Question:

The newly-created Kissinger Commission will have to determine if the 9/11 hijackers had any sponsorship or logistical support from hostile states before it can assess whether or not there was a CIA intelligence failure.

What UN diplomat, who currently resides in New York City, can clarify, if not resolve, this crucial issue for the Kissinger Commission?

Answer:

Hynek Kmonicek, the Czech envoy to the United Nations in New York.

Ambassador Kmonicek, prior to his appointment to the UN in October 2001, had been the deputy foreign minister of the Czech Republic. In that capacity, he directly dealt with the diplomatic problem that arose in April 2001 when a high-ranking official of the Iraqi government in Prague was reported by the Czech counterintelligence service to be in contact with a potential Islamic terrorist. The Iraq official under suspicion was its embassy second consul Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani.

What gave this matter urgency was that Consul al-Ani's immediate predecessor, Consul Jabir Salim, had revealed, after defecting to Britain, that his secret mission in Prague had been to organize a car bombing of the headquarters of Radio Free Europe, which in the center of the city. According to his debriefing, Bagdad had provided him with $150,000 to buy explosives and recruit a free-lance terrorist who would not trace back to Iraq.

Earlier that April, according to Czech counterintelligence service (BIS), Consul al-Ani met with a suspicious foreigner identified as a "student." If he was continuing Salim's mission, immediate action had to be taken.

On April 22, 2001, after both reviewing the intelligence material and questioning the chief of Iraq's chief of mission about al-Ani's activities, Kmonicek expelled al-Ani. It was the only time an Iraq official was expelled from the Czech Republic.

The Czech counterintelligence service later identified the foreign "student" as the same Mohamed Atta who had been involved in the attack on the World Trade Center.

Kmonicek is apparently familiar with the source of this intelligence finding. He stated in an interview with the Prague Post on June 5, 2002 that the Czech government had "collected detailed evidence of the al-Ani/Atta meeting." (He gave this interview after the New York Times had falsely reported that Havel had phoned Bush to express his doubts about the Atta meetingó a report which Havel then characterized as a pure "fabrication.")

Because of his knowledge of this case, Kmonicek is in a position to enlighten the Kissinger Commission on the following five questions:

1) What suspicions about al-Ani's activities led to his expulsion in from Prague on April 22, 2001?

2) What was the "detailed evidence" that led Czech counterintelligence to conclude that the individual al-Ani had met with was Mohamed Atta?

3) Since Al-Ani's expulsion was a publicized event, what information about it was requested by the U.S. State Department, which General Colin Powell had taken charge of two months earlier, or the CIA, headed by George Tenet, which had responsibility for intelligence about Iraq or Britain's MI-6 service, which was managing the debriefing of al-Ani's predecessor? If so, what details were provided, when were they provided, and to whom.

4) If Czech intelligence had determined that the foreign student had left the country soon after the meeting, did it inform any NATO intelligence service, including the CIA, about the suspect's departure so it could track his movements abroad? If so, when?

5) Had the Czech government offered to make the "detailed evidence" it had collected about the meeting available to the US State Department and CIA after September 11th? When General Powell was informed about the report of the meeting in late September, did he or his deputies, request further information? Did the CIA liaison request to see the dossier?


This is a totally commerce-free site. No charges, no advertising.
The webmistress June Eng can be reached
at june@jooon.com