28 MAY: 12 MILLION WOULD DIE ON FIRST DAY OF INDIA-PAKISTAN WAR - CIA

An intelligence assessment produced by the US Department of Defense and the CIA, says that a nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India would result in 12 million deaths within six hours. And this does not include several million other people who would be suffer radiation sickness.

Secret intelligence reports suggest Pakistan could have double the number of nuclear warheads than first thought, matching India’s 125.

28 MAY: MOHAMED ATTA STOOD AT BASE OF WTC ON 10 SEPTEMBER

Intelligence sources in America say that documents and receipts discovered by the FBI place Mohamed Atta, lead member of the 11 September hijack gang, at the foot of the WTC just hours before the attack, where in all probability he entered the building location in global positioning system. This information supports intelligence received by Eye Spy that several of the hijackers stayed in hotels within a few hundred feet of the towers.

Full story in EYE SPY 10

26 MAY: PENTAGON SAYS NO RIFT OVER BUSH IRAQ ATTACK PLANS

Officials at the Pentagon have said they will be able to support “any action that the President deems necessary to safeguard the security of the United States.” Earlier, intelligence leaks suggested that a major internal rift had occurred and that President Bush’s plans to topple Saddam Hussein were not being supported by the military.

The cracks developed when General Tommy Franks of US Central Command said a war involving 200,000 US troops might force Saddam into a corner where he would unleash chemical and biological weapons. This follows MI6 reports indicating Saddam’s nuclear and biological weapons’ programmes are being hastened. The CIA and MI6 believe Baghdad may be just three years away from building a crude nuclear device. Such intelligence is being used by the White House to gather support for the invasion.

• See Eye Spy Nine for further information on Iraqi defectors claim to MI6

25 MAY: CIA WARM PAKISTAN AND INDIA OVER CONSEQUENCES

Officials from the CIA have warned Pakistan and India over the consequences of a nuclear war. Some 1.5m troops from either side face each other over the disputed Kashmiri area. Eye Spy has learned that Pakistan has moved several mobile nuclear missile conveys close to the border with India. MI6 has warned Downing Street that a nuclear strike is possible - though remote. Eye Spy understands high-level talks are underway.

22 MAY: AL-QAIDA TARGET STATUE OF LIBERTY AND BROOKLYN BRIDGE

The FBI has issued an ‘obscure’ warning that intelligence suggests the al-Qaida network is planning to blow up the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge, linking Manhattan with Brooklyn, New York City. It is known that a number of al-Qaida suspects reside or did reside in nearby New Jersey, though the warning was made from information acquired from al-Qaida signals and phone calls intercepted by the FBI.

22 MAY: AMERICA IDENTIFIES IRAN AS KEY TERROR NATION

An intelligence report circulating around Washington has identified Iran as a huge and major player in the sponsorship of global terrorism. The new report could indicate a shift in policy towards Iraq. Eye Spy learned that efforts by MI6 and the CIA to discover the whereabouts of the construction of a nuclear device have been underway for at least three years. It is understand a Top Secret CIA report contains astonishing information about Iran’s nuclear capability.

• Iraq may now also show flexibility towards UN weapons’ inspectors if the USA targets Iran. Eye Spy understands that it is likely covert talks have taken place between the West and Baghdad.

 

21 MAY: THE ANTHRAX SITUATION - ALARMING SCENARIO

Some officials in the British Government are allegedly nervous about recent findings inthe USA concerning the anthrax-laced letters and packages which killed five persons last year on the eastern seaboard of America. An al-Qaida cell reportedly based in New Jersey was first suspected, but information suggests that one US scientist, Professor Don Wiley may have been killed by the US Government to protect an on-going project. Mr Wiley allegedly committed suicide on 15 November last year, around the last time an anthrax letter was received. The anthrax almost certainly originated from a US facility identified and named in Eye Spy 9.

Full Story on Professor Wiley Eye Spy 10

20 MAY: US SPECIAL FORCES SOLDIER SHOT DEAD IN AFGHANISTAN

The Pentagon has announced that an American special forces soldier has been shot dead in eastern Afghanistan.

"The firefight started when enemy forces engaged the patrol on Sunday," Lieutenant Colonel Michael Humm told the Reuters news agency.

20 MAY: PRESIDENT BUSH DID NOT KNOW OF 11 SEPTEMBER ATTACK PLANS

Senior intelligence officials have come to the aid of President Bush in respect of his statement of “prior intelligence.” Most intelligence warnings were “general” a source told Eye Spy. This magazine learned of an attack planned by al-Qaida in March and details were published in Eye Spy issue one. The intelligence was supplied to the FBI by MI5, though not specific enough

20 MAY: DANIEL PEARL’S BODY AND JACKET FOUND

It is believed Pakistani police have found the jacket and beheaded body of murdered US journalist, Daniel Pearl. The corpse was in a shallow grave on the outskirts of Karachi, close to the location where he was kidnapped. DNA samples are being taken.

20 MAY: NEW AL-QAIDA ATROCITY WILL HAPPEN - WHITE HOUSE

Dick Cherney told reporters that it is inevitable a new al-Qaida atrocity will take place in America. This follows further intelligence gleaned by the CIA that a US-based al-Qaida unit may take up residence in a block of flats and them blow them up.

20 MAY: “EIGHT-WEEK OLD BIN-LADEN TAPE” SHOWN IN LONDON

An Arabic media house based in London has shown a video tape that purports to show Osama bin-Laden in late April. Analysts who have studied the tape are unsure, though Eye Spy learned that the tape could be authentic. Skeptics say the tape was made in November or October last year.

20 MAY: RUSSIA NOT PREPARING OPERATIONS AGAINST GEORGIA

FSB director TBILISI. May 17 (Interfax) - Russia will not prepare any operations against Georgia, Director of the Russian Federal Security Service [FSB] Nikolai Patrushev has said. Patrushev so commented on recent statements by certain Georgian officials about preparations of Abkhaz armed units supported by the Russian military to invade the Kodori Gorge. "Russia is interested that Georgia be a strong and consolidated state," which meets the national interests of both Russia and other CIS states, the FSB director told a press conference in Tbilisi.

In comments on Chairman of the Russian State Duma international affairs committee Dmitri Rogozin's statement that leader of the Dagestani Wahhabite organization Rappan Khalilov and other terrorists responsible for the bombing in Kaspiisk on May 9 are currently in the Pankisi Gorge, Patrushev noted that Russian parliamentarians "make a lot of statements," which most often express only their personal opinion..

19 MAY: NEW MI5 DIRECTOR ADMIRED BY KGB DEFECTOR

Eliza Manningham-Buller, 53, who was named as the new Director-General of the Security Service, MI5 was hailed as a brilliant counterintelligence officer by the very KGB officer she helped defect. Ms Buller was just one of five people in MI5 who had intelligence that Oleg Gordievsky, perhaps the most important person ever to defect to the UK was an MI6 officer, and worked as a double agent at the Russian Embassy in England. Miss Buller checked and analysed a multitude of stories concerning Gordievsky who supplied the UK and NATO with highly important information. Mr Gordievsky said: “I remember Eliza as a brilliant counter-espionage officer. She was bright, sharp and full of colour.

Eye Spy learned that Ms Buller was favourite amongst three other candidates, two of whom are serving MI5 officers.

• Eye Spy issue 10 carries an indepth feature on Ms Buller.

17 MAY: NEW DIRECTOR GENERAL OF MI5 ANNOUNCED

The home secretary has appointed a new head of MI5. Eliza Manningham-Buller, is currently Deputy Director-General of the Security Service. The former teacher is the second woman to be appointed head of the service.

She will take over from the current Director General, Sir Stephen Lander, in October. Ms Manningham-Buller joined MI5 in 1974. Her early work involved Soviet espionage and she worked on the case of Oleg Gordievsky - the former KGB defector. She also worked for much of her time in counter-terrorism, both international and domestic. The day after the 11 September attacks she flew out to Washington to liaise with the US authorities.

The first woman head of the Security Service was Stella Rimington, now Dame Rimington. She sparked a row after her departure with the publication of her autobiography, in which she called for the Official Secrets Act to be radically reformed. Married Critics argued she should never have been allowed to write a book about her work. Ms Manningham-Buller has served as director for surveillance and technical operations and as director of Irish counter-terrorism. She has been the deputy director general of the Security Service since 1997. A woman who likes crosswords, she is married to husband David.

17 MAY: 45 COMMANDO KILL AL-QAIDA AND TALIBAN FIGHTERS IN FIERCE BATTLE

It is reported that over 1,000 Royal Marines from 45 Commando have clashed with a major force of al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in the Paktia area of Afghanistan. Sources say that an Australian SAS team was ambushed yesterday and that the Marines were flown in the heart of the area. It is believed that dozens of al-Qaida fighters have been killed. There are no reports of British casualties.

17 MAY: MULLAH OMAR QUOTED IN PAN-ARAB PAPER

Taliban leader Mullah Omar has been quoted in a London-based Pan-Arab newspaper. He says that Osama bin-Laden is still alive and the war in Afghanistan will continue until America burns in hell. More shortly...

16 MAY: FBI AND MI5 AGENT “A CRIMINAL” - CLAIM

The chief witness in the case of the forthcoming trial of Michael McKevitt, the alleged leader of the Real IRA, has been described by an American source as a “street-smart criminal who would do anything for money.” The claim was made by a defence lawyer for Mr McKevitt in the Special Criminal Court in Dublin yesterday. David Rupert, the man who infiltrated the Real IRA was an agent of both the FBI and then MI5.

See Eye Spy 1, 2 and a forthcoming feature in issue 10

16 MAY: WASHINGTON KNEW OF AL-QAIDA HIJACK PLANS BEFORE 11 SEPTEMBER

The Pentagon has admitted that it had prior 11 September knowledge of Osama bin-Laden’s plans to hijack US airliners. However, it did not believe that the hijackers would use the aircraft “with civilians on board” as missiles and crash them into buildings.

Eye Spy learned, and published, some details way back in May 2001 - that both MI5 and the FBI had uncovered the plot possibly prior to March 2001. However, both organisations failed to learn when the atrocity was going to be committed, or indeed, where. It is still not known if the FBI via Mossad, had at least some of the hijackers under observance before the September attacks on the USA. Clearly in Europe, the case was different and the movements of some suspects via London were monitored.

16 MAY: MAJOR US OVERHAUL OF ‘STUDENT VISAS’ AFTER SECURITY REVIEW

All foreign students in the United States are to be tracked by a huge Internet-based system that will monitor the student’s movements and work record. This follows the recent case over 120 Israeli ‘art students’ (see Eye Spy 9). Similarly, three of the 11 September hijackers were in America on student visas

16 MAY: SPANISH INTELLIGENCE FOIL ETA ATTACK ON MADRID SUMMIT

Spanish security services believe they have foiled a huge attack on a Madrid summit due to take place tomorrow. Tony Blair and over 40 other government heads are due to attend the meeting.

Two suspected ETA members were arrested as they prepared a 90lb car explosive. When security officers raided their apartment, they discovered a further 400lb of high explosives, automatic weapons, false number plates and other items. The men were named as Imanol Miner Villanueva, 26, and Mikel Guillermo San Argimiro, 39.

16 MAY: AL-QAIDA LOS-ANGELES SUSPECT CLOSE TO EXTRADITION

Amar Makhlulif, 37, also known as The Doctor of Doha, has been remanded in custody in London, following a new court ruling. Mr Makhlulif, faces charges in the United States that he plotted to blow-up Los Angeles airport and sending recruits to Osama bin-LadenThe US soldiers have been patrolling the area.

16 MAY: PEARL FAMILY SLAM CBS OVER VIDEO

The distraught family of Daniel Pearl, the murdered American reporter, has criticism the US broadcasting company, CBS, for showing a video of the Wall Street employee in captivity. The tape was shown last Tuesday (14 May), after a Saudi contact approached CBS and claimed the recording was being widely shown on the Internet as a “recruitment tool for Islamic extremists.” In one section, Mr Pearl is heard to say, “My father’s Jewish... my mother’s Jewish, I am Jewish.” He was certainly being threatened and under extreme duress when he made the statement.

Mr Pearl, 38, was kidnapped in Karachi in January by al-Qaida sympathizers or indeed, agents.

Though the Pearl family pleaded with CBS not to air the tape, Jim Murphy, of the company said: “We felt we had a journalistic responsibility to show the tape because it was being used in a recruitment drive among the educated elite in Saudi Arabia.”

The family said in a released statement, they found it “incomprehensible that relatives would have to relive this horrifying tragedy and watch their loved one being repeatedly terrorized. Danny believed that journalism was a tool to respect the truth and foster understanding, not to perpetuate propaganda and sensationalize tragedy.”

11 MAY: FBI AGENTS TO APPEAR AT PEARL TRIAL

At least one FBI agent is set to appear at the trial of three men accused of the kidnap and killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl who was kidnapped in southern Karachi in January and had his throat slit by al-qaida sympathisers.

9 MAY: PAKISTAN EXPLOSION WORK OF AL-QAIDA

A suicide car bomb in Karachi has killed 14 people, including 11 French engineers who were building a submarine for the Pakistan Navy. The bomb exploded next to a 45-seat bus was outside the Sheraton Hotel. French Intelligence officials believe that the bomb was the work of al-Qaida. A further 30 people were injured, 12 of them French.

General Jean-Pierre Kelche, head of the French armed forces, believes the bombers had targeted the West in general and specifically countries engaged in the US-led coalition force. “It’s a little early to say, but there is a significant likelihood of al-Qaida involvement in the attack.”

President Jacques Chirac, said the attack was “vile” and France was “determined to do everything possible to fight international terrorism.” He said that he would send Michele Alliot-Marie, the Defence Minister, to Karachi later today.

The New Zealand and Pakistani cricket teams cancelled a five-day match that they were to start playing in Karachi today. The two teams were staying in another hotel across the road from the Sheraton. The New Zealand team has decided to return home.

Pakistan Police said that the blast appeared to have been the work of a suicide bomber. “We have recovered a burnt body from a car next to the bus,” said police chief, Sayed Kamal Shah, in the Sindh province. The blast left a 9ft deep crater in the road.

General Musharraf has recently banned five extremist groups. Two months later an attack on a church killed five worshippers in an Islamabad. Two of the dead were Americans.

Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped in southern Karachi in January and had his throat slit by al-qaida sympathisers.

8 MAY: SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 15 IN ISRAEL

In the latest suicide bombing in Israel, a young Palestinian walked into a snooker hall and detonated a huge bomb attached to his body. The subsequent blast killed 15 people and injured a further 55, many seriously.

7 MAY: US SPECIAL FORCES ARRIVE “ONE MONTH TOO LATE” - AFGHANISTAN

Intelligence analysts reviewing the impact of Operation Anaconda, say that while large parts of Afghanistan have been cleared of al-Qaida and Taliban fighters, they admit far too many escaped over the border into Pakistan. Weapons and ammunition was found in Paktia area, but few prisoners were taken.

• Royal Marine Commandoes and Australian SAS are continuing to search for senior al-Qaida commanders, though sources claim they too are finding little success. The threat is no longer with al-Qaida, but Afghani tribesmen who oppose the US-led coalition forces.

6 MAY: FSB INDICTS FORMER INTELLIGENCE OFFICER

The Investigative Department of the FSB has finished its investigation of the agency’s former lieutenant colonel, Aleksandr Litvinenko, and handed his case over to the Military Prosecutor’s Office, Russian news agencies reported on 23 April. Litvinenk’s lawyer, Vadim Svistunov, said he will file an appeal against the FSB's motion as the Litvinenko defense was not informed about the completion of the investigation and had no access to its indictment materials.

Litvinenko, who is accused of abuse of office and theft of explosive materials, publicly stated in a press conference in Moscow in 1998 that the FSB's leadership asked him to kill media magnate Boris Berezovsky.

Following his revelations, Litvinenko was dismissed from the FSB, arrested, and became the subject of a criminal investigation. However, in 1999, the Moscow Garrison Military Court found him not guilty and he was released from custody. In 2000, Litvinenko left Russia and received political asylum in Britain, where he co-authored a book on the role of the FSB in the apartment-building explosions in Moscow and Volgodonsk in August-September 1999.

Meanwhile, speaking in the Duma on 22 April, Viktor Alksnis, a deputy from Regions of Russia and known for his hard-line Communist and nationalist orientation, proposed creating a commission to investigate the explosions in 1999, the Agency of Russian Information reported at http://www.ari.ru on 23 April.

Alksnis’s proposal got 172 votes with the Communist, Agrarian, and part of the Union of Rightist Forces faction voting for it. Some 226 votes are needed to pass the bill. It is surprising that the motion to investigate the possible role of the FSB in the explosion is coming from leftist parties, which until recently had blocked such an initiative.

6 MAY: AL-QAIDA PLANS TO TAKE BRITISH HOSTAGES

A leaked intelligence dossier prepared by Germany’s Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (Bundeskriminalamt - BKA), Germany’s equivalent of Scotland Yard or the FBI, said that they are urgently seeking three “extremely dangerous terrorists” who are carrying plans to take “hundreds of hostages” in Britain, France and Germany within the next two weeks. The BKA, which deals specifically with national law enforcement issues, particularly terrorism, believes that if the terrorists are successful, they will demand the release of dozens of al-Qaida prisoners being held throughout Europe on various charges.

Other details in the report reveal that BKA analysts believe the three men, named only as Schah Ahmad Pergham, Rashid and Nisa, are quite prepared to die for their cause.

Working with intelligence officers from various countries, including Britain’s MI5 and America’s FBI, the BKA believe that the terrorists might take over a shopping centre, airport or a large department store.

Officials from the 2,500-strong BKA, whose headquarters are in Wiesbaden, were annoyed at the leak, but tried to play down the report. But a German intelligence expert, Udo Ulfkotte, who specialises on terrorist matters, said he had learned from a BKA officer, that the organisation suspected that some 30 suicide-bombers (men and women), from Iraq. Iran, Yemen and Sudan have been given orders to strike in the UK, France and Germany, seizing 300 to 400 hostages in each country.

The report comes only days after the FBI issued a similar alert in the United States. A captured senior al-Qaida commander, Abu Zubaydah, codenamed The Gatekeeper, by the CIA, and easily the most high-ranking official from the terrorist group in US custody, said al-Qaida has the technology and means to build and detonate a ‘dirty bomb’. Zubaydah also informed the FBI that the group had agents throughout the world and that agents may seize a shopping centre. Hence the alert two weeks ago.

The BKA has liaison officers in London and Washington and it is likely that some of the German report was basedon information shared by the FBI.

In Germany itself, the nation is on high alert. Three terrorist organisations have been operating in Germany, and all have been linked with Osama bin-Laden. One was based in Hamburg and protected several of the 11 September hijackers. Several terrorist trials are about to begin.

Meanwhile in Britain, the Security Service is well aware of the threat posed by al-Qaida. Several months ago intelligence officers were advised that the terror group was planning a huge atrocity, and that it could be centred upon a shopping centre.

5 MAY: CIA IN CHARGE OF US MILITARY IN AFGHANISTAN

It is understood that due to the secretive nature of some military operations in Afghanistan, the CIA is actually spearheading some attacks on al-Qaida positions. In a raid that took place earlier today, some eight al-Qaida suspects were detained in a village on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

5 MAY: MOSSAD CHIEF DISMISSES RIFT WITH SHARON

In a move to stave off criticism of Mossad and the Israeli Government, Mossad director, Ephraim Halevy, said that there was no conflict of interests with Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister. A few days ago, it was reported that Sharon had drawn up a secret plan to move Halevy to Washington to take up the post of ambassador. Halevy hit back saying he was not going. However, the rift caused by the military advance in Palestinian controlled areas, appears over with both men saying that there never was a problem.

5 MAY: FBI ROUND-UP OF AL-QAIDA SUSPECTS “A FAILURE”

Latest information on the enormous FBI operation to detain suspected al-Qaida members in America, indicates it has been a failure. The FBI has rounded up 1425 suspects across America since 11 September, but it has been revealed that NOT ONE person has been found to have any links with terrorism.

5 MAY: MI5 SET TO ANNOUNCE NEW DIRECTOR-GENERAL

MI5, the Security Service, is set to announce its new Director General who will replace Sir Stephen Lander in Autumn 2002. Four people are in the running for the position, but favourite is Eliza Manningham-Buller, 53, current deputy to Sir Stephen. She is a career intelligence officer who once served as MI5’s liaison officer at the British Embassy in Washington.

As a youngster, she once played the Fairy Godmother in the pantomime, Cinderella. He performance was described as “absolutely wonderful” by the play’s director.

MI5 is currently reorganising, and when the new DG does take over she will have a full schedule.

• Since 11 September, MI5 have recruited over 250 new officers and staff.

• The modest budget for the Service has risen from £160m to close to £200m

• MI5 received a further boost to its coffers when some £20m was given to its G-Branch which deals specifically with international terrorism.

• MI5 is currently investigating al-Qaida sympathizers in the UK.

• The Service is also assessing recent developments over moves to re-arm and mobilise IRA units.

1 MAY: RUSSIA CHARGES US-BASED EX-KGB AGENT WITH TREASON

Russian military prosecutors said on Tuesday they had filed treason charges against Oleg Kalugin, an ex-KGB general now living in the United States who exchanged jibes with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Chief military prosecutor Mikhail Kislitsyn told Interfax news agency he had signed the case papers on Monday and sent them to a Moscow court.

Kalugin was charged under article 275 of the criminal code with passing state secrets, Kislitsyn said without elaborating. A one-time spymaster for the Soviet Union in the United States, Kalugin traded insults with Putin shortly before the latter won the Russian presidency in March 2000. Putin, himself a former KGB intelligence officer, branded Kalugin a traitor for saying Russia was awash in crime and corruption. Kalugin called Putin a war criminal in an apparent reference to Russia's crackdown in breakaway Chechnya.

Russian news agencies say the Kalugin case centres on the trial of retired U.S. Army Reserve Colonel George Trofimoff, the highest-ranking U.S. military officer convicted of spying. He was jailed for life last September for selling military secrets to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Kalugin, who had been Trofimoff's supervisor, denied he had blown Trofimoff's cover to British and U.S. intelligence.

In March, Kalugin ignored a summons to face interrogation in Moscow by the Federal Security Service, the main successor to the KGB. He says the charges against him have been sparked by his criticism of the former
intelligence service.

29 APRIL: EGYPT JAILS AL-QAIDA MAN

An Egyptian state security court sentenced Mohammed el-Sayeed Solim Youseff to ten years in prison. He was found guilty of belonging to a terrorist organisation. Youseff trained at terror camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

29 APRIL: MI6 MADE FIRST APPROACH TO KGB

A former senior Russian Intelligence officer has revealed how MI6 made the first moves to establish relations with its old rivals, the KGB, after the Cold War ended. However, Yevgeni Primakov, the former head of the SVR, the new organisation responsible for foreign intelligence, said there were many problems about spies operating in each either nation.

29 APRIL: US DRAWING UP IRAQI BATTLE PLANS

The New York Times says that the US invasion of Iraq has been put back until 2003 as military commanders and intelligence analysts need more time to organise. Similarly, some analysts have advised President Bush that an attack on Iraq made by viewed as an attack on Islam. It is known that some 250,000 US troops almost certainly supported by several thousand British soldiers will enter Iraq at some stage. Already in the UK military commanders have held a top secret summit on the invasion.

29 APRIL: ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE FOIL SKYSCRAPER ATTACK

According to sources in Israel, the security services have foiled an attempt to blow up a number of skyscrapers in Tel Aviv. Terrorists had planned to bring down the towers using carefully positioned car bombs.

29 APRIL: STAR WARS SYSTEM WOULD ‘ENDANGER SPACE SATELLITES’

A functioning ‘star wars’ system would spell disaster for satellites or space stations in the low Earth orbit, creating a “hazardous ring of debris” according to Professor Joel Primack, of the University of California at Santa Cruz. Satellites such as the Hubble Space Telescope, and some communication network would be vulnerable to fast moving debris that would be impossible to remove. The debris would not just come from exploding weapons, but from small projectiles crashing into and fragmenting larger object, said the professor.

29 APRIL: GERMAN INTELLIGENCE DISCOVER AL-QAIDA HOSTAGE PLOT

A leaked report by the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA), Germany’s equivalent of Scotland Yard, say it is urgently seeking three terrorists who plan to take hundreds of hostages in Britain, France and Germany within the next three weeks. The al-Qaida fighters have been named as Schah Ahmad Pergham, Rashid and Nisa. It is understood that the men may target a shopping complex or cinema.

29 APRIL: NEW MI5 DIRECTOR GENERAL SET TO BE NAMED

It is believed the new Director General of Britain’s Security Service, will be The Honourable Eliza Manningham-Buller. She will take over from Sir Stephen Lander whose tenure ends this Autumn. Miss Manningham-Buller, 53, was number two in the Service five years ago, and is believed to have been recruited in Oxford.

26 APRIL: IRA AND FARC COOPERATING - US CONGRESS

The United States Congress has severely criticized the IRA for being in collusion with FARC guerillas in Colombia - the sworn enemy of Washington. The statement comes at a time when intelligence gathered by MI6 suggests the IRA has received a huge consignment of weapons from Russia while decommissioning arms under the Good Friday Agreement.

Similarly, an alleged IRA ‘hit list’ has been found and the organisation is still being blamed for the break-in at Castlereagh Police Station where a secret list of 200 British agents names was stolen.

The IRA dismiss Washington’s suggestions and say that the organisation is intent on peace and disarmament.

25 APRIL: AL-QAIDA EURO TRIAL STARTS IN FRANKFURT

Five suspected al-Qaida terrorists who were arrested in Germany following a tip-off from MI5, have gone on trial in Frankfurt, accused of plotting to detonate a huge nail bomb at Strasbourg Christmas markets in December 2000. When security services raided the flat they discovered bomb-making equipment and false documents. Some members of the gang have been connected to Essid Sami ben Khemais, now serving a five-year prison term, and the suspected leader of Osama bin-Laden’s European operation.

25 APRIL: FBI ISSUE WARNING OF SHOPPING CENTRE ATTACKS

The FBI has issued a warning to American shopping centres that al-Qaida could be planning to attack locations frequented by large numbers of people. The intelligence was apparently gleaned from a captured al-Qaida commander and is deemed “reliable.”

Eye Spy learned six months ago that MI5 was searching for a UK-based al-Qaida cell that had allegedly planned to attack some of Britain’s most prestigious shopping centres, and locations, including the Trafford Centre in Manchester. It is also understood that one of MI5’s biggest fears is that al-Qaida will detonate a ‘dirty bomb’ in such an area resulting in a huge loss of life.

According to Eye Spy sources the threat of such an attack is “highly likely.”

25 APRIL: IRAQ HELPING RE-ARM AL-QAIDA FIGHTERS

British Intelligence have now ‘reliable evidence’ that Saddam Hussein is indeed liaising with Osama bin-Laden’s al-Qaida network. Intelligence gleaned from Iraq says members of Saddam’s Republican Guard have been seen in villages in Iraqi Kurdistan. Here al-Qaida fighters are known to be regrouping. The intelligence is certain to feed Washington’s desire to eliminate the Iraqi regime.

25 APRIL: AL-QAIDA HAS N-BOMB TECHNOLOGY AND DESIRE TO USE IT

Abu Zubaydah, the most senior member of al-Qaida in US custody, has told his interrogators that al-Qaida has the ability and desire to construct a ‘dirty bomb’ that would cause huge devastation if detonated. US officials do not know whether to believe the man nicknamed ‘The Gatekeeper’ by the CIA.

25 APRIL: US CUBAN SPY ADMITS GUILT

Ana Belen Montes, 45, America’s most senior Cuban analyst had admitted she spied on America for 15 years. The DIA employee now faces at least 25-years in prison. Eye Spy learned she betrayed the names of four undercover US agents in Cuba

MORE EYE SPY 9

25 APRIL: PEARL CASE - OMAR SHEIKH DROVE REPORTER AWAY

Omar Saeed Sheikh, currently on trial in Karachi for the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl, was seen to drive the journalist away on the day he was last seen by a taxi driver who had taken him to meet Sheikh.

25 APRIL: AL-QAIDA EUROPEAN CELL PLANNED HUGE CHRISTMAS BOMB

Five al-Qaida suspects have gone on trial in Frankfurt charged with planning a series of major strikes against European targets. MI6 and French Intelligence tipped German security official about the al-Qaida cell in late November 2000. When police raided a flat in Frankfurt they found 29kg of potassium permanganate, aluminium powder, hydrogen peroxide, acetone, sodium carbonate and boxes of nails - all ingredients for a massive nail bomb.

A video-tape recording that was found on site showed central Strasbourg and led the police to believe that the bomb was intended to go off at the city’s Christmas market. A commentary says “you are all doomed to rot in Hell, may God will it.”

22 APRIL: US ADMIT THEY LET BIN-LADEN SLIP THROUGH NET

For the first time since US forces cleared the Tora Bora area of al-Qaida and Taliban fighters, senior Pentagon officials now acknowledge they were “too slow” in cutting off escape routes. Similarly, Washington has clear evidence that Osama bin-Laden gave his final orders to al-Qaida commanders in the area before escaping.

22 APRIL: BRITISH ‘JACKAL’ WAS DOUBLE AGENT

Omar Sheikh, the man wanted by America for the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl, could well have been a double agent working for both Pakistan’s ISI agency and al-Qaida. It is unlikely that he was present when Mr Pearl had his throat cut, but Pakistani authorities are quite satisfied Sheikh instigated the execution.

22 APRIL: USS COLE SAILS AGAIN

Eighteen months after it was struck by an al-Qaida bomb and almost sunk, the USS Cole returned to sea on 19 April, following extensive repairs. Seventeen members of the Cole’s crew died in the attack which took place in the Port of Aden, Yemen. Security was tight at the dockyard in Mississippi and several Coast Guard vessels patrolled as the US Navy took no chances of a repeat performance by al-Qaida.

22 APRIL: ITALIAN CRASH WAS “DELIBERATE”

Intelligence and police investigators in Milan are working on the theory that the pilot who flew his light aircraft into the 26th floor of the Pirelli Tower in Milan, killing himself and three others, did so deliberately. The family of 67-year-old Luigi Fasulo, say he had “crippling debts” and that could have driven him to suicide. The security services also pointed to a number of “odd coincidences” including the fact that the aircraft collided dead centrally, and the floor he struck the offices of the Lombardy regional government and its President, Roberto

19 APRIL: BRITISH TRAITOR HAS “NO REGRETS”

George Blake, 79, said in a recent interview that he had no regrets spying on Great Britain for the Soviets during the Cold War. Blake was arrested in 1961 but escaped from prison after serving just five years of a 42-year sentence. Blake still lectures to potential Russian intelligence agents.

George Blake

19 APRIL: US FAMILIES HEAR LAST MOMENTS OF FLIGHT 93

FBI Director, Robert Mueller, bowed to public pressure and authorised the release of the cockpit tape recording as one of the 11 September hijacked aircraft crashed. Relatives attended an emotional get together of the people who died when the United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania. A tape recording that graphically caught the final moments was played, and the evidence of a heroic struggle can be heard as the passengers make a determined effort to regain control of the airliner.

19 APRIL: US ADMIT THEY LET BIN-LADEN SLIP THROUGH NET

For the first time since US forces cleared the Tora Bora area of al-Qaida and Taliban fighters, senior Pentagon officials now acknowledge they were “too slow” in cutting off escape routes. Similarly, Washington has clear evidence that Osama bin-Laden gave his final orders to al-Qaida commanders in the area before escaping.

19 APRIL: MILAN DISASTER WAS A PURE ACCIDENT

The light aircraft which crashed into Milan’s Pirelli Tower was flown by a 68-year-old Italian, named Luigi Fasulo. Five people died and a further 60 were injured when the single-seat aircraft ran into trouble and smashed into the 25th floor. Initially the Italian Government believed that the crash was deliberate, but it soon became clear it was an accident.

INTELLIGENCE COMMENT: What is worrying many finance officials is that only minutes after the incident, stock markets around the world plummeted. This follows Osama bin-Laden’s claim that the September 11 attacks had dealt a huge financial blow to America. Scenes of concern and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars on the stock markets “will not have gone unnoticed by al-Qaida as they plan for the future,” one intelligence source told Eye Spy.

19 APRIL: UK POLITICIANS ON IRA HIT LIST

Several Conservative politicians names and the locations of British Army bases have been discovered on a republican ‘hit list in Belfast’.

The list was acquired by security services after a series of searches following a break-in at Special Branch offices in Belfast which was blamed on the IRA. Security sources in the city confirmed that a list of names had been recovered in the New Lodge area of the city.

Some intelligence analysts say the IRA is not to blame and have indicated that the reasons behind the break-in are “very sensitive.”

Sinn Fein has also denied the IRA was involved in the burglary. But security chiefs have insisted the missing documents from Castlereagh were in the possession of the Provisionals.

North Belfast MLA Fred Cobain said: “If there is evidence that the Provisional IRA is targeting people, especially high level politicians in the Tory Party, then that has serious repercussions for the whole process.

“Republicans know the risks of doing that. As far as our party is concerned, we have tried to be positive, allowing republicans to demonstrate they were working the process through and are committed to peaceful and democratic means.

“Clearly there are doubts about that. The Ulster Unionist Party needs to reassess its relationship with Sinn Fein in this process. We cannot go on pretending things are all right when one of the parties to the peace process may be undermining it.”

MORE EYE SPY 9

19 APRIL: SPY WRITER THREATENED WITH PRISON

Rupert Allison, better known as one of Britain’s most successful spy writers, Nigel West, has been given just 18 days to reveal details of his finances by a London judge. The matter involves £200.000 awarded to Random House publishers over a spy book

16 APRIL: HIJACKER ON BIN-LADEN TAPE IDENTIFIED

The alleged hijacker who appears on the controversial new Osama bin-Laden video acquired by Arab satellite station, Al-Jazeera, has been identified as Ahmed Alghamdi, who was on board United Airlines Flight 175 that crashed into the World Trade Center.

16 APRIL: BIN-LADEN TAPE FILMED IN 2001 - CIA

The Pentagon has dismissed the new Osama bin-Laden tape as an ‘al-Qaida propaganda exercise that has backfired’. The tape received by the respected Arab satellite station, Al Jazeera, shows Osama bin-Laden and his deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, in front of a rocky backdrop.

Intelligence analysts who have examined the clips say that it was taken between 11 September and 31 December 2001, and is not a new recording. Throughout the clips what were shown, bin-Laden looks relatively well and not in any discomfort, unlike tapes known to have been shot in October and November. Analysts also noted that the men were not concerned about the rocky terrain being identified, unlike the video footage taken of the men in October when US forces were attacking al-Qaida and the Taliban.

Al Jazeera refused to say how they acquired the tape but are showing more footage on Thursday.

16 APRIL: BRITAIN’S 45 COMMANDO IN AL-QAIDA ATTACK

Hundreds of British troops from 45 Commando have gone into action in East Afghanistan against al-Qaida and Taliban fighters. The raid supported by USAF fighter aircraft and Afghan troops was described as successful by senior officers.

15 APRIL: AL-JAZEERA SHOW ‘NEW BIN-LADEN TAPE’

The Arab satellite station, Al-Jazeera has broadcast a segment of a new Osama bin-Laden video they claim is relatively new. Ayman Zawahiri, known by the CIA as the ‘Warm-up Man’, speaks about the “great victory” of 11 September and says that God helped the hijackers. Throughout the section of the tape (the majority will be broadcast on Thursday), bin-Laden does not speak and looks downward to the floor. The terrain in the background offers now clues as the location.

Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defense Secretary speaking from the Pentagon was not impressed. CIA analysts say the tape was probably made last year and not recently.

15 APRIL: MASS GRAVES FOUND IN AFGHANISTAN

Stories of mass graves being found in Bamiyan province in Afghanistan appear to be true. The bodies of hundreds of Hazara men have been discovered after they were slaughtered by retreating al-Qaida and Taliban forces last year.

15 APRIL: ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE CAPTURE KEY ARAFAT AIDE

Israeli intelligence has pulled off a remarkable operation and captured Marwan Barghouti, a key Arafat aide and leader of the current uprising in the area. Mossad believe Barghouti is the successor to Arafat and want to question him on various operations. An Arafat spokesperson warned of the “grave consequences” if he is harmed

15 APRIL: US WARN BRITAIN OVER POSSIBLE TERROR STRIKES

The United States intelligence services have provided MI5 and Scotland Yard with information acquired from reliable sources that indicates Britain will be the target of the next big terror attack. It is possible that Scotland Yard may issue ‘general alerts’ similar to those given by the FBI and the new Homeland security service in the USA.

15 APRIL 2002: MI6 MONITOR IRANIAN TERRORIST TRAINING CAMPS

MI6 sources say Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service has observed a huge increase in the number of people passing through known Iranian terror training camps. MI6 believe many of the men belong to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a group that has close ties with al-Qaida. Many of the camps are run by the Revolutionary Guards unit. It is understood that as many as 500 people have passed through the camps since the turn of the year.

The men received training in explosives, firearms, bomb-making, hand-to-hand fighting and surveillance. All the camps have been under observance by satellites.

15 APRIL: US SPECIAL FORCES KILL TERRORISTS IN AFGHANISTAN

The Pentagon has revealed that several al-Qaida terrorists were killed after they fired upon US and coalition forces at the weekend. Major Bryan Hilferty said: “We received inefficient enemy fire and we returned fire from both the ground and air and killed several terrorists.” In a separate incident, US forces discovered a large weapons dump.

15 APRIL: BIN-LADEN’S FINANCIAL CHIEF ARRESTED IN SPAIN

It has been revealed that Ahmed Brahim, 57, the suspected finance manager of Al-Qaida has been arrested in Barcelona, Spain. The CIA has linked him to the terrorist attacks on US embassies in Africa.

MORE EYE SPY 9

13 APRIL: QUEEN MOTHER - FUNERAL BOMB PLOT FOILED

It is becoming increasingly clear that Police in London may have foiled a Real IRA bomb attack that was to coincide with the funeral of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. A vehicle was abandoned after its driver was challenged by a police officer checking vehicles. MI5 and Scotland Yard had received intelligence about a terrorist attack.

It is understood the car, found a few hours after the funeral, contained empty fertilizer bags, a key ingredient in home made explosives.

13 APRIL: MI5 TO FORM ‘CRACK UNIT’ TO HUNT TERROR MONEY

MI5 will form a new unit to trace the movement of terrorists money across the globe. Gordon Brown, Britain’s Chancellor called on university graduates to “join the war against terror” by training in financial intelligence and forensic accountancy.

13 APRIL: BRITAIN STOCKPILES “TERRORIST VACCINE”

The UK Government has built up an enormous supply of the smallpox vaccine to guard against a terrorist germ attack. It is understood 30 million doses of the vaccine has been distributed to key centres across the UK.

Though the government say that they have no evidence of a planned attack, Whitehall has been alerted to the fact that Russia continued to develop smallpox and that some supplies of the virus may have ended up in Iraq or with al-Qaida agents.

10 APRIL: MOSCOW ACCUSES US OF ATTEMPTED ESPIONAGE

Moscow has launched a vociferous attack on the CIA, accusing them of attempting to recruit a Russian defence worker to spy on behalf of the USA. “They almost managed to succeed, before the spying was exposed,” said a Russian government official. Moscow claims CIA agents posing as diplomats at the US Embassy were responsible.

10 APRIL: CIA AND PAKISTAN’S ISI IN SWOOP ON AL-QAIDA SUPPORTERS

Officers from the CIA and Pakistan’s Inter-Services-Intelligence agency, ISI, have reportedly made a number of arrests of al-Qaida sympathizers belonging to two outlawed organizations, Lashkar-i-Taiba and Jaish-i-Muhammad, in Pakistan. The groups were outlawed some months ago by General Musharraf. The joint operation followed intelligence gleaned by the National Security Agency.

The groups had been sheltering some 24 al-Qaida fighters who escaped the fierce fighting on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

10 APRIL 2002: FARC BOMB KILLS POLICEMEN

Two police explosives experts died when they attempted to deactivate a car bomb in the Colombian town of Sibate. Officials said Marxist terrorists from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) had planted the device.

10 APRIL: 2000 DEAD IN RECENT ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

United Nations officials say some 1360 Palestinians and 460 Israelis have been killed in the last 12 months as the conflict in the area shows no sign out easing.

10 APRIL: NEW YORK: FOUR ACCUSED OF HELPING AL-QAIDA

NEW YORK: Four people, including the solicitor for Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the spiritual leader of the group who was jailed for planning the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, were charged with assisting al-Qaida.

9 APRIL: PAKISTAN SAYS IT WILL USE NUCLEAR WEAPONS

President, General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, has warned India that his country would use nuclear weapons to defend itself. As the Middle East situation worsens, tension between India and Pakistan has grown in recent days. India has accused Pakistan of preparing to send 3,000 militants in the disputed Kashmir region.

President Musharraf said: “If Pakistan is threatened with extinction, then the pressure of our countrymen would be so big that this option, [nuclear] too, would have to be considered.”

Intelligence analysts believe Pakistan has around 100-150 nuclear warheads compared with India’s 250-350. However, The Federation of American Scientists believe Pakistan has only 25 warheads.

7 APRIL: SINGAPORE - AL-QAIDA AIRLINE PLOT FOILED

Goh Chok Tong, the Prime Minister of Singapore, told politicians that security forces had foiled a terrorist plot to hijack an airliner and crash it into Changi airport. He revealed that the man behind the operation was an al-Qaida suspect who had escaped from Singapore several months ago.

7 APRIL: 200 BRITISH INTELLIGENCE AND POLICE OFFICERS WARNED OF SECURITY

Following a break-in at the highly fortified Castlereagh police station in Northern Ireland, and the removal of highly secret intelligence files containing the names of over 100 MI5 and intelligence agents, Scotland Yard has issued a warning about the security of up to 200 personnel.

7 APRIL: MI5 CONTINUE TO INVESTIGATE BIN-LADEN’S UK PHONE CALLS

Osama bin-Laden and his senior commanders, made over 260 telephone calls to 27 operatives or contacts in the UK. Many of these numbers were to public telephone boxes, though the Security Service is confident that the receivers of these calls will be identified. Two of the men contacted by bin-Laden are Khaled al Fawwaz and Ibrahim Eidarous, both in prison and awaiting extradition to the USA for their part in the African embassy bombings that left over 200 people dead.

7 APRIL : FBI AGENT SLAMS AGENCY

Robert Hanssen, the FBI agent who spied for the Soviet Union and then Russia for 20 years, has accused the agency of “criminal negligence.” A security assessment based on internal interviews with the 57-year-old veteran, reveals huge holes in the FBI’s potential to detect spies. The critical review states that employees could simply walk out of buildings with top secret files and download sensitive intelligence data from computers.

Full story Eye Spy 9

7 APRIL : AL-QAIDA OFFER $100,000 FOR A “LIVE WESTERNER”

Hardline al-Qaida and Taliban fighters are infiltrating villages throughout Afghanistan and distributing leaflets which offer substantial rewards for captured coalition troops. The leaflets offer $50,000 for a dead Westerner and $100,000 for one captured alive.

7 APRIL 2002: PRESIDENT BUSH SAYS “SADDAM MUST GO”

President George Bush and Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair are adamant that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein must be toppled. Mr Bush said: “I made up my mind that Saddam need to go.” When asked about the forthcoming operation to oust Saddam, Mr Bush said: “Just wait and see.”

Eye Spy has learned that both the USAF and RAF have stepped up joint operations.

5 APRIL: PEARL KILLERS - SUSPECTS TRIAL BEGINS IN KARACHI

Omar Saeed Sheikh, a Briton, suspected of masterminding the kidnapping of US journalist Danial Pearl, has gone on trial in Karachi with three other men. The court case is being held behind closed doors amid security fears. The trial was opened and adjourned.

2 APRIL : AL-QAIDA ‘GATEKEEPER’ IN CIA HANDS

Following a raid on a suspected al-Qaida hideout in Pakistan, Abu Zubaydah, the man referred to by the CIA as ‘The Gatekeeper’, has been arrested by Pakistan special forces. He was shot several times but not killed and is now in US hands together with 40 other al-Qaida suspects arrested at the same time.

Zubaydah, who was charged by Osama bin-Laden in funneling recruits to various training camps, is the most senior al-Qaida commander in custody and is expected to be flow to Camp X-Ray on Cuba, after being debriefed by US and Pakistan intelligence.

For background on Abu Zubaydah, see Eye Spy 8.

29 MARCH: US SPECIAL FORCES KILL 52 AL-QAIDA FIGHTERS

US Central Command has confirmed that American special forces killed at least 52 al-Qaida fighters in a clash on the Afghan-Pakistan border. There were no coalition casualties.

24 MARCH: BRITISH AEROSPACE WORKER CHARGED WITH ESPIONAGE

A 45-year-old British Aerospace employee has been charged with nine offences under the Official Secrets Act. He was allegedly trapped by an MI5 operation after trying to sell top secret documents to Russian agents. He is set to appear before Southend Magistrates tomorrow.

• Earlier this year, a security guard at BAe, Stanmore, London, was jailed for stealing NATO and British military secrets.

23 MARCH: CIA BOOBY TRAP ACCIDENTALLY “KILLED PEACEKEEPERS”

On 6 March 2002, five members of the multinational peacekeeping force, three Danes and two Germans were killed as an anti-aircraft missile they were trying to destroy detonated. Seven of their colleagues were injured in what was described as an “accident,” by Washington.

The incident occurred on the outskirts of Kabul, where the British Army has established a collection point for captured munitions.

However, Eye Spy Intelligence magazine learned from a former member of Britain’s Special Forces, who served in the earlier Afghan conflict against the Soviets, that the men died when an unexploded US Stinger missile that had been booby-trapped by the CIA’s Special Activities Division (SAD), exploded. The intelligence source, who trained the personal bodyguards of murdered Northern Alliance leader, General Ahmed Shah Massoud, was informed by members of Germany’s Special Forces that they were furious about the deaths. The Germans made up about half of the 200-strong multinational force fighting alongside US and Afghanistan soldiers in the recent Operation Anaconda mission that saw over 500 al-Qaida and Taliban fighters killed in the mountains of Paktia province.

The German intelligence officer who supplied the information said the Stinger had been booby-trapped because the CIA did not want any unexploded warhead to fall into al-Qaida or Taliban hands and then be sold to foreign governments such as Iraq, Iran or China. It is known that several Cruise missiles fired by US forces in recent years against Taliban targets, failed to explode. The weapons were duly sold to China who received the technology windfall warmly in return for monies.

What is interesting about the Stinger claim, is that the German chief of staff, General Harald Kujat, said the five dead men had been preparing a controlled explosion to destroy two SA-3 missiles captured from the Taliban.
Eye Spy believes the incident was concealed because Germany’s role in Afghanistan is becoming increasingly controversial. Similarly, it is not the first occasion when friendly forces have been killed by US errors. In the Gulf War, a British troop carrier was attacked by an American warplane killing most of the occupants.

22 MARCH: FORMER MI5 OFFICER SHAYLER LOSES APPEAL

David Shayler, the former MI5 officer, has lost his fight to stop his criminal trial when the law lords unanimously dismissed his argument that the Official Secrets Act infringed his right to freedom of expression.

Mr Shayler argued that he disclosed information about MI5 to a newspaper because he thought it was in the public interest and that the Secrets Act was “incompatible with the Human Rights Act.”

His secrets trial due to start at the Old Bailey on October 7.

"Despite the high importance attached to it, the right to free expression was never regarded domestic law as absolute," said Lord Bingham. The European convention human rights - enshrined in the 1998 Human Rights Act -also recognised it was not absolute,” he said.

Lord Bingham said: "The crux of this case is whether the safeguards built in to the Official Secrets Act are sufficient to ensure that unlawfulness and irregularity can be reported to those with the power and duty to take effective action, and the power to withhold authorization to publish is notabused and that proper disclosures are not stifled."

Shayler is charged with disclosing documents and information to the press in 1997, including MI5 files on British politicians Jack Straw and Peter Mandelson, and others once considered subversive, allegations that it ran a "honey trap" operation against a potential informer, had an outdated cold war culture, and condoned alcoholism among staff.

22 MARCH: CIA INVESTIGATE LIMA US EMBASSY EXPLOSION

The CIA and local Peruvian police are investigating the explosion near the US Embassy in Lima, Peru, which killed at least nine people yesterday. The bomb follows a grenade attack on a church in Karachi where the wife of a US diplomat and his daughter were killed. The CIA is unsure if the attack was linked to al-Qaida or local terrorist/drugs gangs. They are satisfied however, that the timing of the blast, does coincide with President Bush’s visit to Lima tomorrow.

22 MARCH: PAKISTAN NOW CHARGE PEARL SUSPECTS

Omar Saeed Sheikh, a Briton, who has already been charged with hostage taking and conspiracy to commit hostage taking by the US Federal Court, has now been charged with similar offences by Pakistan. Three other men have also been charged. The case will be heard in a week or so, but it is already clear Pakistan has substantial evidence against Sheikh, who has threatened a fearsome response if he is extradited to America.

22 MARCH: CIA INVESTIGATE LIMA US EMBASSY EXPLOSION

The CIA and local Peruvian police are investigating the explosion near the US Embassy in Lima, Peru, which killed at least nine people yesterday. The bomb follows a grenade attack on a church in Karachi where the wife of a US diplomat and his daughter were killed. The CIA is unsure if the attack was linked to al-Qaida or local terrorist/drugs gangs. They are satisfied however, that the timing of the blast, does coincide with President Bush’s visit to Lima tomorrow.

20 MARCH: IAEA DIRTY BOMB INVESTIGATION PROVES NEGATIVE

Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), have failed to conclusively prove that two boxes found by local men in Lja, Georgia, believed to carry powerful radioactive containers, have fallen into the hands of terrorists. The boxes carried a highly potent isotope called strontium-90, that can be used to create the so-called ‘dirty bomb’.

Discovered by two men collecting firewood last December, who became dizzy within moments of touching the containers, the items are not thought to have been secured. The men, also developed burns, a clear sign the boxes contained radioactive substances.

When IAEA investigators tried to retrieve the containers, they had to turn back because of heavy snow.

20 MARCH 2002: FBI ‘MOST WANTED’ IS NOT THE REAL ANAS AL-LIBY

Eye Spy has learned that early media reports that al-Qaida terrorist, Anas al-Liby, alleged commander of the operations to blow up US embassies in Africa in 1998, has been arrested, are false. ‘Al-Liby’, who was arrested in in the North Africa, is being held by officials. However, it is now believed that the suspect is not al-Liby. This has still to be confirmed by Washington. Anas al-Liby, appears on the official FBI website as one of the “most wanted terrorists.”

18 MARCH: 1700 BRITISH TROOPS TO FIGHT AL-QAIDA & TALIBAN

Britain’s Defence Minister, Geoff Hoon, told Parliament, that 1700 British troops made up mostly of 45 Commando, will be deployed immediately to Afghanistan, following a request by Washington. The highly-trained soldiers will link up with a US brigade and be used solely to fight al-Qaida and Taliban forces who are believed to be reorganizing in Pakistan and elsewhere. Mr Hoon told ministers that is was likely the UK would suffer casulaties.

18 MARCH: 1700 BRITISH TROOPS TO FIGHT AL-QAIDA & TALIBAN

Britain’s Defence Minister, Geoff Hoon, told Parliament, that 1700 British troops made up mostly of 45 Commando, will be deployed immediately to Afghanistan, following a request by Washington. The highly-trained soldiers will link up with a US brigade and be used solely to fight al-Qaida and Taliban forces who are believed to be reorganizing in Pakistan and elsewhere. Mr Hoon told ministers that is was likely the UK would suffer casulaties.

18 MARCH: US DELTA FORCES KILL 14 AL-QAIDA FIGHTERS IN AMBUSH

US special forces waited in a mountain pass, some 45 miles from Gardez, after a CIA-controlled Predator drone observed a small convoy of al-Qaida fighters. US Delta forces killed 14 al-Qaida fighters, and captured at least two men alive - one is seriously injured.

18 MARCH: US CONFIRM 600 AL-QAIDA FIGHTERS KILLED

US officials have announced that the fierce fighting around the Shah-i- Kot valley has ended. Colonel Frank Wiercinski, a brigade commander from 101 Airborne Division said: “We definitely put a spike through their heart.” Operation Anaconda was seen as particularly treacherous, and the US suffered at least seven fatalities when a Chinook helicopter was struck and forced down. Afghanistan’s current leader, called the snow-capped mountains in the area, “the last isolated base of terrorism.”

Analysts believe more than 4,500 al-Qaida fighters and Taliban soldiers did escape across the border into Pakistan. This prompted a huge USAF leaflet-dropping exercise urging local people not to shelter fleeing fighters.

Hamid Karzai

17 MARCH 2002: US DIPLOMAT’S WIFE AND DAUGHTER KILLED

A grenade attack on a church service in the diplomatic sector of Islamabad, Pakistan, has left at least ten people dead and 45 injured. Two of those to die were the wife and daughter of a US diplomat. The attack is being linked to events in Afghanistan.

17 MARCH: BRITAIN REJECTS “AL-QAIDA SUSPECTS” LAWYER’S PLEA

The High Court ruled that English courts have no jurisdiction over the treatment of five suspect al-Qaida suspects, being held at Camp X-Ray, Cuba. British lawyers representing the men, had wanted the UK to intervene, but judge Richards ruled: “The rights and wrongs of treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are not matters for this court. It concerns political judgment.”

17 MARCH: PEARL SUSPECT THREATENS US CITIZENS WITH “MORE KIDNAPPINGS”

Omar Saeed Sheikh, the Briton believed to be behind the kidnapping of Wall Street journalist, Daniel Pearl, has told a court that if he is extradited to America to face charges, other US kidnappings and airliner hijacks would follow.

It is understood the CIA and FBI are closing in on many of Sheikh’s colleagues. Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency say Pearl was kidnapped by a gang of at least 15 people.

17 MARCH: GERMANY WILL NOT BACK US AND UK ATTACK ON IRAQ

Gerhard Schroder, the German Chancellor, has said unless the US and UK obtain a United Nations mandate on intervention and military action against Saddam Hussein, Germany will not support its allies. Already many Germans are anxious about its troops being used to help US forces in eastern Afghanistan.

• Thousands of Germans are expected to apply for conscientious objection status in the coming weeks.

17 MARCH: PENTAGON REVISE BIN-LADEN REWARD

After months of offering local Afghans a $25m reward for information leading to the arrest of Osama bin-Laden - and being fed a diet of disinformation and poor intelligence - US analysts are now offering a more logical and needy reward. Sheep, food, clothing and shelter. When Tommy Franks, overall US commander asked an Afghan farmer at Christmas what he would do with $25m, the man said the money might just pay for feeding his nine children. “Clearly the financial offering was simply too much to understand for people desperately trying to cope with a multitude of hardships,” said one intelligence official.

15 MARCH: MI5 AND MI6 OFFICIALS TRAIN GEORGIA SECURITY TO HELP FIGHT AL-QAIDA

MI5 and MI6 intelligence officers are helping to train Georgian security forces in their fight against al-Qaida terrorists known to be reforming in the country. Eye Spy has also learned that a number of troops belonging to US Special Forces have arrived in Georgia to track the al-Qaida fighters.

15 MARCH 2002: US CHARGE SUSPECT WITH PEARL KILLING

A New Jersey judge filed charges against the main suspect in the kidnapping and slaying of Wall Street journalist, Daniel Pearl, who was beheaded in Karachi by a gang sympathetic to Osama bin-Laden. Omar Saeed Sheikh, a Briton, was charged with hostage taking and conspiracy to commit hostage taking.

Daniel Pearl with his killers

15 MARCH: 25,000 BRITONS EARMARKED FOR IRAQI OFFENSIVE

Secret British intelligence reports indicate that the Ministry of Defence is finalizing plans for the US-led offensive against Saddam Hussein. Intelligence sources claim that two complete armoured brigades would be involved, stretching Britain's armed forces’ global commitments to a point many say impossible.

15 MARCH: NO INTERVENTION BY RUSSIA IF USA ATTACKS IRAQ

Igor Ivanov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, has made it clear Moscow will not oppose an American-led coalition strike against Saddam Hussein. But he warned that any attack would cause immense upheaval in the Middle East. He said: “We would hope the US and UK do not make the same mistake again,” referring to the strains placed on relations with Moscow following the 1998 air strikes by USAF and RAF fighters.

15 MARCH: US JAIL “AL-QAIDA” 11 SEPTEMBER HOAXER

A Saudi Arabian man has been convicted of making false allegations to FBI agents about his connections to Hani Hanjour, one of the 11 September hijackers. Faisal Al Salmi was jailed and he will be deported after serving a sentence of six months.

15 MARCH 2002: FBI FAIL TO LINK USS COLE ATTACK TO BIN-LADEN

Eighteen months after the attack n the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, the FBI, despite a multi-million dollar investigation, has failed to link it with Osama bin-Laden. Intelligence sources say the FBI team sent to Yemen has clashed with Yemeni security officials on several occasions. US Vice-President Dick Cheney held meetings today with senior Yemeni government security officials. The US is trying to develop a 2,000-strong security force to stop the country becoming a new base for al-Qaida.

15 MARCH: IRAQ AND NUCLEAR POTENTIAL - MI6 UNSURE

It is understood that following an extensive operation to glean intelligence on Iraq’s nuclear capability, MI6 has concluded that Saddam Hussein could still be five years away from developing a nuclear bomb. Intelligence sources told Eye Spy that an assessment, already provided to senior British Cabinet ministers by MI6, says that Baghdad, though working on a nuclear bomb, is still some years away. However, the Secret Intelligence Service are not 100% sure, as Iraq has moved a number of former research facilities to underground locations that are well protected.

Eye Spy has learned that during the 1990s, Iraq purchased a significant amount of weapons-grade uranium on the Russian black market. This was one reason Saddam did not want United Nations inspectors examining suspected weapons’ factories.

15 MARCH 2002: EXPLOSION NEAR US EMBASSY IN YEMEN

There are reports of an explosion near the US Embassy in Yemen today. US intelligence and military commanders are assisting Yemeni forces in arresting many known al-Qaida members in the country.

15 MARCH: US ALLAYS RUSSIAN “NUCLEAR TARGET FEARS’

Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defense Secretary, has played down Russian fears that it has been identified as one of “seven first strike nuclear targets”. Mr Rumsfeld said that the United States and Russia are enjoying their warmest relations yet, and that Moscow was a key Washington partner in the ‘war on terror’.

15 MARCH: MANY AL-QAIDA FIGHTERS KILLED - BUT EVEN MORE ESCAPE

The fierce fighting around Shah-e-kot, in East Afghanistan, has resulted in the worst casulaties since the Taliban and al-Qaida were defeated by the US-sponsored Northern Alliance forces. At least 500 al-Qaida fighters have been killed, but US intelligence assessments suggest that over 2,000 have escaped across the border into Pakistan.

Aerial NSA satellite surveillance images indicate that a large force of al-Qaida and Taliban fighters have gathered just inside the border in Pakistan.

CIA intelligence reports say that most of the al-Qaida dead were either Chechens or Arabs.

14 MARCH 2002: LOCKERBIE APPEAL - DISMISSED

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, 49, has lost his appeal in relation to the Lockerbie bombing. Al-Megrahi, was found guilty at last year’s Camp Zeist trial in Holland. 270 people died when a bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight 103 killing 270 people. Libya is now expected to pay a substantial sum to relatives.

13 MARCH 2002: US AND BRITAIN TARGET SADDAM HUSSEIN

US Vice-President, Dick Cheney and Britain’s Prime Minister, Tony Blair, have discussed the implications of widening the war on terror by attacking Iraq. Tony Blair said a “calm and measured response” was needed. Dick Cheney warned that by doing nothing, al-Qaida and countries like Iraq could form a powerful and potentially lethal axis.

13 MARCH 2002: IRAQ HOLDING US PILOT FROM 1991 - CLAIM

MI6 has told the CIA that it has evidence that an American pilot shot down during the Gulf War, and presumed dead, is probably being held at a military prison in Iraq.

Commander Michael Speicher crashed his F18 fighter on 17 January 1991, the first real day of combat to free occupied Kuwait. He was declared dead in May 1991, but 10 years later, the USAF reclassified him as ‘missing in action’.

Because of MI6’s superb intelligence operation in Iraq, it was discovered that Mr Speicher was alive and being held. The information came from an agent of MI6, who believed he could actually pinpoint his whereabouts and obtain a photograph.

The intelligence was leaked to the media and because of this some analysts believe it is false information used to further pressurise Saddam Hussein.

26 FEBRUARY: WASHINGTON DEMANDS PEARL DETAINEE BE EXTRADITED

Washington has asked Pakistan to extradite Omar Sheikh, the head of the al-Qaida linked gang who kidnapped US journalist Daniel Pearl. The US has no extradition agreement with Pakistan and President Musharraf is worried that by simply handing over Sheikh and his two accomplices, the public may see him as bowing to US pressure.

24 FEBRUARY: BLAIR AND BUSH WILL MEET FOR WAR PLAN IN APRIL

It is understood that Britain’s Prime Minister, Tony Blair and US President, George Bush, will meet in Washington in early April to discuss the next phase on the war on terrorism. Tony Blair has indicated British support for an attack on Iraq.

21 FEBRUARY: INDIA BUYS US SURVEILLANCE RADAR SYSTEM

In a move bound to upset Pakistan, India is purchasing a sophisticated US surveillance radar - the first major military deal between the two nations. The system is codenamed Firefinders and could be deployed in the sensitive region of Kashmir.

8 FEBRUARY: MOD REFUSE TO CLEAR CHINOOK PILOTS

The Ministry of Defence is refusing to reverse charges against two pilots blamed for of an RAF Chinook crash in 1994, in which 29 people in total died. Despite serious doubts in the case against Flight Lieutenants Jonathan Tapper and Richard Cook, an MOD spokesman said: “There is no new evidence and no new facts.”

The House of Lords recently ruled that the charge of “gross negligence” was unjustified.

25 intelligence officers from MI5 and the Royal Ulster Constabulary died in the incident.

Eye Spy’s report on the case features in full in issue 7

IRAN CALLS BRITISH AMBASSADOR MI6 SPY


A diplomat chosen to be Britain's new ambassador to Iran has been rejected by the authorities in Tehran. David Reddaway, who has served in Iran twice before, was turned down after conservative Iranian newspapers called him a Jewish M16 spy. Mr Reddaway, 48, who speaks Farsi and has an Iranian wife, is not Jewish. The Foreign Office insists that he is a genuine diplomat and is not an intelligence officer using diplomatic cover. A spokesman said: "The Iranian authorities have told us they are not willing to accept our nomination of David Reddaway as the new ambassador." The Tehran Government has given no official explanation for its refusal and
the Foreign Office says there are no plans at present to put forward a replacement. Tony Blair discussed the issue in a telephone conversation with Iran's modernising President Khatami last month but was unable to bring about a change of heart. Mr Reddaway, who first in Tehran in 1977-78, and again in 1990, has also worked in Madrid, Buenos Aires and New Delhi. He was nominated to succeed Nick Browne, who left the post late last year.

The British Embassy in Tehran will now be run by the second most senior diplomat, the charge d'affaires.

4 FEBRUARY: UK SECURITY GUARD JAILED FOR SPYING

Following an MI5 ‘sting’ operation, Rafael Bravo, 30, was jailed for 11 years after he attempted to sell stolen UK and NATO secrets to the Russians. An MI5 officer posed as a Russian diplomat in London; Bravo handed the material to him. The documents were stolen from British Aerospace, Stanmore. The judge described Bravo as an “opportunist spy.” See Eye Spy 7

 

30 JANUARY: LOCKERBIE - LIBYA EXPECTED TO PAY £3m TO EACH FAMILY

As the appeal by Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, convicted of the Lockerbie bombing continues in Holland, intelligence sources say Colonel Gadaffi is set to admit responsibility and pay an estimated £3 million compensation to each of the victims families. Many of the relatives, however, are set to reject the money, believing the money is simply payment to allow Libya back into the diplomatic fold.

 

17 JANUARY: ISRAELI WEDDING HALL ATTACKED - FIVE DEAD

At least five people died and a further 30 were injured at an Israeli wedding hall in Hadera. A Palestinian suicide bomber tried to detonate explosive at the entrance to the hall, but was overpowered by guards. However, they could not stop him throwing a hand-grenade into the reception which caused mayhem.

The Al Aqsa Brigades linked to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah said it carried out the attack.

15 JANAURY: IRAQ CAN SEE USAF STEALTH AIRCRAFT

Middle Eastern Air Defences may have a limited anti-Stealth capability


Over the last ten years the United States has developed an enormous built-in advantage in any conflict, the enemy simply cannot defend itself against the devastating first strike of an air campaign. The first most opponents will know of the attack is when air defence radar’s blow up and aircraft parked on airfields mysteriously burst into flames. The combination of tree skimming pre-programmed cruise missiles and smart munitions launched from F117 or B2 stealth aircraft has proved unstoppable in the Balkans, Iraq and now in Afghanistan. However, there really hasn’t been that much opposition either, at least until now.


The United States has begun to signal concern about improvements being made to the Iraqi air defences in recent months. Hardened, improved command and control, built in redundancy in new communication networks, increasing use of sophisticated techniques to take advantage of the windows of opportunity in surveillance satellite coverage to reposition equipment, ingenious methods of misleading reconnaissance aircraft and even improvements to the homing guidance systems on surface to air missile. However it is the, so far unconfirmed, reports of a major upgrade of Iraq’s air defence radar’s to give at least a limited capability against stealth aircraft, that disturbs the Pentagon.


China and Yugoslavia have helped Saddam Hussein build a air defence capability which will require a serious US air campaign before it will have been degraded to the point where assault helicopters could be used on the sort of scale likely to be needed in any land operation to overthrow his regime. Israel, in particular, is concerned that any campaign must ensure control of the desert area’s of western Iraq first to prevent Saddam Husseins still considerable stock of Scud missiles, equipped with chemical or worse still biological or crude nuclear devices, being used against Tel Aviv, Haifa or the nuclear research establishment at Dimona. Any such Iraqi ‘Gotterdamerung’ would be launched from those very same western deserts.


China helps both Iraq and Iran


Iraq, however is not the only country in the region causing concern. Iran has also upgraded its air defence radar’s with Chinese help and is now putting together an extremely modern and clever surveillance system. The new upgrades not only allow for more precise tracking and detection, they feature the ability to transmit from one radar station and receive at another. In other words, radar pulses are sent from one transmitting antenna and a data link with the receiving antenna many miles away allows the receiver to “hear” the radar pulses and detect anomalies. The split receiver/transmitter idea is one of the theories that just might prove to be an effective counter to current stealth technology and that appears to be one of the definite benefits of Iran’s new radar system.


Iran has also moved more of its Russian SU-24 Strike aircraft and A-50 AEW aircraft south to Char Bahr and other bases to keep an eye on the US Carriers in the north Arabian Sea. This redeployment of important air assets will provide far greater coverage of the important choke-point of the Straits of Hormuz. Iran is getting increasingly edgy and probably has good cause, for while Somalia and the Yemen may well be first on the list, the perhaps, deliberately confusing messages coming out of the Pentagon leaves the next major target open. Iraq and Syria have both been mentioned, but the CIA knows the real score with Iran. It has been and still is the worlds leading supporter of terrorism and despite visits by senior British politicians, Iran must remain a prime target.


Richard M. Bennett

14 JANUARY: MOSSAD DELEGATION ARRIVES IN LONDON

It is understood several senior Mossad officers have arrived at the Ministry of Defence in London today to present “absolute evidence” that the recent seizure of arms on a ship in the Red Sea bound for Israel (Palestinians) was purchased by Yasser Arafat from the Iranians. The information is set to cool the West’s warming relations with Teheran and heap more pressure on the Mr Arafat.

14 JANUARY: MORE CHINESE MISSILES AIMED AT USA

A new CIA report says that by 2015, China will have at least 100 long-range nuclear missiles pointing at the USA. Similarly, the CIA warn that the warheads will be mobile and difficult to find. The National Intelligence Estimate says there has been an “accelerated Chinese nuclear build-up.”

9 JANUARY: HITLER’S ATOM BOMB GENIUS BETRAYED BERLIN IN 1941

A remarkable letter currently being examined by WWII intelligence experts, is believed to show that the scientific genius behind Hitler’s atomic bomb programme, betrayed its existence four years before Hiroshima. A private account of a trip in 1941 to Copenhagen, by nuclear physicist Wernen Heisenberg, shows that he alerted his mentor, Niels Bohr to Hitler’s deadly plans. Experts are divided why he should have revealed the plans, but some believe he was trying to alert Britain and America. More Eye Spy 7

7 JANUARY: MOSSAD “HAVE EVIDENCE OF ARAFAT “ARMS ORDER”

Following the Israeli interception of the cargo ship, Karine-A in the Red Sea, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that Yasser Arafat personally authorised the purchase of the 50 tons of weapons and explosives on board the vessel. Tel Aviv says the commando raid followed an intelligence operation. The ship and its content is being examined in the port of Eilat. The Palestinian authorities deny any knowledge of the weapons and say Tel Aviv is trying to derail US attempts to broker a new peace deal.

7 JANUARY: INDIA ARMY SHOOT DOWN PAKISTAN UNMANNED AIRCRAFT

The Indian Army says it shot down an unmanned Pakistan reconnaissance aircraft after it strayed into India airspace. The aircraft was allegedly shot down in Jamu. Pakistan says the claim was “baseless” and insisted it was India who had lost a spy plane.

7 JANUARY: IRISH POLICE ARREST SEVEN MEN IN ANTI-TERRORIST OPERATION

Police in the Republic of Ireland say they arrested seven men aged between 20 and 50 in an anti-terrorist operation in the town of Dundalk, close to the border with Northern Ireland. The police say an arms cashe was seized.

4 JANUARY: NSA IDENTIFY SIX IRAQI CHEMICAL FACTORIES

The National Security Agency (NSA), together with MI6, has identified six custom-built bunkers in the north of the country used to conceal chemical weapons. Following the anthrax attacks in America last year, NSA spy satellites noticed “abnormal” truck movements in the north. MI6 discovered at least six huge 60ft-deep holes had been used to bury the drums of chemicals - moved from the outskirts of Baghdad in early October. Analysts have linked the convoys to the death of British-born, Florida-based Bob Stevens on 5 October.

2 JANUARY: NEW KASHMIR ATTACK BY ‘DELHI TERROR ATTACK’ GROUP

Sources in Pakistan claim a grenade attack today against the Kashmir Parliament Building, that left one policeman dead and 23 other people injured, was carried out by the same group that attacked the Indian Parliament last month. The group - Jaish-e-Mohammad - have released a statement that says: “We are in possession of deadly weapons and these will be fully used.” Both India and Pakistan are taking the claim seriously.

• In recent days, Pakistan has detained over 100 people believed to be associated with terror groups.

2002 - A YEAR OF WAR?


US Military- give a positive performance

Just what can the world expect from the New Year? In all probability more terrorist attacks and a widening of the US led war on terrorism to include Somalia, Yemen, but more importantly Iraq, and probably Iran and Syria. Countries in the Far East are likely also to be embroiled at some time, there are indeed Muslim insurgencies in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia all with known contacts with Al Qa’ida and other Islamic extremist groups.

In the first reckoning of plus and minus points for 2001 the performance of the oft criticised US Military machine has been a definite positive, for although it is still top-heavy with brass-hats and equipped with vast amounts of largely unsuitable cold-war weapons, it has once again achieved a positive result in the first battles of a long war. The United States has worked hard at the basic principles of military success, the ability to hide your real intentions till the last minute, keep your enemy off balance and to be endlessly inventive and unpredictable.

There are still weak points in the US performance, but there appears to be plenty of forthcoming opportunities to iron out the wrinkles before the major supporters of terrorism such as Iran are tackled.

That we shall see a greater use of highly mobile forces, with a faster reaction to events and equipped with a new generation of hi-tech weapons is certain. Lighter airportable fighting vehicles with a new generation of ‘plastic’ armour, increasing use of stealth helicopters, electronic warfare and a perfection of the ‘tactics of confusion’ will help to ensure a leaner and meaner US armed forces. However, the need for long-range bombers, stealth technology applied to more types of combat aircraft, the continued maintenance of at least twelve Carrier groups and an even closer relationship between the intelligence community and the military have become very obviously major ingredients in future military success. What may now slowly pass into history are the heavy armoured and mechanized divisions trained and equipped to fight across the plains of Northern Europe.

Understanding terrorism-room for considerable improvement

Among the minus points has been the inability to fully understand the true nature of the ‘new’ terrorism, amoral, international and sophisticated. Even now, nearly four months after the events of September 11th it is still difficult to gain a clear picture the strength of the Osama Bin-Laden’s ‘International Islamic Front For Jihad Against of the US and Israel’. Just how many of them have been killed or captured during the war; how many survived and where are they now? Is their structure badly damaged or still capable of planning yet more terrorist outrages?

Kenton Keith, from the US Embassy in Islamabad at a media briefing on December 26th 2001, presented a chart showing the believed present command structure of the Al Qa’ida organisation. It contained 42 names, out of whom six were shown as ‘killed in action’ and two under arrest. Those shown as killed were Osama’s deputy Muhammad Atef, his aides Muhammad Salah, Assadullah and Tariq Anwar Fathy, the organisation’s operational coordinator Abu Saleh al-Yemeni and a terrorist instructor, Abu Ubaida. Those shown as arrested are Abdul Aziz and Abu Faisal, detained on December 12th and 14th respectively. The remaining 34 senior members, including Bin-Laden and his second-in-command Aiman al-Zawahiri are still at large.

Keith also distributed a list of 27 Taliban leaders, of whom one Jalaluddin Haqqani was shown as killed in action, while Muhammad Fazal and Mulla Noorullah Nori were shown as prisoners of war. Leading Indian analyst B. Raman has commented that “No credible details have been forthcoming from the allies regarding the damages caused by the war on the cadres of the Al Qa’ida and the other components of the International Islamic Front. A mistake, which the US officials and analysts have been making from the very beginning of this war, is to treat the Al Qa’ida and the Front as one and the same. The Al Qa’ida, which is Saudi-centric, is only one of the 12 components of the Front.”

He went on to add that “Before the war began, the Front was assessed as having 12 components - the Al Qaeda, three each from Egypt and Pakistan, the Taliban, two from Uzbekistan and one each from Southern Philippines and Xinjiang in China. The three components from Pakistan were the Harkat-ul-Mudjahideen (HUM), the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) and the Sunni extremist Sipah-e-Sahaba. Details received after the outbreak of the war indicated that the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) was also a component”.

AFI Research - Richard M. Bennett Associates
A leading source of OSINT, Articles & Commentary on Conflicts, Intelligence and Defence for the Worlds News Media
Contact afi@supanet.com Bookmark AFI Research http://www.geocities.com/afi_research/AFIindex.html Telephone +44(0)1626 33 50 40 Dateline 01/01/2002 23.00

31 DECEMBER: FBI CRITICISED OVER US “AL-QAIDA SUSPECTS” ARRESTS

Since 11 September, over 1,100 people suspected of having terrorist links have been detained or arrested. 150 still remain in custody, while the remainder have been released pending further inquiries. Of those still detained, it is believed at least 20 are thought to have worked for al-Qaida in the USA or Europe. Initially the FBI were congratulated over their swift operation, however, it has become increasingly clear that following the arrests of some of the men, known associates have either fled the USA or gone underground. Some intelligence analysts believe it may have been more worthwhile to allow the suspects room to maneuver, thus revealing contacts, companies or ‘escape corridors’.

It is known that the FBI have at least 100 suspects under intense observation. Intelligence sources believe that the FBI have identified at least four sleeper cells and are allowing the suspects to move freely. Had this form of action been carried out before the huge number of arrests in September, October and November, the FBI may well have dismantled the majority of al-Qaida cells in the USA.

29 DECEMBER: ISRAEL - SENIOR INTELLIGENCE OFFICIAL SACKED

Israel’s High Court ruled that Ehud Yatom, a former senior intelligence official who admitted killing two Palestinians in custody in 1984, was not fit to be a security advisor to Aeriel Sharon, the Prime Minister. The complex case known as the Bus 300 affair involves Shin Bet, Israel’s secret security service. More - Eye Spy 7

22 DECEMBER: MI6 LEARN NAME OF IRAQI DEATH SQUAD

MI6 has learned that Iraq has an elite death squad with sleeper cells around the world. The name of the organisation is called the Strikers, according to a senior Iraqi intelligence officer who has defected to Great Britain.

 

President Saddam Hussein

20 DECEMBER: INDIA BLAMES ISI FOR SUPPORTING ATTACK

India may have no alternative but to strike back at Pakistan after New Delhi attack

Indian Army units have been placed on high alert along much of the Kashmir cease-fire line, while other units are on a heightened readiness in both Punjab and Rajasthan and are being reportedly being reinforced by an additional Infantry Division, the 54th drawn from XX1 Corps in Secundrabad in Southern India in response to a reported major re-deployment of Pakistan troops. The Indian Cabinet has recently discussed its military and diplomatic options following the attack last Thursday by Kashmiri militants, an incident which has now been linked to separatist groups supported by both Osama Bin-Ladin and Pakistan’s Intelligence Service, the ISI.

Ajai Raj Sharma, the Commissioner of the New Delhi Police claimed the link had come to light during the interrogation of a number of suspects following the attack on India’s parliament building “The things which have come to notice clearly show that ISI was connected with this and if ISI is connected with it, then Pakistan must know of it,” he said, referring to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. Sharma went on to say that the main accused had admitted to Police that he had been trained at an ISI camp in Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.


He added that the five attackers, who had died in the raid along with eight other people, were all Pakistani citizens. He said police believed the operation was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, two of several Pakistan-based groups fighting Indian rule in the Himalayan region of Kashmir in the far north. In a move that stoked tensions with Pakistan, India demanded both groups be closed down, their assets frozen and their leaders arrested.

Kashmir insurgency linked to Pakistan ISI and al-Qaida

Added impetus will be given to this meeting by increasing evidence that Pakistan had supplied large quantities of Chinese made arms to the Taliban and that whole units of al-Qaida may have safely crossed into Pakistan occupied Kashmir to fight alongside the local Muslim separatists.

Although India’s response to a spate of recent Muslim attacks has been limited or even non-existent, the latest outrage was a more serious challenge to the sovereignty of India and the authority of the Government. The Home Minister, Lal Krishna Advani talked tough when he commented that “Anyone who challenges our security will have to face the consequences”,while the Indian Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee added that New Delhi had reached the limit of its tolerance.

There is no certainty as to when, where or even if India will make a serious military response to this attack, however what is becoming increasingly obvious is that if the Indian Government wishes to maintain a semblance of public support they must do more than gesture and threaten. India has suffered upwards of 52,000 killed by terrorist actions in the last thirty years and the patience of the Indian people is wearing rather thin.

Richard M. Bennett

18 DECEMBER: LOCKERBIE SOURCE INTERVIEWED BY EYE SPY

Eye Spy has made contact with a German man who believes he has evidence that links another Middle East country to the Lockerbie disaster. See Eye Spy 7.

AMERICAN IN TALIBAN: BIOLOGICAL STRIKE ON U.S. NEAR


Bill Gertz

COURTESY: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

An American Taliban fighter held captive by Marines in Afghanistan has told American officials that al Qaeda's next attack on the United States will take place in days and involve biological weapons, U.S. intelligence officials told The Washington Times.


John Walker Lindh, the Taliban guerrilla captured near Mazar-e-Sharif, said in intelligence debriefings at the U.S. Marine Corps base near Kandahar that "Phase II" of al Qaeda's war against the United States will occur at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends Sunday.

Mr. Lindh told U.S. intelligence officials that the Ramadan attack will involve the use of biological weapons. A third phase of al Qaeda's war on the United States will result in the destruction of the entire country, the Islamic convert stated.

The officials said they have questioned the credibility of Mr. Lindh's claim because of his relatively low-level position. Still, the information was among other intelligence reports that led the Bush administration to issue a public warning last week about a possible terrorist attack, the officials
said.

No other details were available about Mr. Lindh's debriefing. However, the intelligence about the impending attack is an indication Mr. Lindh may have been part of the al Qaeda network in addition to fighting on behalf of the Taliban militia.

A CIA spokesman declined to comment. Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, said on Sunday that Mr. Lindh was providing information. "He's been pretty close to the action, and he has provided from the Afghan perspective some useful information," Gen.
Myers said on "Fox News Sunday."

"I think the evidence is pretty strong that he was right in the middle of it." Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told reporters the American had provided information that has been "very helpful" to the United States, including information on the prisoner uprising at Mazar-e-Sharif that led to the death of
CIA officer Johnny "Mike" Spann. "Obviously the people who really have the information that we really want to get are those top al Qaeda leaders and maybe some of the Taliban leaders and maybe we'll find it in documents in places we are now able to get into," Mr. Wolfowitz said Sunday.

"But I think anyone who knows anything about that organization is a potentially valuable source of
information."

The Pentagon has not decided how to handle Mr. Lindh and whether he will be charged with treason.
The U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., said in a statement that Mr. Lindh was being treated as an enemy prisoner of war.

Mr. Lindh, 20, was videotaped as he was interrogated by the CIA officer hours before his death at the hands of rebelling Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners at a fortress near Mazar-e-Sharif. He initially gave his name as Abdul Hamid.

The Marines are using a large green metal shipping container to hold Mr. Lindh at their base in southern Afghanistan, according to pool reports from the base. Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Stewart Upton said he had no information about Mr. Lindh being held in the container, which is surrounded by barbed wire and Marine guards.

A second Marine spokesman, Capt. David Romley, said later that the only detainee at the camp was Mr. Lindh. At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told reporters that valuable intelligence is being collected as U.S. and Afghan opposition forces take over areas once ruled
by the Taliban

."There's documentation being found and discovered and analyzed and translated, so that each day we learn more and know more," Mr. Rumsfeld said. "As more address books are found and phone books are found and computer hard drives are found as people have left areas, clearly our knowledge base
is going up.

"BRITISH INTELLIGENCE REPRIMANDED OVER INTERCEPTS

The British Intelligence services have been told to improve their record in respect of official communications intercepts. In dozens of cases incorrect houses and lines had been bugged because the respective intelligence official had simply written the wrong house number or telephone. MI5 were the worse culprits in 2001, a year that saw a record rise in the number of intercept requests.

 

MI5 - the Securty Service headquarters

IRAN TO TURN OLD US EMBASSY INTO ‘SPY MUSEUM’

According to Eye Spy sources, the Iranian Government is considering an application to turn the former US Embassy in Tehran into a spy museum. The building was stormed by anti-Shah protesters several years ago and over a hundred US officials taken hostage.

RUSSIA TO CLOSE COLD WAR FACILITIES... 18 OCTOBER 2001: Aleksey Shcherbakov


In a startling move FAPSI, the Russian intelligence service (the equivalent of America‚s NSA and Britain‚s GCHQ) has announced it is closing two of its overseas SIGINT & ELINT gathering bases, leaving only North African and Baltic facilities outside of the CIS.

MOSCOW - Russia is making significant cuts in its military installations abroad, including closing its radar stations in Cuba and Vietnam, a top military official said Wednesday. Gen. Anatoly Kvashnin, chief of the Russian armed forces General Staff, told reporters after a meeting of military brass chaired by President Vladimir Putin that Russia would dismantle its radar stations in Lourdes, Cuba, and Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam.
He said that the closure of the station in Cuba alone would allow Russia to save at least dlrs 200 million a year in rent and salaries.

Putin visited the electronic spying facility in Lourdes in December. He told the station's personnel that their mission was very important for his government's decision-making. The U.S. Congress voted in May 2000 to restrict financial aid to Russia unless it closed the Lourdes facility. The outpost has helped Russia verify U.S. compliance with arms-control agreements, according to Russian and U.S.
officials.

ARRESTS FOLLOW AFTER THREE MEN TRY AND SELL RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS

Security services in Bosnia arrested three Bosnians and a Yugoslav man for allegedly selling explosives and radioactive materials.

US TESTING SPECIAL WEAPON

Reports from Moscow say that the USAF is conducting secret trials of Boeing‚s Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) in Northern Afghanistan. Mounted in a Lockheed AC-130 Spectre gunship, operating from a military airbase in
southern Uzbekistan, it has already provided support during the exfiltration of wounded US Special Forces personnel, from Afghanistan.

The ATL has a high-energy weapon-class laser that allows up to ten precision laser-shots from ten miles from the target. These can melt 16-guage steel. The accuracy of its fist-sized, contact spot ensures little or no collateral damage.


The US forces are taking advantage of the conflict to test other hi-tech kit in battlefield conditions. This has included Global Hawk, a high-flying experimental, unmanned spy plane, the U.S. Air Force's newest unmanned


aerial vehicle [UAV]

Russia to Shut Down Base in Cuba
Combined Reports

Moscow Times Thursday, Oct. 18, 2001 Itar-tass / AP

In an effort to raise more money for the struggling military at home, Russia will close two bases that came to be symbolic of the Cold War -- a radar station in Cuba and a naval support base in Vietnam, a top army official said Wednesday.

The surprise departure from the Cuba station -- Moscow's "listening post" on America -- signals President Vladimir Putin's readiness to ignore military hawks and forge closer ties with Washington, according to analysts. Officials described Wednesday's meeting of military brass at the Defense Ministry, chaired by Putin, as "stormy." After the meeting, they said Russia will spend nearly $1 billion more this year to purchase new weapons.

"The president called on us to seek ways that could save resources, including those within [the military]," said General Anatoly Kvashnin, chief of the armed forces' General Staff. Kvashnin said Russia will dismantle its radar station in Lourdes, Cuba, and a navy technical support base in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. The pullout from Vietnam will start Jan. 1, military officials said, but no definite date was announced for the Cuba station. The spying facility on Cuba was built in 1964, shortly after the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, to "decide defense issues during that period of the Cold War," Kvashnin said. "Now, the military-political situation has changed and
there has been a qualitative leap in military equipment."

"The station's potential is compensated by the potential of other means and forces on the territory of Russia, including space-based ones," Kvashnin said. He said the closure of the Cuba station would allow Russia to save at least $200 million a year in rent and an undisclosed amount in personnel salaries and maintenance. "With that money we can buy and launch 20 communication, intelligence and information satellites, and purchase up to 100 sophisticated radars," Kvashnin said.

Putin visited the electronic facility in Lourdes in December, telling the station's personnel that their mission was very important for his government's decision-making. Putin said Wednesday that the decision to close the electronic intelligence center outside Havana had been reached after "deep analysis and long talks with our Cuban partners." His wording suggested that the decision to shut the huge intelligence post 150 kilometers off the Florida coast had met resistance from veteran Cuban leader Fidel Castro. But he added that the decision to dismantle bases in the former Soviet Union's traditional satellite countries did not mean that Moscow was turning its back. "We advocate the full lifting of the economic blockade against Cuba. We have large economic cooperation plans with Vietnam," Putin told the gathering.

Putin called for more money to be provided to the military to pay its personnel and purchase modern weapons. He also noted some troubles with the military reform efforts, saying in particular that he wanted to see more "quality" than quantity and lashing out at the military for having its pilots fly only 10 percent of the necessary training time. "We have to look at our priorities as the situation in the world is changing rapidly and we need to confront international terrorism," Putin said. "We have to adequately respond to the international situation."

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, who also took part in the meeting, said the government would spend an additional 27 billion rubles ($918 million) this year on new weapons purchases, "and this amount will be growing every year."

He also voiced hope that the legislature on Friday would give its final approval to releasing an additional 4 billion rubles to beef up the salaries of military personnel, a step initiated by Putin. Kept by Russia on land leased from Cuba in exchange for crude oil and other supplies, Lourdes has long been the source of controversy between Moscow and some political quarters in Washington.

The House of Representatives passed a bill last year to try to prevent the United States from rescheduling hundreds of millions of dollars in Russian debt unless Moscow shut it down. The decision to leave the base "is the first real step towards a real partnership with the U.S.," said independent military expert Alexander Golts. "If you wanted a symbol of the Cold War, it was Lourdes. "I think it is a clear signal to the U.S. that Russia is changing its position, that we are true allies. It is a very important signal that continues this shift of Mr Putin towards a clear partnership with the West." Putin has offered stalwart support to the "war on terrorism" declared by U.S. President George W. Bush. But his apparent abandonment of Russia's traditional "Eurasianism" -- its love-hate relationship with the West -- has powerful opponents who may yet try to thwart the president.

"I think the majority of the higher echelons of power do not support the president" in his overtures to the West, said Vadim Solovyov, managing editor of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta Military Review. "They would like a tougher line to achieve more concessions from the American side on resolving problems of strategic national defense," a reference to U.S. missile defense plans hitherto opposed by Moscow. Putin sweetened the pill by announcing more cash for the military, but whether he can take with him his defense minister and close ally, Sergei Ivanov, remains to be seen.

"Any further development in the partnership with the West ... moves us slowly to the underlying contradictions between Mr. Putin and those he thought were his closest allies," Golts said.

 

Russia to start withdrawal from base in Vietnam

MOSCOW. Oct 17 (Interfax) - The withdrawal of the Russian military base in Cam Ranh will start on January 1, 2002, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday following a conference in the Defense Ministry. This decision was made after hearing a report by the navy commander-in-chief, he said. After long negotiations, a decision has been made to pull out the Russian radio-electronic center in Cuba, Putin said. These steps do not imply phasing out Russia's cooperation with those countries, Putin said. "We advocate the lifting of the economic blockade against Cuba, and we have large plans for economic cooperation with Vietnam," he said.

Russia to offer India surveillance planes

Times of India Oct 18 NEW DELHI:

Russia is to offer India a lease on four supersonic reconnaissance aircraft as part of a broader economic agreement to be signed next month in Moscow, PTI reported Tuesday. PTI quoted Ilya Klebanov, Russia's deputy premier, as saying Russia would offer the aircraft to India as part of efforts to broaden defence cooperation. He spoke after two rounds of talks here with India's newly reinstated Defense Minister George Fernandes.

The two countries would sign "some very important, crucial economic documents" next month during a visit to Moscow by Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Klebanov told reporters after the meeting. "We are awaiting the visit with much expectation," he added. Cooperation is expected to focus on joint projects for commercial and transport aircraft, submarines and ships, nuclear, thermal and hydroelectric power and oil exploration in the Bay of Bengal.

PTI quoted Klebanov as saying terrorism would also be a key issue during Vajpayee's talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "In this matter, the positions of India and Russia are completely identical," Klebanov said. "Russia has always supported and continues to support India's positions in all regional matters." Both countries agree on the need for a broad-based, multiethnic government in Afghanistan after the Taliban, he said.

Russia has long been supporting the Northern Alliance that opposes the Taliban regime, Klebanov said. "But today, our efforts and the efforts of India are joined by other Western powers.

CIA TRIED TO ASSASSINATE OSAMA BIN-LADEN IN 1998

Former President Bill Clinton has revealed that he authorised the CIA to either capture or assassinate Osama bin-Laden as early as 1998. Intelligence sources say that a covert CIA-sponsored team liaised with a group of Afghan warriors closely linked with the fighters of the Northern Alliance. The terrain, close protection around bin-Laden and a serious lack of intelligence meant the operation had to be cancelled.

It is believed Washington afforded a huge sum of money to a unit associated with Pakistan for bin-Laden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FATAL FLIGHT OF ZD576
25 Intelligence Officers Dead: Whitehall Involved in Huge Cover-up?

When an RAF Chinook helicopter crashed on the Mull of Kintyre on 2 June 1994, killing all 29 people on board, including four crew, the authorities of the day knew there would be serious repercussions. Notwithstanding the fact that Whitehall had incredibly allowed 25 of the country's leading intelligence and military figures to board one aircraft, they also had evidence that this particular helicopter was suffering from inherent computer problems.

Since then the government has continued to ignore significant information from those people who count more than anyone, the men who fly these machines, the teams who support them and the technical support groups which service the on-board computers. Ordinary RAF servicemen and women who work with the Chinook 24-hours a day.

Nobody will ever know what really happened on that fateful day, but after six years of investigation that have revealed a plethora of problems with computers and other factors, the Government still insists it was "gross negligence" on the part of two experienced pilots, Jonathan Tapper and Rick Cook. Military analysts called the decision shameful after the first hearing, and that statement was heard again in December 2000, following the latest inquiry.

However, before examining why the MOD has once again ignored crucial evidence, we can reveal that major aspects of the case have also been ignored that could throw further light on the matter. We have learned that ZD576 may have been struck by a remotely piloted vehicle that was being tested in the corridor where the Chinook went down. Furthermore, there is taped data from a Scottish air traffic control room that shows an unidentified target nearing the Mull of Kintyre at precisely the same time as the disaster. And finally, we have been told by RAF sources that a United States Air Force team reached the crash site prior to any UK rescue unit and sifted through the wreckage. What were they looking for?

The latest inquiry, by the Commons Public Accounts (PAC) committee of the House of Commons accused the MOD of "unwarrantable arrogance," employing "flawed logic," and "shocking aircraft test procedures." David Davis, the committee's Conservative chairman, said: "In truth, we shall never know what happened on the fateful day at the Mull of Kintyre. But the evidence provided by the committee points quite clearly to a major miscarriage of national justice."

Those supporters of Mr Tapper and Mr Cook who hope to get the original verdict quashed, believed the report was a major breakthrough and highly significant. However, their hopes were soon dashed by equally damning comments from Whitehall.

There is little doubt that the committee believes a variety of organisations in Westminster, led by unidentified civil servant and military advisors, have concealed evidence and ignored it when convenient. The bumbling defence secretary, Geoff, Hoon, incensed many in the RAF and friends of those who perished when he arrogantly dismissed the report, saying it provided no "new evidence that would cast doubt on the integrity of the verdict." He supported the "gross negligence" verdict made by two air marshals, Sir William Wratten and Sir John Day. That verdict had to pass a strict line of "no doubt whatsoever." Mr Hoon, who is supported fully by British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said: "There is clearly a good deal of material in the report but none of it constitutes new evidence."

THE INCIDENT

24 hours before the crash, MOD test pilots suspended Chinook flight trials at Boscombe Down, the armament research establishment. There were serious fears raised by pilots. Chinook testing didn't resume again until December. One pilot, Jonathan Tapper, a highly regarded pilot whose professionalism led to him being given top status as an SAS mission flyer, asked to fly an earlier Chinook variant. His request was denied. Mr Tapper often lifted active SAS units into danger areas in Northern Ireland and knew the territory well. His missions were predominantly at night and on most occasions top secret. His friend and colleague, Flight Lieutenant Richard Cook, was regarded by his senior officers as amongst the leading five per cent of RAF fliers. Interestingly, Mr Cook had increased his life assurance policy because he was becoming more and more aware of the dangers of flying the Chinook Mk II.

In 1993, the Chinook II, the variant that crashed on 2 June 1994, entered service. Within weeks pilots were reporting "problems" with the aircraft's FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control Systems) computer software equipment. All three inquiries noted that crews were reporting "repeated and unexplained technical difficulties." On some occasions, the engines would suddenly cut out or begin to malfunction. RAF pilots also spoke of "flame-outs" on the aircraft.

On board Flight ZD576 were many leading intelligence operatives. Thus when news of the crash first surfaced, MI5 and Scotland Yard was awash with rumours of an IRA strike.

Among the men who died was Assistant Chief Constable Brian Fitzsimons, 52, head of Special Branch in Northern Ireland, (ironically he was just three weeks away from retiring after serving in the force for 30 years), ten senior detectives from the Royal Ulster Constabulary; nine British army officers including Colonel Christopher Biles, 41 (he received an MBE in 1981 for gallantry in Ulster and the OBE in 1992) six Northern Ireland Office officials of which several were also MI5 officers. Some of the other officials also had links to MI6 (Secret Intelligence Service).

2 JUNE 1994: At 1643 GMT, Flight ZD576 contacted Approach Control at RAF Aldergrove that the aircraft was outbound, flying at low-level and 9nm (nautical miles) from the airport. The crew for the afternoon flight were Flt. Lt. Tapper (captain), Flt. Lt. Cook (co-pilot) and crewman Forbes and Sgt. Hardie. The Chinook was en route from Belfast to Inverness in northern Scotland.

At precisely 1759:30 BST, the aircraft smashed into a rocky outcrop in an area called Beinn na Lice on the island of Mull of Kintyre. The Chinook was travelling at a groundspeed of approximately 150 knots. After it hit the rocks the aircraft broke into two major pieces. Fuel tanks were ruptured and fire engulfed both sections. There was extensive damage and little chance of anyone surviving the crash.

Within a few hours Downing Street and the victims' relatives had been notified of the disaster. RAF rescue teams were flown in but not required, other than to retrieve the bodies.

The first Fatal Accident Inquiry headed by Greenock-based North Strathclyde Sheriff, Sir Stephen Young, began in Paisley, Glasgow, on 10 January 1997. Sir Stephen heard a full 16 days of evidence and two days of legal wrangling. Its primary goal was to register the deaths and discover what exactly caused the crash. Mr Young concluded that NO blame could be attached to the pilots. Yet this wasn't what the MOD wanted to hear. They insisted that the pilots chose the wrong course and rate of climb and, instead of turning or climbing away from the great headland of the Mull of Kintyre, they flew into low cloud (fog) and straight into the hillside at 1,404ft. This was acknowledged by the RAF board of inquiry investigation.

Sir Stephen refuted the RAF Board of Inquiry results. And unlike his inquiry, which was held in public and the families of the dead men fully represented, the RAF Board of Inquiry made no provision for any representations on behalf of the dead pilots.

There were many who called for the case to be reinvestigated, including Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who was defence minister at the time and Sir Jeremy Hanley. Inside the House of Lords many ministers were privately ashamed of the MOD verdict, but every enquiry raised since 1994 has been met with either indifference or silence. Yet, while the MOD and the Government hide behind closed doors, other military and technical personnel of the armed forces have come forward and joined those protesting for the verdict against the pilots to be squashed.

Since the crash, much attention has been focused on the Chinook's FADEC computer system. Malcolm Perks is one of the world's leading experts on FADEC. He believes that a fault in the computer could have caused "engine runaway," a quick sudden surge of power that destabilised the giant helicopter. Former Squadron Leader Robert Burke, a Chinook test pilot, is convinced both men suffered a "grave miscarriage of justice." Mr Burke, now retired, said pilot error, let alone negligence, is "the least likely cause of the crash."

Privately the RAF support the pilots and are fuming at the way in which Whitehall has brushed aside all attempts to get to the bottom of the mystery. Notwithstanding the possibility that ZD576 was struck by a secret test vehicle using the corridor between West Scotland and Ireland, there are three other scenarios. The first is "engine runaway" supported by Malcolm Perks. The Chinook would have been "uncontrollable." The second theory relates to the helicopter's linking arm known as "the broom cupboard." It has been suggested this apparatus could have come loose and jammed the blades. Secret RAF data reveals that this had already occurred on Chinook Mk 2 aircraft prior to the disaster. Finally there has to be the possibility, regardless of how remote, that the pilots got it wrong. Three inquiries later, this has now been rejected.

Defence experts and private sources still consider FADEC malfunction the most likely cause. Indeed, not much attention was paid to an official MOD memorandum circulated just 24-hours after the Chinook disaster. The document related to FADEC and suggested the system was "unsuitable for its intended purpose." It confirmed the MOD was not happy with the performance of a computer that controlled the engines and monitored the flying of the aircraft. Indeed, it was later revealed that an "incredible 175 serious anomalies" were found in the computer programme nine years after it was developed.

Furthermore, Whitehall had admitted that following the Chinook crash, it has since received 23 further reports of FADEC-related faults. In typical ministry jargon it said: "None was flight safety critical, but some had safety implications." Prior to the crash, RAF crews had been "distracted" by warning lights appearing in the cockpit. This was echoed in the first Scottish inquiry, when it was stated that technical problems could have distracted the crew. This was overruled by the two commanding officers, who, acting on RAF procedures, reviewed the inquiry's findings and rejected them accordingly. The latest PAC report hit back and called it "unwarrantable arrogance." But Geoff Hoon then disgracefully called the PAC report "a superficial investigation."

Intelligence analysts are shocked by Hoon's comments because they reflect not just a government office, but the stance of the British Government itself. Like the RAF, MI5 is not convinced it was simply pilot error. And what of the "unidentified fragments" of fabric found twisted in the wreckage of one of the Chinook's engines? Analysts have discussed this and said, "what was it and how did it get there?" The MOD is not saying.

On 31 July 1997, the Defence Committee questioned the MOD on the crash. There were various meetings before the committee called Armed Forces Minister John Reid to give evidence "on the lessons to be learned from the Chinook disaster." Before the committee had even sat, Bruce George, Labour chairman of the committee, said it could not act as a "substitute court of appeal to reverse the findings of the crash investigation." That meant regardless of any new findings, both pilots still had to shoulder the blame for the deaths of 29 people and the distress of over 200 relatives and family members. The families of Richard Cook and Jonathan Tapper were shocked.

John Reid, the then minister for defence, said he had looked at the evidence with a "compassionate eye" but found nothing to challenge the inquiry findings. He did, however, say he would be prepared to look at any new evidence, but only if "relevant and substantial information came to light." The minister said the MOD would review its flight policy that would stop so many leading intelligence officials travelling on one aircraft.

The MOD appear to have totally ignored the PAC report and Sheriff Sir Stephen Young's comments. Some quotes from the Fatal Accident Inquiry by Sir Stephen, dated 21 March 1996, are highly important and as relevant today as they were when they were released:

'At 1655:14GMT a member of the crew called the Scottish Air Traffic Control Centre (Military) at Prestwick in the following terms: "Scottish Military, good afternoon, this is F4J40" (which was the aircraft's call-sign).

'This was not an emergency call. For reasons which are not known the call was not answered. Nor was it repeated. No further radio communications were heard from the aircraft.'

'All the occupants of the aircraft were rendered unconscious at once and died more or less instantaneously.'

Sir Stephen's inquiry also heard from a number of locals including a female witness who first raised the alarm. The witness was out walking when she heard an explosion and pinpointed the site in an emergency telephone call to Strathclyde police. They contacted RAF Pitreavie in Fife. Local fire and ambulance services rushed to the scene and the Campbeltown lifeboat was launched in case it was needed to rescue possible survivors in the sea. Among 50 or so firefighters attended the scene. Some had been flown in from nearly 200 hundred miles away. Two Royal Navy Sea King helicopters were scrambled from HMS Gannet, Strathclyde. Other Sea Kings from RAF Boulmer and Lossiemouth were also sent in to help.

The assistant Mull of Kintyre lighthouse keeper, Mr. Murchie, gave evidence at the inquiry. He had heard the helicopter approach at 5.55pm that evening and immediately went outside to take a look.

The report states that Mr. Murchie '...did hear "what sounded like a dull thud, followed by a kind of whooshing, whishing". It is possible that the presence of terrain between him and the initial impact point may have affected his hearing.'

Sheriff Sir Stephen Young states:

'...it appears extraordinary that an aircraft travelling at low level at a groundspeed in excess of 150 knots (or 2.5nm a minute) in the general direction of a land mass, which the crew knew to rise steeply from the coast to a height in excess of 1400 feet within 1nm of the coast, should have got so close to it without the crew having seen it.'

He later adds: '...it would be wrong to assume that any particular aircraft accident has been caused by pilot error especially when it is seen, as in the present case, how unlikely it is that there would have been such an error and, moreover, that any error that was made would have been one in which, by virtue of their training and experience as Special Forces aircrew, the whole crew and not just the navigator would have been implicated.'

What is interesting is that the inquiry failed to make any reference to the unidentified target picked up by RAF operators on the mainland at the time of the crash. The inquiry heard an RAF officer explain this away as a form of temperature inversion.

Yet RAF personnel who reported the target are privately at odds with the MOD. On 23 January 1996, the Scotsman newspaper made a reference to the evidence given to the inquiry by Flight Lieutenant Hamish Miller. He told the hearing that radar tapes from Prestwick Airport had shown a low-moving unknown target travelling north, just a few miles southwest of the Mull of Kintyre at the exact time of the crash. The target was travelling at speeds estimated at 30-50mph. Surely this was no coincidence? Flt. Lt. Miller said the RAF had no idea what the object was, but it could have been a pocket of ionised air reflecting on the radar [a temperature inversion]. Another suggestion mooted by the RAF was that the target was a flock of birds.

Interestingly, there is no reference whatsoever in the inquiry's 124 pages to the radar echo.

The Present

After the recent PAC report and recommendations, Tony Blair said the affair is sad but closed. Yet, besides genuine safety concerns, there is the good name of the pilots to clear.

Much has been said about the FADEC software and now leading computer engineers are also challenging the government. But the question which is causing much speculation among many intelligence watchers, is what are the MOD afraid of? For example, it is a little known fact that at the time of the Chinook disaster, the MOD was already in the process of suing Textron Lycoming, the US manufacturers of the software, after a potentially fatal FADEC-related Chinook accident in 1989. The MOD cited faults in design and systems logic, incomplete safety back-up and inadequate testing that made FADEC unairworthy.

Three years prior to that disaster, 45 men, mainly oil workers, were killed in another Chinook crash off Shetland. Many people believe that the 1994 accident would have given the government's lawyers even more ammunition to tackle the US company, especially since independent analysts had all but proven the software caused the Scottish disaster. So is there any reason?

John Cook, father of Rick Cook and a former Concorde pilot said he was "delighted with the PAC report." But he launched a bitter attack on the MOD: "The question is what notice, if any, the government takes of it. The MOD seems to think it is above the law." He also referred to comments made by other RAF pilots. Mr Cook said: "The RAF pilots in Northern Ireland all tried to stop the Mark 2 from going over. One of the other pilots had told his wife: 'If I get killed in that thing, don't take any notice of what the air force say, just run down the street and say the aircraft killed him..."

The politicians (of all sides) on the PAC have accused the two air marshals of "flawed logic," by insisting the most likely cause of the crash was "gross pilot negligence." PAC members said the men should only have reached that explanation, if, "gross negligence could be ruled in."

The MPs also noted that Sir William Wratten and Sir John Day were responsible for managing Chinook operations and minimising their disruption. "This gave rise to a perceived conflict of interest," reported PAC. And they are correct. It is an obvious conflict of interest. Sir William has since retired, while Sir John is now deputy chief of the defence staff. Since the disaster, the RAF has changed the rules, so that boards of inquiry no longer apportion blame for accidents.

PAC said: We regard the department's preference for the results of their own procedures as constituting unwarrantable arrogance. We simply cannot understand why the department continues to defend the unsustainable finding of gross negligence and recommend that it should be set aside."

The politicians, sometimes referred to as the Mull of Kintyre Group, called on Tony Blair to reverse the decision. "It is now a matter of public interest and honour," said a spokesperson. Sir Malcolm Rifkind said: "It is not a question of finding new evidence now. It is that the evidence which has become available over the last three or four years itself demonstrates that it is unfair and unsound to rely on this previous verdict. He also said that had he known what he knew today, he would not have accepted the negligence verdict. Even former Labour defence minister Lord Chalfont joined in the criticism: "The MOD had lost the plot if they found the PAC report to be superficial." Senior Liberal Democrat Menzies Campbell said: "Only the Prime Minister can now break the deadlock."

Susan Phoenix, whose husband Ian, a Royal Ulster Constabulary counter-terrorism expert, who died in the crash, said, "the MOD is simply betraying arrogance in refusing to clear the reputations of the pilots."

Cries of "cover-up" are often dismissed as the jargon of lunatics or conspiracy theorists, but when they are being made by ordinary men and women in the RAF and other arms of the military services, then this is extraordinary. Similarly, even leading politicians and political observers have used the term. Captain David McMullon, co-author of Chinook: The Special Forces Flight in War and Peace said of the PAC report and government response: "I feel very strongly that there has been a great injustice done to Flight Lieutenants Cook and Tapper with the "gross negligence" verdict by the MOD. I knew all four crew members and have flown with them all during my time on the Chinook special forces' flight.

"Feelings grow stronger as the MOD still refuses to reopen the case. The MOD's response to the report from the public accounts' committee is to say that there is no new evidence to justify reopening the inquiry. But there never was any evidence to prove the pilots were negligent in the first place.

"The president of the board of inquiry stated there was insufficient evidence to blame the pilots for human failings, although Sir William Wratten shows his arrogance by now claiming that he was a junior, inexperienced officer. Would he say the same for the sheriff who after the Scottish fatal accident inquiry said there was "insufficient evidence to allocate blame," or those involved in the public account committee report?

"The prime minister must demand the reopening of this inquiry and support the crew members who have defended their country so well in war and peace. The least they deserve is for the evidence (or lack of it) to show that there is a doubt about the findings."

These words were echoed by Flight Lieutenant John Nichol (retired): "I can understand why the dead pilots' families and their supporters have been fighting for six years to clear the two men's names: there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

"The president of the board of inquiry, an experienced helicopter pilot who knew Chinooks inside out, was saying that he could only make an informed guess at the cause of the crash. Air Chief Marshal Sir William Wratten then reviewed the very same evidence and came to a different conclusion. Flt. Lt. Tapper and Cook, dead men who could not defend themselves, were found guilty of gross negligence. They were allowed no legal representation at what was tantamount to a trial held in secrecy and presided over by the very people who had most to lose in the case.

"Neither Sir William nor the MOD has explained why the president of the board was so wrong and why their theory is so right?"

Another retired Squadron Leader, T. W. Turnill and an ex-Vulcan bomber pilot was appalled by the MOD's action: "I cannot conceive that two very experienced pilots, tasked with taking exceptionally sensitive and important passengers from Northern Ireland would "press on regardless" into mist-covered high ground; the standard procedure when encountering cloud is to climb immediately to a safe height. One wonders whether the Chinook's engines, possibly affected by a malfunctioning FADEC system, were able to respond to the pilots' commands.

"If the two senior officers withdrew their findings, and admitted that they could not be certain of the cause of the tragedy, they would reverse the considerable harm done not only to the pilots and relatives concerned, but also to the morale of current aircrew."

Responding to severe criticism, Sir William Wratten said: "There is no point whatsoever in holding another inquiry." He did say, however, that he is willing to meet his critics and discuss the matter, including Lord Chalfont, Chairman of the Mull of Kintyre Group trying to clear the pilots' names. Lord Chalfont has welcomed the initiative and is ready to "contribute to any forum."

Karl Schneider, editor of Computer Weekly supplied 11 pages of evidence which were published in the PAC report. That data surrounded the FADEC software. He is pleased Sir William is willing to make himself "available for scrutiny," but that is not the way forward he argues. He says Computer Weekly is not in dispute with Sir William because he has no power to overturn the verdict. The magazine is in dispute with the MOD, which he says, "forms the only effective court of appeal." Mr Schneider said:

"The MOD has stuck by the verdict in the face of new evidence that Sir William did not see. It is now under extreme cross-party pressure to set aside the verdict. It would be wrong if Sir Williams' powers of judgement became the focus of the controversy. It is not Sir William who is on trial, but the MOD.

"Computer Weekly is nonetheless willing to take up Sir Williams' offer. We are confident of our position that the history of faults on the Chinooks' engine software casts sufficient doubt on the finding of gross negligence to be set aside."

There is no doubt the government are hiding something, and that may indeed relate to the development of a very exciting and secret aeroplane almost certainly being developed by British Aerospace. In 1995 I was sent a report by a senior communications engineer who worked for one of the country's biggest television stations. He had been commissioned by the MOD to install a new satellite system at a well-known RAF base in Scotland. Whilst at the base, he and a colleague noticed a "strange-looking aircraft" in front of hangar doors at the far side of the runway. The aircraft was black and relatively small with several angular lines. Oddly, the aircraft appeared to be above the runway and was pushed inside the hangar. An RAF security guard saw the men who asked him "what's that?" Impolitely he reminded the men that they had wandered into a restricted area and told them the aircraft they had seen was a "toy."

That same year I was contacted by a radar operator who worked at RAF Staxton Wold on the North Yorkshire Moors relatively close to Scar-borough. Staxton Wold is one of the country's most advanced radar facilities. He said: "I think you should know what me and my friend caught sight of the other night. We were on radar duty and saw this thing leave RAF Machrihanish... it pulled away from the Mull of Kintyre and struck out towards Norway.

"We couldn't believe its speed. By the time it came back from the Norwegian coast we had 'clocked it' doing Mach 10.

"Anyway, we had seen this thing leave Machrihanish and we saw it come back. Op's put a call to the base. We asked, 'what the hell was that'? Machrihanish told us it was none of our business and put the phone down"

Whether or not such stories are real remains secondary at the moment. As military testing becomes more secret, accidents are becoming more and more frequent. It's quite feasible that the RAF Chinook carrying so many crucial passengers was struck by a test vehicle belonging either to the British or Americans. How is it possible that US Forces reached a remote outpost in the UK before British rescue teams, unless they were tracking either the 'unknown' target or the Chinook? What was the debris found in the engine, and why has the government ignored a pretty impressive radar tape that shows the mysterious target closing-in on the Chinook? The software problem may be crucial but it appears not to be the reason why the Government are hell bent on concealing this incident. New freedom of information laws may help extract the truth in future years, but for the families of the 29 men who died so tragically, that may seem a lifetime away.

Since this feature was published Eye Spy! has received some quite fascinating information from a variety of official and unofficial sources. Though several theories exist regarding the cause of the crash, it is clear pilot error is but one, and perhaps the most unlikely...

IN ISSUE THREE EYE SPY!:

RUC BELIEVE CHINOOK WAS SABOTAGED BY FRIENDLY FORCES... Profile on Robert Hanssen in Eye Spy! Issue 1


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