Why was I named in alleged al-Qaida letters last week as a recipient for documents about 9/11?

Al-Qaida was not founded by Osama bin Laden, as many wrongly believe, but in the mid-1980’s in Peshawar, Pakistan, by a revolutionary scholar, Sheik Abdullah Azzam.

I know this because I interviewed Azzam numerous times at al-Qaida HQ in Peshawar while covering the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan. Azzam set up al-Qaida, which means “the base” in Arabic, to help CIA and Saudi-financed Arab volunteers going to fight in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. In those days, the west hailed them as “freedom fighters.”

In letters allegedly captured by US special forces from bin Laden’s compound, Al-Qaida’s public relations people cited me and 19 other western journalists as potential recipients of new documents about the 9/11 attacks on the US.

No surprise there. I’ve followed al-Qaida for the past 26 years as a writer, broadcaster and military consultant. My columns are read widely across South Asia and the Gulf. I have a reputation for being fiercely independent-minded and determined to get at the truth, no matter how unpopular.

The big US news networks heavily censored al-Qaida’s statements on government orders, or misreported them, complete with fake videos of bin Laden.

The report cites redoubtable British writer Robert Fisk, the New Yorker’s ace investigator Seymour Hersh, ABC News investigator Brian Ross, and me as journalists who reported fairly and accurately on the region.

All of us veterans have tried to report facts honestly and cut through propaganda from all sides. We have all been strong critics of al-Qaida and terror attacks, but also critics of heavy-handed, often counter-productive US and western policies in the Muslim world.

As these letters shows, Al-Qaida was never the vast, worldwide terror organization that President George W. Bush claimed. As I witnessed, it was always tiny, no more than 200 men. Al-Qaida’s original goal was to fight the mostly Tajik and Uzbek Afghan Communists and their Soviet masters.

Al-Qaida became an ally of Taliban in this anti-Communist struggle. But Taliban had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. As the renowned journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave reported from Afghanistan, Taliban’s tribal chiefs tried to oust firebrand Bin Laden from their nation.

Today, what’s left of al-Qaida numbers no more than 25 men in Afghanistan, according to US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Yet President Barack Obama cites the alleged al-Qaida “threat” as the reason for keeping US forces in Afghanistan and keeping Pakistan under semi-occupation. That was the real purpose for releasing these letters. Al-Qaida has become an integral part of US politics.

Al-Qaida is being used as a bogeyman by America’s Republicans to defend bloated US military spending and defend torture as having led to finding bin Laden. My sources tell me a huge bribe led the US to bin Laden, not torture.

The Pentagon has been leaking so-called information claiming bin Laden was planning a wave of terror attacks just before he died. In fact, bin Laden had become an isolated, powerless jihadi living in retirement when he was killed.

Why was he not brought back to the US for trial?

An open trial would have finally allowed Americans to discover the truth about the crime of 9/11, al-Qaida, and anti-Americanism in the Muslim world. Tragically, this did not happen. Dead men tell no tales..

We still don’t know how much bin Laden was involved in 9/11, or if it was hatched in Pakistan. My own understanding is that 9/11 was planned in Hamburg and Madrid, and executed by mostly Saudi citizens.

Al-Qaida lives on after bin Laden, but as a tiny bunch of western-hating militants with no power and little ability to stage major attacks. Violent anti-American groups from West Africa to Indonesia have adopted the title al-Qaida. For example, al-Qaida in Iraq never existed before the US invasion.

It’s like the slaves in the film “Spartacus” crying out, “we are all Spartacus.”

These stepsons of al-Qaida are not centrally linked and have nothing in common except for opposing western domination of the Muslim world and espousing religious law. As US intervention in Africa and Central Asia intensifies, so will they spread. It’s a perpetual terrorist motion machine.
copyright Eric S. Margolis 2012

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13 Responses to “Osama’s Almost Letter To Me”

  1. DukeNukem says:

    I did.
    With due respect, never is a very long time.

  2. weresteve says:

    Why was he not brought back to the US for trial? Because the US was afraid he would talk and the truth about the World Trade Centre would come out. The close ties between the oil mogul Bin Laden and Bush families who conspired together to get rid of their oil rival Saddam Hussein who wouldn’t sign a favourable oil deal with them would be more completely investigated. To get rid of Hussein, these families needed to swing public opinion behind them to get moral sanction for an American invasion of Iraq. What better way to get it then by having a notable American landmark destroyed by “terrorists” supposedly from Iraq.

    Bush’s brother had control of the World Trade Centre for a period of time shortly before September 11. Curiously, he shut down the entire World Trade Centre security system for one whole weekend – enough time to smuggle in lethal explosive devises that were planted on almost every floor. Big as an aeroplane is, it is not heavy enough to cause the collapse of structures that size so solidly built. The most that could have happened if these devises were not planted is that the plane would have sank a few floors before being halted by the sheer weight of the buildings.

    Watch the buildings collapse closely. If you look carefully, you will see little puffs of white smoke emitted from every floor, one beneath the other as the timed devises explode and the buildings collapse. The buildings don’t fly apart but come down in an orderly manner like they were being taken down by a professional demolition company.

    No successful terrorist attack has been made against the United States except during the Bush administration. Every other attempt – the FLQ trying to blow up the Statue of Liberty, other attempts against the World Trade Centre for example – have been pitiful failures. The reason this one succeeded is because government officials at the highest level permitted it and were part of the conspiracy. Bush and Bin Laden wanted to invade Iraq to seize its oil, not fight terrorism. Bush talked about getting Iraq even before he was elected. His own election is questionable because of the disqualifications of black voters in Florida. Killing Bin Laden when he could have been easily captured helps ensure that a proper investigation of Bush will never happen and that the truth about the World Trade Centre will be continued to be covered up.

    • Some Canadian says:

      I wonder how much USA actually profited from this Sarajevo incident. It probably didn’t, although its interest groups (weapons, energy, and mercenary companies) probably did.

  3. usamah khan says:

    thumbs up..well crafted article sir.I think you re right, one day US government and media( supporting govt. for their wrong deeds) will realise that they had done some thing really ridiculous n they re the cause of all this terrorism in the whole world…especially in Afghanistan,Iraq and Pakistan.To be honest I don’t know about Afghans n Iraqis but I know my nation they re not the terrorist at least.
    We re fighting against terrorism from almost 10 years and we have suffered a lot..our NWFP province’s (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) people re really brave who re still fighting exceptionally well against these small number number of terrorists who re getting financial aid from US n India that’s why they re so effective here in destructing our infrastructure n killing our innocent people..Some of these suicide bombers re our own people who’s children n parents re killed by US through drone attacks.These bombers re regularly targeting our people because our government is alliance to US.So due to this all our nation hates US and I think logically they should have to…

    And you already now that in US the Jewish lobby is very much effective. So in short this all games including 9/11 incident is planned by US n Israel.

    and one thing more sir…let’s suppose that Osama Bin Laden was a terrorist..I have the same first name Usamah…n other people having same name often feel problems in living Europe or US.Why this all behaviour?. It is so because you have same name like of a terrorist…so having the same name makes you terrorist as well? what’s this logic is ? does it make any sense? Infact I did not get that…

    At the end hats off to you sir once again for your work.stay blessed

    Usamah Mahmood Khan
    Student of BS Computer Engineering

  4. DukeNukem says:

    A statement such as “My opinion will never change” speaks volumes.
    I will read what Mr Eric and many others have to say and my opinion will be shaped by the facts as they come to light.
    With respect, intellectual intransigence does not a virtue make.

    • menosh says:

      @DukeNukem- Did you view the posted video?I would think this alone speaks volumes and this is precisely why I will not change my opinion re-9/11.How can any sensible person dispute the authenticity and content from the video….it clearly brings out the facts.This video just makes too much sense.I suppose if one wants to “see” the other side of the coin,they will quickly find out for themselves that there simply is NO credible other side.I say this with due respect.

      • Some Canadian says:

        I’ve seen several videos of the like before and I’d say, while they are highly compelling, many take a “reverse science” approach where one arrives with a conclusion first and then tries to fit the observations in a way to support it.

        With that said, I am quite suspicious of what actually happened to WTC, but my stance is far from unmovable.

        “Keeping an open mind” doesn’t necessarily mean to always look out for a view alternative to the official story, but that it is the ability to adapt one’s view depending on the facts involved. Hope you realize that.

  5. Someone Else says:

    @menosh: you touch upon parts of the truth.

    Are we to believe that it took the world’s most powerful and technically advanced country 10 years to find a barefooted
    6ft+ Arab riding on a donkey and hiding in caves? Come on!
    How stupid they must think people are.
    The fact is OBL had been dead for years. His “televised” death
    last year was nothing more than a publicity stunt. His ghost
    was kept alive for political purposes.
    Also, even Margolis is apparently unable to reveal the whole
    truth. There is no such thing as “Al-Qaida”. It does not exist,
    at least not in the sense of a genuine Islamic resistance
    movement. Al-Qaida (aka Al-USA) is an American-made phantom
    organization. It was created, and is funded and directed by the

    As for 9/11: it is obvious. In any man-made disaster or catastrophe, you have to ask yourself who benefited the most.
    Those who benefited the most are the most likely suspects.

  6. As I have said before there is but one truth in the imaginary war on terror, “The only time we are not being lied to, is when we are being deceived.” I now get almost all my world news from Aljazeera because they are the only news agency who talks about what the American and Canadian media are desperately trying to conceal, the American massacre at Falujah, how the so called self confesses 9-11 mastermind was tortured for 3 years, and denied even the most basic legal rights. The list is endless. We now have the media of Robocop. Keep it up Eric.

    • Some Canadian says:

      Interestingly, there are also many that think Al-Jazeera is not to be trusted because it is too pro-West 🙂

      Personally, I consider the Chinese media outside of the PRC to be pretty objective when it comes to critiquing the West.

    • I find the 24 hour Russian News network RT, available on most cable and satellite systems, offers a credible antidote to Western propaganda.

  7. My understanding that bin Laden had $300,000,000 as a share of his wealth from Saudi Arabia, which was a major source of the funding for the terrorist activities. With his death, where did the money go? And how are they able to finance these training camps, munitions, travel, bribes and whatever to exist as a credible threat?

  8. menosh says:

    A superbly written article if I ever read one in regards to the mass lies and propaganda being spewed by the US media to appease their political masters in Washington,who in fact, keep conflict ongoing to keep the mighty military industrial complex in full swing enriching even more the ones who have already profited from wars in the past and present.I especially admire Mr. Margolis’ stance on being fiercly independently minded and determined to cut the propaganda and the needless murder of innocent people largely in the Middle East.It really doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out previous false flag operations committed by Washington who have blood on their hands where ever they stick their damn noses.One day in the near future the entire truth from 9/11 will emerge once and for all….as a matter of fact a hell of a lot of intelligent people have already unraveled all the lies that followed that tragic day back in 2001.My opinion is that 9/11 was deliberately allowed to happen with full knowledge by certain figures in Washington DC, and my opinion will never change.Below is a video clearly outlining and explaining this tragedy and why it couldn’t have happened the way the American people (and the world) were told it did.One bloody lie after another from the “Official report”….which,in reality,is nothing but the “official Lies”.

    Having said this my hat’s off to Mr.Margolis for having the courage to take on the system and may he continue his fine form of honest journalism as long as it takes so that everyone who has lost someone as a result of these past atrocities,will wake up and cry out even louder…and louder….and then louder,so that the those who knew about these atrocities and allowed them to take place, will get their justice.Nothing less should be accepted by the American people.Bravo Mr. Margolis!

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