By Wayne Madsen
WMR has obtained a confidential “France Only” report of the French intelligence service, Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure (DGSE), that states that the CIA and Britain’s MI-6 maintained effective control of an important Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan as late as 1995, fully two years after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, an attack that was launched with the help of Sudanese intelligence officers loyal to Osama Bin Laden. The CIA and MI-6 permitted control of training operations at Darunta, an “Arab Afghan” base located near the camp of Osama Bin Laden and used to manufacture explosives and chemical weapons and train in their use, to pass to the control of Ibn Cheikh, a Libyan leader of Al Qaeda.
The DGSE report, dated January 9, 2001, is classified “Defense Confidential” and “National (French) Use Only” states, “Besides the Maghreb enclave, the training at Darunta, which, for approximately 2 months, mainly involved the manufacture and the use of the explosives by terrorists. This training, initially provided at the camp of Khalden, in Paktia, was transferred during 1995, on the order of Ibn Cheikh, to Darunta, in order to slide [the training] from the control of the security services of certain countries, in particular the United States and the United Kingdom.”
Classified French DGSE intelligence report: Al Qaeda training camp passed from control of CIA to Bin Laden in 1995.
The report continues by stating that in 1998, the training was expanded to include the use of C-4 plastic explosives and different types of detonators (electric, acid, etc.). Training also included the use of homemade explosives (like improvised explosive devices killing so many in Iraq today) and poisons such as arsenic, cyanide, gas, diamond powder, nicotine, and ricin. After Al Qaeda took control of Darunta from the CIA and MI-6, the camp was used to train Al Qaeda operatives to launch a series of deadly attacks, including the November 19, 1995 attack on the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad, the 1998 attacks on the US embassy in Nairobi, the abortive Dec. 31, 1999 “Millennium” attack on Los Angeles International Airport by Algerian Ahmed Ressam, and the attack on the USS Cole.
In 1995, James Woolsey left as CIA Director and was replaced by John Deutch. Deutch’s deputy was George Tenet, who previously served in Bill Clinton’s National Security Council. The National Security Adviser was Tony Lake. George Tenet The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) was chaired by Larry Combest of Lubbock, Texas and 1995 was the year Porter Goss joined the CIA oversight committee. On November 12, 2002, only a week after winning his 10th term, Combest suddenly announced his resignation from the House. Goss took over the HPSCI gavel from Combest in 1997, after serving only two years on the committee. In 1995, the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was Arlen Specter, a person whose fingerprints, like those of Goss, have been all over shady intelligence operations since the early 1960s. CIA intelligence analyst Michael Scheuer formed the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit in 1996.
Two significant items emerge from the DGSE report. One is the fact that the CIA and MI-6 were dealing with a Libyan Al Qaeda member at the same time Libyan leader Muammar el Qaddafi had declared war on Al Qaeda. Unlike the United States, Libya issued an Interpol arrest warrant for Bin Laden on March 16, 1998. With this treasure trove of proof of U.S. (and British) support for Al Qaeda, Qaddafi had the U.S. and the neo-cons over the barrel. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Bush administration now considers Qaddafi (once branded as terrorist number one) to be a good friend.
Interpol arrest warrant for Bin Laden.
The other item is the training of Ahmed Ressam at Darunta. Bill Clinton’s National Security Adviser Sandy Berger was charged with removing classified documents from the National Archives concerning the Ressam bombing plot. The question remains — what were in these documents and did they have anything to do with the CIA’s fingerprints on the Darunta camp?