by Gordon M. Hahn
Three years ago I wrote an article revealing details of a spring 2000 Al Qa`ida (AQ) plot to hijack an airliner taking off from Frankfurt, Germany preferably flying to the U.S. (https://gordonhahn.com/2015/02/03/chechnyacaucasus-cells-in-europe-are-two-decades-old-the-chechen-republic-of-ichkeriya-and-the-2000-aq-frankfurt-airline-hijacking-plot/). The documents upon which the article was based revealed at least one like organizer and perhaps two organizers of the 9/11 attacks on Washington and New York. My article was based on documents made public through a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request; a DIA report written in the wake of 9/11 on intelligence regarding the Frankfurt plot (www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/document-analysis-of-al-qaeda-plot-to-hijack-plane-in-frankfurt-germany/). The DIA report is based on a Russian-language summary of eight AQ letters translated from Arabic and showed the Chechen Rrepublic of Ichkeriya militants’ deep involvement with AQ; something denied by all Russia analysts in Washington and elsewhere at the time and long afterward until my books—Russia’s Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007) and The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin (MacFarland Publishers, 2014)—made persisting in the charade untenable for many.
The 2000 Frankfurt airliner hijacking plot was to be perpetrated by a team consisting of an Arab, a Pakistani, and a Chechen between March and August 2000. Divergent interests among the various groups along with an EU statement in spring 2000 condemning Russian military actions in Chechnya scuttled the plot. The ChRI leadership withdrew from the plot once the EU declaration was made. At the time, the second post-Soviet Chechen-Russian war was at its peak.
According to the DIA IIR’s description of the AQ letter dated March 15, 2000 pinpoints the leader of the operation as 40-year old Saudi citizen, one Sheikh Dzabir, who traveled to Chechnya in mid-April 2000 to coordinate matters. Dzabir is identified as the son of Sheikh Muhamet Dzabir, who, according to the report, is “the president of a shura and advisor to the royal family,” “sends a lot of money to the Taliban, the Chechens, and the Tajik opposition,” “advocates the promotion of Wahhabism,” resides in Afghanistan, and is an “active member” of AQ and the Islamic World Front. Traveling to Chechnya on the well-known terrorist transport corridor to Chechnya running through Pakistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan (and Georgia) on a Pakistani passport, Dzabir “met with Chechen leaders and commander Hatap” (Ibn al-Khattab, born Thamir Saleh Abdullah Al-Suwailem). Khattab is the infamous AQ operative who fought on various fronts of the global jihad, and in 1995 went to Chechnya where he set up a series of training and indoctrination camps and formed a small army of combined foreign, Chechen, and other North Caucasian mujahedin. “According to one of the sheikh’s translators,” Sheikh Dzabir was “very pleased” with the mid-April trip to Chechnya” (www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/document-analysis-of-al-qaeda-plot-to-hijack-plane-in-frankfurt-germany/ and www.judicialwatch.org/bulletins/frankfurt-hijacking-plot-by-bin-laden-in-2000/).
Several facts suggest that the same Dzabirs would have been operatives involved in perhaps financing and coordinating aspects of the 9/11 plot. First, both the Frankfurt and 9/11 involved Arab jihadists who were to carry the operations. Second, the timing of the Frankfurt plot just months before 9/11 and its cancellation suggests that the Dzabirs would have logically moved on to the 9/11 plot once Frankfurt was cancelled. Third, the similarity of the plots, involving airplane hijackings and targeting the U.S., also suggests a common fingerprint. Although the Frankfurt plot was described as a hijacking in order to secure concessions from Moscow on Chechnya, this could have been a cover story with the Arab and perhaps other operatives on the plane planning to commandeer the planes as did the 9/11 terrorists. There have been reports that some of the 9/11 hijackers did not know their operation was a suicide operation.
So we should not be surprised to see Sheikh Muhamet Dzabir and or his son as figures in the 9/11 plot if and when the 28 missing pages are declassified and made public.
The AQ letter dated March 15, 2000 decribes “increased activity by Arabs, Chechens, and Taliban members in Germany” and a plot to be carried out by “three individuals” – “(o)ne Arab, one Pakistani, and one Chechen” – by hijacking a U.S. or European airliner flying to the U.S. or Asia. According to the report’s description of an April 28th letter, meetings between Arabs and Chechens continued to discuss this problem, with “(t)he position of the Chechens” now being described as “unclear.” This letter also contained information that “a Chechen living in Afghanistan is working closely with the hijackers,” “has good contacts” in the five former Soviet Central Asian states, and “frequently facilitates contacts between various leaders of Islam in Central Asia and Arabs in Afghanistan.” Guns for the hijackers would be purchased in Central Asia (www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/document-analysis-of-al-qaeda-plot-to-hijack-plane-in-frankfurt-germany/ and http://www.judicialwatch.org/bulletins/frankfurt-hijacking-plot-by-bin-laden-in-2000/).