a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Fine with me (but what will Amnesty International think?)

Posted by Thomas Nephew on December 17th, 2001

Guardian/Observer regulars Vulliamy and Burke claim Bin Laden videotape was result of a sting:

This weekend, as the debate the tape has provoked continued across the Islamic world, several intelligence sources have suggested to The Observer that the tape, although absolutely genuine, is the result of a sophisticated sting operation run by the CIA through a second intelligence service, possibly Saudi or Pakistani.

‘They needed someone whom they could persuade or coerce to get close to bin Laden and someone whom bin Laden would feel secure talking to. If it works, you have got the perfect evidence at the perfect moment,’ said one security source. ‘It’s a masterstroke.’

The article goes on to i.d. the chief “interviewer” as “Ali Saeed al-Ghamdi, a former assistant professor of theology at a seminary in Mecca”; yesterday’s New York Times disagrees, fingering the same speaker as Khaled al-Harbi, a now-legless veteran of Bosnia and Chechnya. Whoever had access to the Handycam of Kandahar, the rumor might be as good as gold: if OBL starts to wonder about every contact of his, that would be, as Martha Stewart says, “a good thing.” The Guardian’s participation in the ruse would be somewhat ironic.

One Response to “Fine with me (but what will Amnesty International think?)”

  1. » Blog Archive » Who smuggled al Harbi to bin Laden? Says:

    […] there is the “sting” angle I mentioned a few days ago — so take your […]

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