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Let bin Laden Stay Free, Says Ex-Number Three. CIA Man Warns Capturing Most Wanted Terrorist Could Trigger New Wave of Terror Attacks

Posted: January 9, 2005 1:00 a.m. Eastern

Three years after the attack on New York's World Trade Center, the manhunt for Osama bin Laden has failed to produce the world's most wanted terrorist, and, according to the former No. 3 man at the CIA, that's just fine.

Former Central Intelligence Agency executive, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, has told the London Times that letting the al-Qaida leader run free may actually make the world a safer place.

"You can make the argument that we're better off with him (at large)," Krongard said. "Because if something happens to bin Laden, you might find a lot of people vying for his position and demonstrating how macho they are by unleashing a stream of terror."

Krongard, former head of Alex. Brown & Co., a Baltimore-based investment bank, came to the CIA in 1998 as then Director George Tenet's counsel. He was appointed executive director of the CIA in March 2001 by President Bush."

Krongard, 68, stepped down six weeks ago as the agency's third most senior executive following the appointment of Porter Goss as director.

Krongard sees bin Laden's role "not as a chief executive but more like a venture capitalist"Let's say you and I want to blow up Trafalgar Square," Krongard says. "So we go to bin Laden. And he'll say, 'Well, here's some money and some passports and if you need weapons, see this guy.' I don't see him keeping his fingers on everything because the lines of communications are just too difficult."

Krongard is the most senior official to date to publicly question the wisdom of capturing Osama. If his views are widely shared - and the London Times reports that other U.S. officials have privately said pinning bin Laden down on the Afghan-Pakistan border is preferable to making him a martyr or trying him - they represent a break with three years of official pronouncements about bringing him to justice.

The shift in thinking certainly reflects the difficulty the CIA has had getting inside Islamist groups. "There are hundreds and hundreds of cells -- it's like a living, moving bit of protoplasm," Krongard explains. "In order to penetrate you not only have to be language-proficient, you also have to commit acts that exceed criminality. It's very hard."

Only this week the U.S. re-stated its desire to capture the elusive bin Laden and more than a dozen other al-Qaida figures by placing a half page ad in the Urdu daily "Jang" promising millions of dollars in rewards. "All the information would be kept secret," the U.S. Justice Department advertisement promised.

Krongard continues. "He's turning into more of a charismatic leader than a terrorist mastermind. Some of his lieutenants are the ones to worry about."

Buzzy Krongard has been "of interest" to 9/11 conspiracy theories every since it was divulged that suspicious 'put' options  were made on American and United Airlines, as well as reinsurance agencies and financial institutions that stood to lose copious amounts of money if the Twin Towers were attacked.

"To the embarrassment of investigators, it has also emerged that the firm used to buy many of the `put' options ... on United Airlines stock was headed until 1998 by `Buzzy' Krongard, now executive director of the CIA." Krongard was chairman of Alex Brown Inc., which was bought by Deutsche Bank. "His last post before resigning to take his senior role in the CIA was to head Bankers Trust--Alex Brown's private client business, dealing with the accounts and investments of wealthy customers around the world." [U.K. Independent, 10/14/01]

Now, there was another man that is tangentially connected to 9/11 and Deutsche Bank.  His name is Kevin Ingram.

He was a high-flying trader with a taste for flashy cars, pretty women, and fast cash. But when Kevin Ingram turned his World Trade Center office into a money laundromat for alleged arms dealers, not even his powerful friends could save him--especially after the name Osama bin Laden came out in the wash.

Mr. Ingram was one of the most powerful black traders on Wall Street.  [Future Senator] Jon Corzine personally took him under his wing at Goldman Sachs.  But Kevin was passed over for a promotion in 1995, and didn't take it well.

In 1996 Ingram was tipped off by his gurus that he was unlikely to make partner that year, either. When his mentor Jacobson jumped to Deutsche Bank and offered him an opportunity to double his salary to $2 million, Ingram informed Mortara he was quitting. Sources say Mortara was furious; he had planned to push Ingram for partner in 1998. "Mike would have gone to the wall for him if he'd stayed and not screwed up," says [Sen.]Corzine.

And he screwed up at Deutsche Bank too.  Before long he was terminated, but not before he got a six million dollar parachute.

INGRAM WAS NOW POISED FOR A roll with Randy Glass. Glass, a 49-year-old from Boca Raton, Florida, with the affect of a Jewish Joe Pesci, was well known to Florida law enforcement officials. A putative jeweler who also went by the names Randy Goldberg and Randi Goodstein, Glass had bilked diamond and jewelry wholesalers in locales ranging from South America to Toronto out of $6 million. He'd also conned insurance companies by pretending he had been robbed... and in 1998 he suddenly found himself facing 13 federal charges, which carried a maximum penalty of 130 years.

Desperate to avoid jail, on December 2, 1998, Glass approached the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and said he knew someone involved with illegal arms deals. He agreed to cooperate with an ATF sting if prosecutors helped reduce his jail time.

Five days later Glass called a meeting with Diaa Mohsen, whom he identified to ATF agents as an arms dealer he had met two years earlier at the Taj Mahal casino in Las Vegas. A former Olympic long-jumper who speaks nine languages, Mohsen had been a US. citizen for 30 years; he claimed to be a lumber and commodities broker but he'd also worked as a ticket-taker at New Jersey's Meadowlands sports complex. Glass told Mohsen he knew army-base people who could supply him with artillery. Court papers say that Mohsen eagerly inquired about howitzers, grenade launchers, and surface-to-air missiles, and even asked if Glass could get hold of an MR2020, a nuclear-weapon component. The ATF affidavit says that Mohsen told Glass that a friend of Mohsen's--Mohammed "Mike" Malik--was negotiating with an individual who was seeking arms on behalf of an unnamed foreign country According to court papers, Mohsen says this individual wondered whether Glass would accept heroin as partial payment. By August, court papers say, Mohsen, Malik, and an individual named "Abbas" had flown down to Fort Lauderdale to inspect Glass's goods, which had been assembled by the ATF. Throughout the sting, Glass made tape recordings for the government, and he was talking one night with Diaa Mohsen, say court papers, when Mohsen suddenly said that the Taliban was seeking arms, too.

The question of how Glass would dispose of some of the $32 million in arms payments naturally arose. Mohsen suggested that Glass get in touch with Ingram, whom he'd met through their mutual car detailer, says a source close to Mohsen.

Ingram took his first meeting with Glass and Mohsen at the World Trade Center in June 1999, according to an ATF affidavit. Glass handed the fallen trader $100,000 in cash and told Ingram that the money was proceeds from illegal weapons sales. A paranoid Ingram asked Glass to "retract" the statement--perhaps suspecting that Glass was wearing a wire (which he was). Calming down, Ingram handed Glass a check for $91,000-- keeping $9,000 for himself as a commission.

It turns out that Mohammed 'Mike' Malik was the brother of a man suspected of laundering medicare money through his New Jersey based HMO and funneling it to Usama bin Laden.

And our new Homeland Security Chief was his lawyer.  

Yes, you read that right.

You can read about it here:

An most amazingly of all?  Mohammed 'Mike' Malik shares the same name and hometown as the infamous Mohammed Atta. (this appears to be a coincidence, albeit one of the huge varieties).

So, Buzzy says we shouldn't try to catch bin Laden?

Originally posted to on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 10:11 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  jeezus, (none)
    I feel dirty and my head is spinning. Excellent work bringing all those loose ends together into a web of arms dealing and money laundering.

    These are some truly vile people and it is terrifying how much power these greedy bastards have in the Bush Administration.

    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy--MLK

    by pacific city on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 10:19:48 PM PST

    •  Telling this story (4.00)
      is impossible in diary-length.

      But if you delve into the links, you might begin to get the big picture here.


      The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

      by BooMan23 on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 10:33:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  jeez (4.00)
    Scary stuff.  

    I don't capturing OBL will matter much either way.  The terror network has shifted to a much less centralized heirarchy.  Iraq is the new training ground, and they'll all go back and start their own movements in their own countries when their done their.  That's what CIA's been saying anyway.

    To his virtues be very kind, to his vices, very blind.

    by Descrates on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 10:48:03 PM PST

    •  No kidding (none)
      Mohammed al-amir wants to buy nuclear triggers and stingers etc. for the Taliban.

      His brother is suspected of skimming money from Medicare and giving to al-Qaeda.  He also runs MRI clinics and is cited by Atomic Energy Commission for misuse of radiological materials.

      Our homeland security chief was his lawyer.

      What more needs to be said about the state of our country?

      Can we recommend this?

      I mean, the former third ranking man in our own CIA is saying publicly that we shouldn't even TRY to catch bin Laden.

      The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

      by BooMan23 on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 10:56:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I could give a good goddamn WHAT his role was. (4.00)
     Osama Bin Laden is a conspirator in the death of 3000+ Americans in a series of actions over the 1990's and 2000's. The Iraq misadventure only served to let him stay free.

     If people want him to stay free, I consider them traitors. Someone should charge him and punish him appropriately for it.

    It's been a time, therefore, of illusion and false hopes, and the longer it continues, the more dangerous it becomes.- John Anderson

    by Anderson Republican on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 10:58:59 PM PST

    •  What about people (none)
      that are willing to say so to the press and not feel like he will be drawn and quartered by his neighbors?

      Especially after they find out that his former company was facilitating put options that amounted to gambling that the Twin Towers would be attacked before their contract was up?

      And then realizing that he has been in charge of protecting us from attack both before and after 9/11 (in his high ranking position in the CIA)?

      I mean?  What the fuck?

      And Porter Goss was having breakfast on 9/11 with the head of Pakistani intelligece.  When we discovered he had arranged for the wiring of $100,000 to Mohammed Atta through the UAE, we forced him to resign his post.

      And our new Homeland Security Chief was the lawyer for a man accused of skimming money to bin-Laden, and who's brother was using another former Deutsche Bank employee to launder money from arms sales.

      What kind of person feels like they can say bin laden should be left alone in such circumstance, and that they won't be decapitated in his driveway by dawn?

      Our country is fucked up.

      The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

      by BooMan23 on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 11:05:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh (none)
        and in case I just got some overly protective spooks upset?

        It's not a threat or incitement.  It's astonishment that Buzzy feels so free to say something so overwhelmingly unpopular without fear that he will upset anyone.

        Especially since he is already suspected by many of complicity in the attacks.

        The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

        by BooMan23 on Thu Jan 20, 2005 at 11:09:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Recommended (none)
    Thanks for this post.  It's excellent.  I boiled it down & posted a recap on my blog this morning (with credit).

    Should be front page.  

    •  Isn't Krongard (none)
      the one suspected of making money off of UAL stock dropping.

      With a big ol' lie And a flag and a pie And a mom and a bible Most folks are just liable To buy any line Any place, any time ~ FZ

      by f furney on Fri Jan 21, 2005 at 06:24:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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