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