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News ::
That Mysterious bin Laden Group (english)
19 Feb 2003
A brief history of Osama's family's interets.

Much has been made so far about establishing a second front with which to invade Iraq. However, it’s rarely addressed that Turkey has in fact invaded their neighbor annually for about ten years now. Actually, Turkey presently has over one hundred tanks inside Iraq “protecting” the Turk-administrated oil fields in the U.S.-designated Kurdish zone. And mind you, the United States has promised to let the “Turkmen” (yes, “Turkmen”) keep these fields after the war.
But what about Saudi Arabia? Well for starters, this country—like Turkey—has difficulty maintaining an uneasy peace between the left and right wing factions within its borders. Moreover, the Saudis—again like Turkey—have the same need to keep the Kurds in check. However, there is also the nagging question of just how much does the Saudi government really want to fight terrorism?
Might there be something more to this picture? After all, the FBI has recently established that Los Angeles-based Saudi diplomats distributed $150,000 to help Al-Queda members establish “American” (United States) residency prior to 9-11. Such help to the World Trade Center “terrorists” consisted of getting Social Security numbers and flight school instructions (per: In These Times Magazine).
There are other murky connections also. Recently, the Prince Saudi Air Base—the hub of the U.S. intelligence command in Saudi Arabia—added a security upgrade to its parameter. What people here don’t know is that the contract for this Saudi-financed renovation went to a company called the bin Laden Group. In fact, the U.S. military has had this firm build barracks and airstrips as well. One of the biggest companies in Saudi Arabia, it employs over 40,000 people worldwide. And though huge, it keeps a low profile and almost never advertises. (Presently, however, it is looking to hire a public relations firm in London.) And although the Group claims no connections to Al-Queda or Osama (the youngest member of the family), that is hard to prove. For as the bin Laden Group is a family-run private organization, it doesn’t publish financial reports or information about which family members have full equity on the business. (per: MSNBC) Nonetheless, the FBI has recently subpoenaed the family’s banking records (though it’s uncertain if these documents have been delivered). However, the firing on a U.S. Air Force jet at Prince Saudi Air Base with an Al-Queda surface-to-air missile in early January makes one wonder. For how was Al-Queda able to breech this new defense parameter that the bin Laden Group had just finished?
Also at question is: How did the bin Laden Group get involved in the infamous 1979 Mecca Affair? At that time, the company was involved in renovating the Holy Mosque of Mecca when 167 Sunni Muslim fundamentalists called “The Syrian Moslem Brothers” barricaded themselves inside. (The bin Laden Group has always had exclusive rights to renovating all Holy Places in Saudi Arabia since its inception and even did similar work in Jerusalem until1967.) Defense forces initially couldn’t get into the Mosque through its labyrinth of underground tunnels because the bin Laden Group had the plans. Only after getting the plans could government forces lay siege. But after they did, 27 Saudi soldiers and 100 rebels were killed. (Sixty-seven rebels were later beheaded.) Saudi officials later found that the weapons were brought into the Mosque on bin Laden Group trucks that were under the management of Marhous bin Laden at the time. Marhous was later arrested, but through his connections with King Abdul Aziz and the royal family, was later released.
Then there is the mysterious death of Salem bin Laden in Texas in July, 1977. Because no flight plan was submitted, no one can tell where he was coming from or where he was going when the plane he was piloting crashed. The results of subsequent investigations by the FBI and the FAA have never been released. What was the Texas connection?
Oddly (or not), one of the bin Laden Group’s biggest consultants until October 26, 2002 was President George H.W. Bush. Working with a lot of his White House staff for a low-profile consulting and investment firm called the Carlyle Group of Washington D.C., this merchant bank with billions of dollars in assets wrestled for building contracts in behalf of the bin Laden Group and this Saudi family, in return, invested a large part of their fortunes in the United States. Yes, even the Wall Street Journal called this relationship “a conflict of interest.” And when the WSJ asked if the President had ever been to the bin Laden family’s head offices in Saudi Arabia, an aide for the President said that “he could only recall going there once.”
So the big dilemma is this: The more the United States fights terrorists, the richer the bin Laden family gets. And only the Lord knows how much the Bush family made on these deals thus far. But obviously, the hunt for Osama bin Ladden has made at least two royal families wealthier.
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