Is Al Qaeda a Kremlin Proxy?
By J.R. Nyquist
Last month a journalist friend in Poland sent me a translation of an
interview with FSB [KGB] defector Alexander Litvinenko. The following testimony,
offered by Litvinenko, was published by FAKT.
Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko (b. Voreonezh, 1962) served in the
counterintelligence agencies of the Soviet KGB, and after 1991, as a
counter-terrorism expert in the Central Staff of the MB-FSK-FSB (KGB successor
organizations). In 1997 Litvinenko served in one of the most secretive
departments of the Russian KGB -- the Department for the Analysis of Criminal
Organizations. He was a senior operations officer and deputy head of the Seventh
Section. Litvinenko defected from Russia and was granted political asylum by the
United Kingdom in May 2001.
In a July 2002 article titled Ayman
al-Zawahiri's Russian Adventure, I offered the following analysis:
"Given Zawahiri's travels to Russia and China, given the full context of
Russia's double game in Chechnya (described in last week’s column),
we ought to entertain the possibility that China and Russia secretly supported
the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11."
contacted Litvinenko after the London bombings last month and the following
conversation was reported:
FAKT: Alexander, who, in your opinion, is the originator of this
[London] terrorist attack?
A. Litvinenko: You know, I have spoken
about it earlier and I shall say now, that I know only one organization that
has made terrorism the main tool of solving political problems. It is the
Russian special services. The KGB was engaged in terrorism for many years, and
mass terrorism. At the special department of the KGB they trained terrorists
from practically every country in the world. These courses lasted, as a rule,
for a half-year. Specially trained and prepared agents of the KGB organized murders and
explosions, including explosions of tankers, the hijacking of passenger
airliners, strikes on diplomatic, state and commercial organizations
FAKT: Could you name ... some of the terrorists prepared at the
"special courses" of the KGB-FSB?
A. Litvinenko: The
bloodiest terrorists in the world were or are agents of the KGB-FSB. These are
well-known, like Carlos Ilyich Ramiros, nicknamed "the Jackal," the
late Yassir Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Adjalan (he is condemned in Turkey), Wadi
Haddad, the head of the service of external operations of the Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine, Hauyi, the head of the communist party of
Lebanon, Mr. Papaionnu from the Cyprus, Sean Garland from Ireland and many
others. All of them were trained by the KGB, received money from there,
weapons and explosives, counterfeit documents and a communication equipment
for carrying out of acts of terrorism worldwide.
FAKT: Some may object that each of the listed figures, and the forces
supporting them, were engaged in solving their own political problems.
Litvinenko: Certainly, all these figures and movements operated under
their own slogans; however, none of them especially hid their
"intimate" ... relationship with the Kremlin and Lubyanka. There is
a simple question: whether the Russian special services would train and
finance people and groups that were not supervised by Lubyanka and did not
serve the interests of the Kremlin? You understand perfectly, they would
not. Each act of terrorism made by these people was carried out as an
assignment and under the rigid control of the KGB of the USSR. And [the
terrorism] ... is not casual after the disintegration of the USSR and [reform
of the KGB]....
FAKT: Every terrorist you have named is from 'the old staff' of the
KGB. Could you name someone from recent history?
Certainly, here it is. The number two person in the terrorist organization al
Qaeda, who they are crediting with the series of explosions in London, Ayman
al-Zawahiri, is an old agent of the FSB. Being sentenced to death in Egypt for
terrorism and hunted by Interpol, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in 1998, was in the
territory of Dagestan, where for half a year he received special training at
one of the educational bases of the FSB. After this training he was
transferred to Afghanistan, where he had never been before and where,
following the recommendation of his Lubyanka chiefs, he at once ... penetrated the milieu of
bin Laden and soon became his assistant in al Qaeda.
FAKT: Could you hint at least, where this data comes from?
Litvinenko: I can. During my service in one of the most secret departments
of the FSB, top officials from the UFSB of Dagestan, who had directly worked
with Ayman al-Zawahiri ... were called to Moscow and received high posts.
FAKT: What can you say concerning the acts of terrorism in London ?
From what region and with what forces was this strike directed?
Litvinenko: In reply to this question I can definitely say that the center
of global terrorism is not in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan or the Chechen Republic.
The terrorist infection is spread worldwide from Lubyanka Square and the
Kremlin cabinet. And until the Russian special services are outlawed, dispersed and condemned, the terrorism will
never stop: bombs will blow up and blood will be shed. Terrorism has no
expiration date.... I would like to repeat, that all the terrorists, whom I
have named, were supported by the heads of the Soviet and Russian special
services - Yuri Andropov, Vladimir Putin, Nikolay Patrushev and others. These
people are the main terrorists.... And until we condemn them ... global
terrorism will continue.
Such was the FAKT interview with former FSB-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko.
Related to this, in 1998 I asked a former Russian intelligence official how
Moscow might successfully pull off a surprise nuclear attack against the United
States without suffering a devastating retaliation. He replied without
hesitation, saying: "If you ever hear that Arab terrorists have attacked an
American city with nuclear weapons don't believe it." The attack, he said,
would be from Russia.
Even now I don't fully understand how a proxy WMD
terrorist attack on the United States would be exploited. Exactly what is Moscow
trying to achieve? What is the strategic follow-up? I was told that a mass
missile strike on America would follow. I am reminded of San Renxing's recent
commentary on a secret Communist Party speech about China's plans to kill 100 to
200 million Americans: "Unable to believe in the existence of such
wickedness ... people would rather think the [war] 'speech' cannot be true
or it's not to be believed."
I will end this commentary with a quote
from the text of Viktor Suvorov's Spetsnaz.
[Widespread terrorist and sabotage operations in advance of
World War III] are known officially in the GRU as the "preparatory
period," and unofficially as the "overture." The overture is a
series of large and small operations the purpose of which is, before actual
military operations begin, to weaken the enemy's morale, create an atmosphere
of suspicion, fear and uncertainty, and divert the attention of the enemy's
armies and police forces to a huge number of different targets, each of which
may be the object of the next attack.
The overture is carried out by agents of
the secret services of the Soviet satellite countries and by mercenaries
recruited by intermediaries. The principal method employed at this stage is
"gray terror," that is, a kind of terror which is not conducted in
the name of the Soviet Union. The Soviet secret services do not at this stage
leave their visiting cards, or leave other people's cards. The terror is
carried out in the name of already existing extremist groups not connected in
any way with the Soviet Union, or in the name of fictitious organizations.