A Curious Specimen
13 August 2005



The high-minded man must care more for truth...

...than for what people think. - Aristotle, Ethics

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."

Poland's FAKT 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 worldwide.

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.

A. 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?

A. Litvinenko: 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?

A. 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?

A. 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.