Oct 31 2009
One of the well connected Islamo Fascists that was on the inside of the Hamburg cell of al Qaeda, which in turn became the 9-11 highjackers, is Said Bahaji – a German citizen of Moroccan decent.
He came toÂ Hamburg in 1995. He enrolled in anÂ electrical engineering program at a technical university in 1996. He spent five months in the German army and then received aÂ medical discharge. He lived in a student home during the weekdays and he spent weekends with his aunt, Barbara Arens. Both of them loved computers, and he called her his “high-tech aunt”. She saw that he was secular until other students introduced him to radical Islam. She later put an end to the weekend visits.
OnÂ November 1,Â 1998, he moved into an apartment in Germany with future hijackersÂ Mohammed Atta andÂ Ramzi Binalshibh. TheHamburg cell was born at this apartment. They met three or four times a week to discuss their anti-American feelings and plot possible attacks. Many al-Qaida members lived in this apartment at various times, including hijackerÂ Marwan al-Shehhi,Zakariya Essabar, hijackerÂ Waleed al-Shehri, and others. He apparently served as the group’sÂ Internet expert.
He fled to Pakistan one week before 9/11, where his trail was just picked up by the Pakistan forces clearing out the hornet’s nest that is South Waziristan Agency:
The suspected 9/11 plotter whose German passport was found in a mud hut in western Pakistan this week has not been in touch with his family for two years, his mother, Anneliese Bahaji, said in an telephone interview Friday.
The suspect, Said Bahaji, a German citizen whose father is Moroccan, is believed to have been the main logistics supporter of the 9/11 attackers, paying their rent and telephone bills. The Pakistani military said it found his German passport five days ago in a mud hut in the village of Sherwangai in South Waziristan, during a search operation.
To me this is a good sign that Pakistan, US, NATO, Afghan forces are circling the last remnants of the al Qaeda brain trust and that we may finally get our hands on some long sought targets. Since being pushed out of Afghanistan, it has been my contention al Qaeda has been holed up in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Not long after we invaded Afghanistan, Pakistan experienced a wave of expanding militancy which had spread into the North West Frontier Province and the Swat region there. But over the last few years the Pakistanis and local tribes have pushed the the Taliban and their allies out of the NWFP and out of the eastern agencies of the FATA (click map above for more detail).
With drone attacks from the US forces surgically taking out top Taliban and al Qaeda leaders, the US, NATO and Afghan forces have spread a cordon across the Afghan-Pak border along the norther edge of FATA and NWFP. The Pak forces have been sweeping from East to West, with forces Southwest blocking of mass exodus in that direction.
Of course, small numbers of people can sneak through any attempt to blockade and purge a region this size. Just melding in with the refugees can work.
This evidence, however, is a clear indication we may be marching to the big nest of bad guys. The violent responses in Pakistan to the military actions indicate we have some kind of wounded animal trapped in this region. Hopefully we will see the end of some major bad guys.
Update: More from the WSJ -
A German passport belonging to Said Bahaji, a close associate of Sept. 11 lead hijacker Mohammed Atta in the 2001 attacks, was among documents recovered this week by Pakistani troops from an abandoned militant compound in Shawangai.
The mountain village in South Waziristan was used as an al Qaeda and Taliban command base until as recently as this week, a military official said. Pakistani forces recovered other documents, including a Spanish passport, that indicated the possible presence of other European nationals in the area.
Pakistani forces captured Shawangai after days of fighting, in which some militants were killed and many others escaped. Army officials said they didn’t know whether Mr. Bahaji was killed or fled — or whether he was ever in the South Waziristan region.
I doubt this passport has been just sitting around in a pile of documents since 2001, it had to be associated with some leadership group.
Update: The Pakistanis appear to be heading into Taliban center here soon:
Pakistani security forces killed 33 more militants during the last 24 hours, bringing the total fatality to over 300, as the operation in the country’s tribal area steadily progressed towards the Taliban strongholds in South Waziristan, the army said Saturday in a daily press release.
The army said four soldiers of the security forces were injured in clashes in the last 24 hours during the ground assault in various areas in the tribal agency near the border with Afghanistan.
In the operation coded as Rah-e-Nijat, or path of salvation, the security forces have commenced an important phase of operation on all three axes, said the statement.
On Jandola-Sararogha axis the important stronghold of Sararoghahas been surrounded from three sides, on Shakai-Kaniguram axis, Karama has been encircled and clearance of Kaniguram has commenced and on Razmak-Makeen axis the security forces have reached the outskirts of Makeen, the army said.
Fingers crossed we finally get some big named terrorists. Hopefully President Obama will blame President Bush for these events as well.