Report: CIA suspects 12 Saudi businessmen of funneling millions to bin Laden
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is circulating to banks all over the world a secret list of twelve leading Saudi businessmen accused of continuing to funnel millions of dollars to Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, according to an ABC News report.
On Monday, the American network, citing unnamed United States officials, said the names of all 12 have been in the hands of the Saudi Arabian government for the period of the last nine months.
One of the men included on the list is Yassin al-Kadi, a multi-millionaire involved in banking, chemicals, diamonds and real estate, who, according to the report, denies sending any money to the Al Qaeda leader.
"To hear such an accusation had been put on myself, this is a complete mistake, a big one," al-Kadi told ABC News last year, in response to the idea he had financed bin Laden.
ABC quoted American officials as saying al-Kadi and other businessmen on the CIA list all have business and personal connections to the Saudi royal family. However, a spokesman for the Saudi government, Adel al-Jubeir, said Monday, that Washington and members of Congress had not provided any solid proof of such allegations. "I've seen a lot of charges but I'm seeing very little or no evidence," he said.
The CIA is currently tracking huge sums the 12 Saudis have allegedly been moving into accounts in Europe, Africa and Asia, the US channel said.
Yassin al-Kadi has been designated by the U.S. government as a foreign terrorist entity. Yassin al-Kadi is a Director of Global Diamond Resources, based in Nevada. Along with al-Kadi on the board of directors are representatives of the bin Laden family who invested in Global Diamond Resources a year before al-Kadi, who was introduced to the Johann de Villiers, Global Diamond Resource’s Chairman, by an executive at the Saudi bin Laden Group. In regards to the company’s decision to let al-Kadi join as an investor, de Villiers said, “I relied on the representations of the bin Laden family. They vouched for him.”
Earlier this year, it was reported that a recent government crackdown in Albania indicated that some businesses in the country may have links to the Al-Qaeda terror network. A project of al-Kadi to construct 15-story twin towers in central Tirana came under suspicion in this regard.
Ardian Visha, a spokesman for the Albanian Prosecutor-General's Office, said al-Kadi was suspected of laundering some $10 million in Albania for Al-Qaeda . The Albanian government had seized control of the site.
"In both buildings, a Saudi Arabian citizen named Yassin Kadi turned out to be the co-owner, contractor and customer [the one who ordered the buildings]. The Finance Ministry has charged him with money laundering, and he is suspected of having financed terrorist members of the Al-Qaeda organization," Visha was quoted as saying. "We have filed a request with the Tirana courts to temporarily confiscate this property and freeze any bank accounts this individual has in Albania." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)