hands of the enemies of mankind--the United Sates, NATO, and Israel--have transferred the management of the agency from Europe to the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Turkey, Iran, and Ukraine, that is to those countries where the blatant provocations of the US and Mossad are less easy to conduct and where extradition is impossible unless in the form of kidnapping and other illegal activities. 
      At the same time those in the Kremlin must clearly understand that no private structure by itself, without support can oppose the state, especially such powerful as the United States and Israel.
      End quote. 

      According to a later announcement by Pravda-info, Vladimir Filin moved from Lausanne, Switzerland to San Paulo, Brazil, where he joined a number of companies and business ventures." 

      The "Far West" group and the GRU

      Was the "Far West LLC" a KGB-GRU splinter group (there is no such thing as KGB-GRU former officers) or a counterintelligence project, or a faction, which went into the business in the early 1990-s and performed a wide variety of useful duties: weapons and drug trafficking, political "conflict resolutions", counterintelligence traps, etc., etc.? Or all three? What were the relations between this group and the mainstream parts of the Russian intelligence services at that time, GRU and others? What were the relations between the GRU mainstream, its chiefs at that time, and most recently between I. Sergun with A. Surikov and with the other "fringe groups", and the other "independent contractors", including the organized crime groups? 
      Are the 9/11 events connected with the internecine, internal struggle for power and the choice of the strategic directions within the Russian intelligence services, and first of all the GRU? This version might be consistent with the political conflict between the Primakov's, or "the Moscow faction", of which A. Surikov and his group is clearly a part, and the Putin's, or "the Petersburg faction", which came to power in Yeltsin later years, in 1999, after Primakov was fired as a prime minister. 

      "...Суриков занимал ключевой пост в аппарате правительства Евгения Примакова, хотя и числился лишь помощником первого вице-премьера Юрия Маслюкова." 

      This split might have had its own roots (Stalin vs Trotsky) and its own history. It can, for the sake of designation, be described as the conflict between the two wings: the "Internationalist" - Primakov - Семён Ростовский-Хентов (Эрнст Генри, a friend and one of the possible recruiters or handlers of Donald Maclean, whom he brought to Moscow) - "генерал-лейтенант Юрий Гусев" of the GRU - A. Surikov - and possibly Pyotr Ivashutin, GRU chief in 1963-1987 (the old "Trotskyite" Khruschev's appointee) wing vs the Nationalist - Stalinist - Pro-Putin - Sechin & "siloviki" - Igor Sergun wing, with some intertwining bridges in between them. The "Far West" conducted activities and special operations might have been the instruments of the struggle for power in the Russian politics. There is an old adage that Russian history is essentially a history of struggles within its intelligence services

      "Tatyana Yumasheva, Yeltsin's daughter, wrote in her blog in 2010 that during his tenure as the country's prime minister, Primakov disliked Putin, who was then head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), a successor agency to the KGB.
      According to Yumasheva, Primakov went as far as to ask Yeltsin to fire Putin after the latter's request to tap the phone calls of Grigory Yavlinsky, the leader of an oppositional party in the State Duma at the time, was rejected. Yeltsin declined to fire Putin, and the president and Primakov apparently maintained good relations in the 2000s." 

      "Yevgeny Primakov, mentioned above, has been a top KGB/FSB terror master for decades, helping to train and set in motion generations of terrorists worldwide... 
      Were the Tsarnaev brothers part of an elaborate provocation organized by the proven masters of provocation? The history of “Chechen” terror in Russia suggests that that scenario is not only a possibility, but a very strong probability." 

      Was the "Far West" a "shadow" and a "private" GRU?

      Was the "Far West" a "shadow" and a "private" GRU, and both its competitor and the frontline battalion? 
      According to some opinions, a "shadow GRU" is the informal corporation of the former officers, agents and the veterans of the Soviet GRU: 
      Одни из них занимают командные позиции в военных разведках и других спецслужбах РФ, Украины, Беларуссии, Литвы, Чечни и Узбекистана. Другие перешли в бизнес, государственные учреждения или СМИ, коммерчески и политически связанные с разведками, отпочковавшимися от матки ГРУ. Третьи - формальные или теневые руководители соответствующих ветеранских организаций... 

      Теневое руководство ГУР - Филин, Лихвинцев, Косяков, плюс руководство Укрспецэкспорта, плюс дельцы - зиц-председатели вроде покойного Орлова, плюс банкиры-теневики Давидович и Косман, плюс Фар Вест ЛЛЦ." 

      The origins of the "Far West" group

      According to the same sources of "Left.ru - Burtsev.ru - Baumgarten", the documentation about the origins of Far West group was largely destroyed by their boss, GRU Gen. Gusev after 1991 "putsch" attempt: 
      "Вскоре после ГКЧП, генерал Юрий Гусев сделал несколько дел для своих наиболее ценных кадров. С санкции Тимохина он провел тотальное изъятие документов из архива ГРУ. В 1992 по просьбе Гусева то же самое проделал Баранников в архивах Министерства безопасности РФ. По будущим главарям ФарВеста уничтожили почти все, но не до конца... Часть документов Гусев уничтожил по акту, часть заменил, часть просто забрал себе и после его смерти их не нашли (права, особенно их не искали тогда). Там помимо Фарвеста было много чего еще. В том числе по анти-КОКОМ. Агентура, материалы оперативной работы, сведения о фондах. Часть знаний оказалась у будущего Фарвеста. В 1995 А. Баранов по поручению Сурикова опубликовал в «Комсомольской правде» активку о гибели Гусева как якобы подстроенной. Виновники – некие внутриведомственные конкуренты фарвестовцев по приказу американцев (намек на Усмана Имаева - врага друзей Лихвинцева по Анголе). Цель активки было намекнуть, кто стал хозяином компромата Гусева и Баранникова. Активка широко разошлась в красно-коричневой прессе." 

      The Russian intelligence culture and the issue of reforms

      "In the 1990s and early 2000s the arms trade in Russia was controlled by active service GRU officers, generals and admirals – and Bout prospered. Under Putin the KGB took over arms trade and Bout’s luck began to run out.
      Bout’s conviction, if not a direct blow to the GRU, is certainly an embarrassment. The GRU, like the SVR, has been recently implicated in the ongoing tide of media leaks: it was reported that the present chief of the GRU Colonel-General Aleksandr Shlyakhaturov, 64, will soon retire, while the SVR and the GRU may be merged into a superspy organization (Moskovsky Komsomolets, October 29). Disgruntled officers have told journalists that Shlyakhaturov has “destroyed the GRU” by retiring some 1,000 intelligence officers, cutting the number of special forces (Spetsnaz) brigades from eight to five and by putting those brigades under the command of military district commanders instead of the GRU directly. The previous chief of the GRU Army-General (retired) Valentin Korabelnikov (appointed in 1997) was fired by Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov in 2009 for allegedly refusing to reform the GRU, while Shlyakhaturov turned out to be more submissive (Izvestiya, September 27)...

      A Cold War “illegal” GRU spy in the West, including the US, Colonel (retired) Vitaliy Shlykov, who is an adviser on military reform to the defense ministry, confirmed to Jamestown, quoting Serdyukov, that the GRU has not been “touched greatly at all, unlike much of the other military structures.” According to Shlykov, the modus operandi of the GRU has not changed and he does not know of any immediate plans to introduce any sweeping reforms to military intelligence." 

      "We may not learn much about General-Lieutenant Korobov, and it really doesn’t matter.  There’s a new first deputy chief of the GRU and chief of strategic agent intelligence reporting to Korobov now.  Just another turn of the personnel wheel.
      What matters more is what it says about Russian intelligence culture.  The Kremlin and the Defense Ministry have never abandoned Soviet (perhaps historically Russian) paranoid mirror-imaging about their enemies.  They believe their enemies have secret diabolical plans to destroy them because they have such plans for their enemies.  Of course, these plans are so secret that no satellite could ever photograph, detect, or eavesdrop on them.  They can only be discovered by human agents, hence the HUMINT emphasis.
      Failure to ferret out these hostile plans doesn’t mean they don’t exist; it only means the officers in charge have failed.

      And whatever information agents deliver to their handlers, and handlers send back to headquarters, and headquarters prepares and presents to the leadership better fit the latter’s predilections.  Headquarters probably wouldn’t even put forward a story that didn’t track with the leadership’s mindset."

      See also the section above on "Politicization of Russian Intelligence". 

      Was the "Far West" group involved in the 9/11 operational planning and organization?

      Was the "Far West" group involved, through Bout, Zawahiri and others; directly or indirectly in the 9/11 operational planning and organization? Are they involved in any "special operations" against the US presently? Are there any other similar groups, legal or semi-legal, that we do not know much about? Do they still have the active networks continuing their lines of business? 

      According to some opinions, "Far West" as "Force X", or some other "Force X" could have played its role in the 9/11 events: "The meta-group's involvement in the Russian 9/11 of course does nothing to prove its involvement in the American one. However awareness of its presence – as an unrecognized Force X operating in the world – makes previous discussions of 9/11 seem curiously limited. Again and again questions of responsibility have been unthinkingly limited to false dilemmas in which the possible involvement of this or any other Force X is excluded." 

      A. Surikov's (ideological, political and professional) opponents attempt to establish the links between "The Al Qaeda in the Caucasus, "Far West" and the 9/11" and refer to the non-mainstream sources, such as "Hawk of Pandora: A 9/11 Missing Link" and the comments of Michael Rupert, including the "NORAD 9/11 stand down" and the issues around Dave Fraska of the FBI

      "9/11 planes remote control hypothesis" and "Norad 9/11 stand down" (if caused by the deliberate hostile design and confusion) hypothesis are the parts of the possible electronic warfare aspect and role in the 9/11 events, possibly demonstrated on purpose. 
      See also: Russia’s Surging Electronic Warfare Capabilities: "The United States has been criticized for ignoring the rapid development of Russia’s SIGINT and EW capability, which was put on full display at the onset of the Russian invasion into Crimea and east Ukraine, as Ukrainian cell-phones and communications equipment fell silent to Russian jammers."

      The claims around Dave Fraska point to some complex issues inside of the FBI at that time, especially in the light of the facts and the criticism from its agents - the whistleblowers and other reports. 

      The U.S. needs a better understanding of its opponent

      "Granted, open-source information can be useful in the hands of an exceptional operational analyst who has the experience, knowledge and top-tier contacts needed to reliably connect disparate points not previously connected, but this describes an overlapping of CIA operational and analytical roles that doesn't exist in the real world... 
      Russian spin, meanwhile, has focused on exploiting public distrust of Obama specifically and of the U.S. government more generally, leveraging examples of perceived American screw-ups. Now that's the kind of spin that everyone from grandma to unemployed grandkid can appreciate, regardless of who's saying it.

      Unless the U.S. gets a better understanding of its opponent, this particular intelligence war could have a much different result than the last one between the American and Russian spheres."

      Is Al Qaeda the GRU's special construction
      arm, front, false flag and myth?

      Thus, there is enough circumstantial evidence to form the impression that it is possible or even likely that “Al Qaeda” appears to be a KGB (as a generic term, more specifically and more likely – GRU) created myth, for the purposes of deceiving, misleading and distracting of their opponents. Practically, Al Qaeda came into the public discourse after the 9/11, having been born out of the success of this operation. It would also be logical to assume that it was not and is not the only front organisation created by the KGB (GRU) but is a part of their network and a part of their more general and broader strategy

      The related issue are the roles of the players: it appears that bin Laden was an ideological banner, “the prophet”, and mostly “the cashier and banker”, while Zawahiri was the operational leader and manager, but, in fact, for all the GRU’s intents and purposes, a Russian agent. It is possible that bin Laden was not told or was not aware of the details, “nuts and bolts” of the operations, which is in line with his initial denials of complicity in 9/11 until 2004 (or 2008 in other sources). In a way, hypothetically, he might be more of a convenient scapegoat than a culprit. “He wouldn’t impress me as somebody who would be a leader for anything. Actually, at that time, I thought he couldn’t lead eight ducks across the street… the Western media has blown him out of proportion; definitely, definitely”, opined Bandar, who might have had his own reasons for this (mis?)characterization. 
      Curiously enough, Anton Surikov,  the GRU officer or closely connected with them, one of those who run the Far West, had a similar opinion: "I do not think that Osama bin Laden is what the world community represents him to be. Speaking about radical Islamic international terrorism (Basayev and Khattab are bright representatives of that), then it is Saudi Arabia and its special services that sponsor it. Bin Laden is a figure that has been deliberately created, a half-mythical person to take the public attention away from the real organizers of the radical Islamic terrorism."
        Marc Sageman, a psychiatrist and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer, said that al-Qaeda is now just a “loose label for a movement that seems to target the west. There is no umbrella organisation. We like to create a mythical entity called [al-Qaeda] in our minds, but that is not the reality we are dealing with.”[47]
        "The modern al-Qaeda organization is the combination of bin Laden’s financial resources with al-Zawahiri’s ideological and operational leadership." 

        Both aspects: the financing and the operational leadership could have been decisively influenced by the GRU in preparation for the 9/11. 

        "Весь цивилизованный мир аплодировал рукопожатию двух бывших врагов: и агент SIS Анвар Садат и агент ГРУ Генштаба ВС СССР Менахем Бегин получили Нобель-приз.
        Резиденты ГРУ  и КГБ, присутствывавшие на церемонии, аплодировали с кислыми лицами.
        Они знали, что в сентябре 1981 года спецслужбы Садата арестовали более тысячи агентов-исламистов, а одновременно с этим Чрезвычайный и Полномочный Посол Союза ССР, восемь доблестных разведчиков шесть сотрудников советского посольства и два журналиста-международника «разжигавшие религиозную рознь и организовавшие заговор против существующего строя» были высланы из Египта.
        Но, к счастью для ГРУ, любящий помпезность арабский диктатор продолжал отмечать военным парадом годовщину победы над израильскими оккупантами в 1973 году.
        Именно на Параде Победы в Каире 6 октября 1981 года ГРУ нанесло MI6 смертельный удар.
        Утром 6 октября, собираясь на парад, Садат не стал надевать бронежилет под мундир. Однако, предупреждённая MI6 Джихан Садат категорически отказалась сопровождать законного супруга.  
        И вот в самом конце парада перед трибуной, от которой уже была убрана армейская охрана, артиллерийский тягач, двигавшейся в колоне военной техники, резко затормозил.
        Агент ГРУ лейтенант Халед Ахмед аль-Истамбули (используемый нашими доблестными разведчиками "в тёмную, на идейной исламской основе") спрыгнул с машины и метнул в трибуну ручную гранату.
        Через несколько секунд еще пятеро агентов-десантников спрыгнули с платформы тягача и открыли плотный автоматный огонь по жуликам и ворам, посмевшим обмануть Партию."
        "Что касается Москвы, то о ее заинтересованности в смерти Садата особо говорить не надо. Недаром по поводу убийства Садата здесь было заявлено следующее: «Патриотические силы организовались и покончили с ним. С тех пор наши отношения улучшились, стали крепче». А для ликвидации Садата у советских спецслужб имелись вполне реальные возможности. Многие египетские офицеры, в том числе и из военной разведки, обучались в СССР. И как многие другие иностранцы, они занимались незаконными валютными операциями — ввозили в страну золото и валюту, что каралось по советским законам вплоть до смертной казни. В таких условиях поймать за руку и завербовать египетского офицера, пусть даже высокопоставленного, не представляло большого труда." 

        "Впоследствии боевые группы, разработавшие план убийства Садата, вступили в контакты с Усамой бен Ладеном, «Египетский исламский джихад» присоединился к «аль-Каиде»." 

        Zawahiri, Mohammed Atef Al-Masri (former Egyptian Air Force serviceman and police officer), Saif al-Adel (former Egyptian military colonel, “one of the masterminds of the Sadat assassination… He joined the Egyptian Military around 1976 and became a Colonel in the Special Forces as an Explosives expert, possibly being trained in the Soviet Union.”) and others, associated with Egyptian Islamic Jihad, whose infiltration by the Russian intelligence is almost undoubtful , appeared to play a disproportionally large role in Al Qaeda. 
        "In the 1970s, after Egypt’s president Anwar Sadat halted the Soviet colonization of his country and turned West, the KGB initiated Active Measures to try to topple Sadat and began sponsoring Egyptian oppositionists, including the Communists and Islamists—the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and EIJ". 
        "The Soviet KGB had good--albeit indirect--connections with Islamic fundamentalists, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian Jihad." 
        “It was also at this time [In the mid-1980s? – M.N.] that some saw “the Egyptians” of the EIJ begin to exert an influence on Osama bin Laden, who at the time was known as a wealthy and well-connected fundraiser for the jihad in Afghanistan. Egyptian filmmaker Essam Deraz, “bin Laden’s first biographer,” met bin Laden in the “Lion’s Den” training camp in Afghanistan and complained that the Egyptians “formed a barrier” around bin Laden and “whenever he tried to speak confidentially to bin Laden, the Egyptians would surround the Saudi and drag him into another room”. “In June 2001 [note the timing! – M.N.], al-Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (which had been associated with each other for many years) merged into “Qaeda al-Jihad“.[5] However, the UN states that there was a split in the organization when the merger was announced.[3]… In June 2001, al-Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad merged into an entity formally called jamaa’at Qa’idat al-Jihad,[5] with the leadership of the EIJ having “the majority” – six of nine seats – of al-Qaeda’s ruling council (shura).”[38][39] However, Sayyed Imam Al-Sharif has claimed that only 9 people from the organization, including Zawahiri, actually joined al-Qaeda.[40] Consequently, it is often considered synonymous with al-Qaeda (for example, by the US Treasury Department),[41] although some refer to it as a separate organization with al-Zawahiri as its leader and global jihad’s main ideologist.[42]” This particular role and influence of EIJ and its operatives might indicate that the roots of Al Qaeda can be traced to the Sadat assassination, circumstances around it and its participants, in sum, essentially to the Russian intelligence. 
        It might not be dissimilar to the present days structural roots of ISIS: disaffected and unemployed former Iraqi military and intelligence officers who also had close ties with the Russians. It is worthwhile to mention that Mohamed Atta was an Egyptian "who was also a former EIJ member." Did someone somewhere like that movie so much? 
        See also: Primakov and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and, with regard to the Zawahiri's visit to Russia in 1996-97: 
        "Perhaps most difficult to believe from Zawahiri's version is that his captors would not have read the Arabic information contained within his laptop computer. Russian intelligence has probably the best Arabists in the world. One of them--Dr. Evgeny Primakov--headed the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service from December 1991 until January 1996 and made a considerable efforts to bring many talented Arabists into this service. These individuals would have been able not only to read Zawahiri's Arabic text, but also to decode his encrypted messages without any problem."

        See also: Ali Mohamed
        "Lt. Col. Robert Anderson, Mohamed’s commanding officer, also reports Mohamed’s suspicious activities to Fort Bragg officials and army intelligence, but gets no response. Mohamed takes one month of leave and goes to Afghanistan. No action is taken to prevent him from doing this. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/1/1998; RALEIGH NEWS AND OBSERVER, 10/21/2001; MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 143] When he returns, he boasts of his combat exploits to his colleagues. Lt. Col. Anderson writes up a second report and again gets no response. Freelance fighting would be a serious breach of military rules, and the New York Times will later note that, “The capture or death of an American serviceman in Afghanistan would have been a major international embarrassment to the United States.” However, no disciplinary action is taken against him. This leads Anderson to conclude that Mohamed’s activities are sponsored by a US intelligence agency. Anderson will state, “I think you or I would have a better chance of winning [the lottery], than an Egyptian major in the unit that assassinated [Egyptian President Anwar] Sadat would have getting a visa, getting to California… getting into the Army and getting assigned to a Special Forces unit. That just doesn’t happen.” He will add that it is equally unthinkable that an ordinary US soldier would go unpunished after fighting in a foreign war. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/1/1998; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 11/4/2001]"
        The Bosnian connection

        Zawahiri, just like KSM and many other jihadists, had a Bosnian passport and was able to travel there freely, where the contacts with Russians might have occurred. “If it had not been for the Dayton Peace Accords, 9/11 would probably have been planned in Bosnia, not in Afghanistan,” said Richard Holbrooke. We do not really know for sure where the 9/11 was planned, but it looks like it did have deep operational roots in the murky and chaotic undercurrents of the Bosnian war. “The Bosnian connections to the greatest mass murder in American history are just as direct. Khalid Sheikh Muhammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, fought in the Bosnian jihad and was given Bosnian citizenship. Two other 9/11 bombers, Khalid al Mindhar and Nawaf al Hamzi, also fought in Izetbegović’s army.[22] The British journalist Eve-Anne Prentice of The Guardian and German journalist Renate Flottau of Der Spiegel reported meeting Osama Bin Laden in Izetbegović’s office during the war,[23] and Bin Laden was even given a Bosnian passport by Izetbegović’s foreign ministry.[24] When asked to respond to allegations that he had met bin-Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, Izetbegović’ evasively replied “During and after the war I met with thousands of people coming from the Islamic world but I can remember the faces and names of only a few.”[25] The Bosnian politician Sejfudin Tokić has claimed that Council of Europe officials had told him of the existence of a photograph showing Izetbegović with bin-Laden.[26]” 

        The Hamburg cell hijackers 

        They planned to go to Chechnya but instead, for some reasons (it is doubtful that it was just a chance encounter) went to Afghanistan to meet with Al Qaeda people. “As late as 1999, the four core members of the group had intended to wage jihad in Chechnya, where Islamic jihadists were then and are now rebelling against the parent country of Russia. The 9/11 Commission Report notes in Chapter 5 that “according to bin al-Shibh [who is now in U.S. custody], a chance meeting on a train in Germany caused the group to travel to Afghanistan instead... “Bin Laden and Mohammed Atef wasted no time in assigning the Hamburg group to the most ambitious operation yet planned by al-Qaeda,” the 9/11 Commission Report says.” 
        It might be useful to keep in mind that Hamburg apparently is an intelligence services hub and a hotbed of Russian military intelligence activities. D. Kovtun, a Russian military intelligence officer, one of the accused in the murder of A. Litvinenko, lived and operated in Hamburg. It is conceivable that Hamburg cell hijackers were vetted, monitored and then selected there by their invisible GRU handlers. “The core group behind the 9/11 attacks was Al Qaeda’s so-called “Hamburg cell,” led by Bosnian jihad veteran Mohammed Haydar Zammar, reportedly the man who recruited Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the 9/11 attacks.[27] Zammar has been variously described as the “patron” of the Hamburg Cell, the man “under whose tutelage” it operated,[28] and “a sort of surrogate father to the pilots surrounding Mohammed Atta.”[29] Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, “coordinator” of the 9/11 attacks, was seen in Bosnia in the summer of 1996.[30] Other 9/11 participants have been reported to have Bosnian connections as well.[31]” 
        Zammar, a German citizen born in Syria (for a change from Saudis, Egyptians and Yemenis; which might be a significant one, due to the close, long standing Russia – Syria relationship) was a recruiter for the Al Qaeda (and the GRU?), who lived in Boston at the time of September 11 attacks, was extradited to Syria from Morocco (but not to the US or Germany, despite the US assistance in capturing him in late 2001), reportedly spent some time in the Syrian prison, “was released as part of a prisoner exchange between the Islamist Syrian rebel group Ahrar al-Sham and the Syrian Government in September 2013” and within days "joined ISIS in Raqqa" or disappeared somewhere else. (In Russia?) 

        "False" Prague Connection

        Mohamed Atta's widely reported visit to Prague, although "generally considered to be false" is another aspect of the hypothetical "9/11 Russian Connection": "Mohammed Atta, the pilot of the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, had met with a senior Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague, Czech Republic, five months before the attack. But Iraqi intelligence was just a client of Russia's intelligence service. It brings a new understanding to the fact that President Putin was the first foreign President to call President Bush on 9/11. One may conjecture that he knew in advance what was to happen."
        Promises, promises: 9/11 and the FBI
        Hanssen and PROMIS software connection to 9/11

        R. Hanssen, a Russian mole in the FBI, sold a monitoring software PROMIS to them for $2 ml, which they sold to bin Laden for the same amount, enabling him to monitor his and others’ investigations, including the financial transactions. 
        There are some indications that someone in FBI hierarchy might have stymied the efforts to investigate the plot prior to 9/11, pointing to the possibility of more moles. "Robert G. Wright, Jr. is an FBI agent who has criticized the FBI’s counterterrorist activities in the 1990s... wrote the following:
        “Knowing what I know, I can confidently say that until the investigative responsibilities for terrorism are removed from the FBI, I will not feel safe. The FBI has proven for the past decade it cannot identify and prevent acts of terrorism against the United States and it’s [sic] citizens at home and abroad. Even worse, there is virtually no effort on the part of the FBI’s international terrorism unit to neutralize known and suspected terrorists residing within the United States.” 
        "In June 2001, a "high-placed member of a US intelligence agency" told BBC reporter Greg Palast that "after the [2000] elections, the agencies were told to "back off" investigating the bin Ladens and Saudi royals.[46] 
        In May 2002, former FBI Agent Robert Wright, Jr. delivered a tearful press conference apologizing to the families who lost loved ones on September 11. He described how his superiors intentionally obstructed his investigation into Al-Qaeda financing.[47][48]
        Agent Wright later told ABC's Brian Ross: "September 11th is a direct result of the incompetence of the FBI's International Terrorism Unit", specifically referring to the Bureau's hindering of his investigation into Yasin al-Qadi, whom Ross described as a powerful Saudi Arabian businessman with extensive financial ties in Chicago.[49] One month after September 11, the US government officially identified Yassin al-Qadi as one of Osama bin Laden's primary financiers and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.[50]"

        Summary and Conclusions

        Below is the summary of the possible 9/11 - Russia connections, in order of significance, as I see it. Circumstantial they might be, irrelevant they are not. These are the disparate dots that have to be connected between themselves in order to provide some coherent explanation or the attempt at it. On the other hand, investigators have to find enough factual and logical inconsistencies and contradictions to downgrade or to refute this investigative hypothesis. Only rarely are there the hard proofs in this business, most often just "the darkness of the lowly truths" and the "infinity of mirrors... the intricacies of agent to double agent to triple agent so common in counterespionage..." The studies in psychology or psychiatry would help very little in the attempts to understand these phenomena, I guess; they belong to the separate and special domain "of the lowly truths" of the human nature and are ruled by the rules of the trade. 

        The impact of 9/11 on America as a culture and society was enormous, and the psychological impact probably more significant than any other. The "lowly and ugly truths" have to come out. 
        Without it, it will be no healing and no closure

        After this monumental counterintelligence failure, caused by the self-induced ("Oedipal"?blindness, FBI has to come up with the new 9/11 follow-up report, summarizing the recent findings and the continuing investigations that fit to be disclosed. 

        Michael Novakhov


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