15 June 2009

Connecting dots with Ahmed Zuhair

What, no Monzer al-Kassar?  Hey, the guy is in the Federal Pen and only able to run his international concerns via his lawyer and outside contacts, meaning he is still in business, just setting up shop in jail.  Good deal, huh?

But this time it is not him that is the case in point but recent Gitmo releasee Ahmed Zuhair.  The LA Times goes over his release, but the sole interesting part is this:

The detainees were sent back to Saudi Arabia, their home country, where officials will review their cases before sending them to a rehabilitation program. One of them was identified as Ahmed Zuhair, a relatively high profile detainee who, has been protesting his detention since 2005 through a hunger strike and has been force-fed liquid nutrients.

During a hearing in Guantanamo in October 2004, Zuhair was accused of involvement in the 1995 killing in Bosnia-Herzegovina of William Jefferson, a U.S. official with the United Nations. At the tribunal, U.S. officials said Jefferson’s watch was found on Zuhair.

Zuhair also was convicted in absentia by a Bosnian court in a 1997 car bombing in the town of Mostar. He also allegedly told another detainee he was involved in the bombing of the U.S. destroyer Cole in 2000, according to evidence presented at a Guantanamo proceeding.

Ah, Bosnia, the ill-fated venture of President Clinton.  Now instead of going all Bosniak, I'm going to work out the standard FOAF network deal with Zuhair... what is a FOAF network?

As I've examined voluminously (via the Red Mafia, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Monzer al-Kassar and others individuals and organizations) the FOAF network is a trust based network.  It is a Friend Of A Friend network, in which someone knows someone who knows someone, until you get everyone in the US within 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon.  In the underworld, here more broadly including Transnational Terrorism along with organized crime, a FOAF network is one based on high degrees of trust between individuals within the network.  What this does is draws a very tight web of interconnections amongst disparate organizations and individuals that have a few individuals and organizations serving as a distributed set of nexus points: there is no one, key nexus point in the web, but a distributed set of highly interconnected actors.

With 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, any individual is not likely to be at the 6 degrees apart, and very few are at 0 degrees apart, since those are the direct friends, families and co-workers of Mr. Bacon.  In between are most everyone else in the country, but what shows up is that in the web of indirect contacts there are individuals that show up multiple times and become a 'nexus' as they know a lot of people.  Similarly in terrorism and organized crime there are nexus points that are individuals and well integrated groups of individuals who share contacts within the group, thus creating a group-based nexus point.

So Zuhair's affiliation with a local terrorist affiliate of al Qaeda puts him in direct contact with al Qaeda as a whole.  Further in the raid that picked him up there were papers linking the group outwards to other groups and individuals called the Golden Chain Document.  In examining another individual (here and here) the outward links from those documents to multiple individuals and groups comes up, and one of the individuals is part of the al-Bakri holding company, a family owned company.  That company owns Petronas, a Malaysian petroleum firm.

That firm was looking for oil in Kenya, of all places, and needed to do some exploration of the Lamu Peninsula while Raila Odinga was Oil Minister.  Now what happened is to Red Mafia types (the Artur Brothers) show up to chase a local drug kingpin in the peninsula to the Netherlands and kills him there... you know if they just wanted to take over part of the trade they could have just worked a deal... but the Red Mafia doesn't tend to do that at any level.  So Odinga invests heavily in the local National Oil firm plus a few others and Petronas comes in and the Artur Brothers set up a narcotics syndicate in Kenya.

Now during one of the nastier bits of Kenya's recent past, a newspaper was going to publish some very damaging bits on the ODM Party of Raila Odinga, about its connections to al-Bakri.  Strangely enough the Artur Brothers show up leading a police raid on the paper to destroy the information, and then have a lawyer put up for them by the al-Bakri subsidiary.

With me so far?

Ahmed Zuhair to al Qaeda.

al Qaeda to Abdulkader al-Bakri.

al-Bakri to Petronas, a subsidiary in a family held company so thus a zero degree separation internally to the al-Bakri organization which is cited as the one helping al Qaeda.

al-Bakri/Petronas to Raila Odinga.

The last connection is, of course, that Barack Obama's father came from the Luo tribe and Barack Obama, by his own account, was contacting Raila Odinga nightly while on the campaign trail.


Zuhair to al Qaeda.

al Qaeda to al-Bakri and, thus, Petronas.

al-Bakri/Petronas to Raila Odinga.

Raila Odinga to President Barack Obama.

Three degrees of separation between Ahmed Zuhair and President Barack Obama.

When you are looking for who has pull, you look at who they know.

No need to follow the money.

The relationships speak for themselves.


MGB said...

How naive you are.

A Jacksonian said...

MGB - What is naive about it?

This is the sort of connection network that shows up time and again between individuals within organizations in terrorism, organized crime and politics. It puts a known Red Mafia contact as a connection point to Hillary Clinton, gets direct contacts at the international criminal level with Obama and John McCain, and serves as a means to trace out how such things as the Argentinian bombings in the 1990's happened and how Hezbollah gained a presence there.

As an analytical tool it is a good one, and used repeatedly by journalists over decades. Of course I could also have followed the money trail which would go through the al Taqua banking structure in Europe to Nadhmi Auchi and thus to Obama. Really it is naive to not examine such links and how power plays out along multiple lines as it gives a first good contextual framework for understanding events and how they happen.

To not do so is to willingly blind oneself to how power works both at the personal and international scale.

That would be naive.