Sunday, July 4, 2021

The FBI, the CIA, Ali Soufan, and the War on Terror


The FBI, the CIA, Ali Soufan, and the War on Terror

Peter Schultz


            Ali Soufan has written a book, The Black Banners: Declassified: How Torture Derailed the War on Terror After 9/11, in which he delineates how the CIA’s reliance on torture and its interference with the FBI led to several terrorists attacks that would have become known and likely stopped if the Soufan and the FBI had been allowed to interrogate captured terrorists using proven, humane methods of interrogation.


            Some of those attacks, which happened because of the CIA’s reliance on torture and their banning of Soufan from interrogating the terrorists, are the following:


1.     An attack on the oil tanker, Limburg, on October 6, 2002, off the coast of Yemen, killing one and injuring 12, and spilling 90,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Aden.

2.     March 11, 2004 attack by al Qaeda Madrid’s train system, killing 191 and injuring around 1800 people.

3.     July 7, 2005 attack in London, killing 52 and injuring more than 700.

4.     October 1, 2005 attack in Bali, killing 20 and injuring more than 100.


The CIA had banned Soufan and the FBI from interrogating a major terrorist, KSM, tortured him and never got the intelligence that might have led to these attacks being prevented. As Soufan puts it: “Those of us in the FBI who had seen what had happened with Abu Zubaydah, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Liby, Qahtani, Ramzi Binalshibh, Karim, and others now had to sit on the sidelines as even more important al Qaeda terrorists were put into a program that didn’t work and created faulty intelligence.” [514] All of those named above had been providing the FBI with good intelligence until they were subjected to torture by the CIA.


Soufan is too polite to say so, but it should be remembered that the CIA had little to lose from successful terrorist attacks because they knew such attacks, which they would write off as impossible to stop given their existing resources, would eventually lead to more power for the CIA. So not only did the CIA not have much to lose when terror attacks succeeded; they also had much to gain. So long as the war on terror is ongoing, the CIA is going to prosper both financially and politically.



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