Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Question about last week's arrest of Louay Habbal

Who's Funding the Terrorists? is an article by Annie Jacobsen, the same woman who reported on unseemly behavior of Middle Eastern passengers on a flight she took between Detroit and Los Angeles. Many people reviled Ms. Jacobsen as an alarmist, a racist, and a demogogue.

Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mindhar

While the main thrust of the article is about companies that do business with states supporting terrorism, she opens the article by recounting this anecdote:

When cancelled checks written from the account of Her Royal Highness Princess Haifa -- wife of Prince Bandar, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States -- to a Saudi woman who was passing them directly to Al Qaeda agent Omar al Bayoumi were discovered, Her Royal Highness claimed a combination of naiveté and good intention. She thought she was giving the money to a needy Saudi woman living in San Diego (at the Princessly sum of $3,500 a month for four years). Instead, the funds were passed from the Saudi woman and her husband directly to al Bayoumi, the San Diego "host" of two of the 9/11 hijackers. We know now that al Bayoumi directed those funds into the accounts of his terrorist guests, Khalid al Mindhar and Nawaf al Hazmi, two of the men who flew flight 77 into the Pentagon as part of the 9/11 terror plot.

The Princess's account was held at Riggs Bank. Noting that Louay Habbal, the Vienna resident arrested last week for running an unlicensed money transfer service, was a former Managing Director, Middle East, with Riggs Bank, is the stated reason for his arrest the real reason?

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