Sheikh Ahmad Turki Zaki Yamani served as Oil Minister of Saudi Arabia (1962-86), OPEC Secretary General (1968-69), and as a former director of Saudi Aramco. Sheikh Yamani played a central role in the 1973 Arab oil shock.
But the Arab oil embargo wasn’t Sheikh Yamani’s only act of economic aggression against the West. If you accept the credibility of the Golden Chain document which named the financial sponsors of Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11, then Yamani is also culpable for funding Al Qaeda.
Additional background on both Yamani’s role in the embargo and the eventual discovery of the Golden Chain document comes to us from the website calibratedconfidence.com:
…The 1970s oil embargo is evidence enough that the U.S. economy is vulnerable to attack by politically motivated financial operators. BCCI [Bank of Credit and Commerce International] co-founder Sheikh al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi initiated the embargo as a way to retaliate against the United States for providing military aid to Israel, which had just fought a coalition of Arab states in a war that broke out in October 1973. As Sheikh al-Nahyan has said, the idea for retaliating against the United States with an embargo came to him in consultations with his BCCI co-founder, Abedi.
The details of the plan were worked out with Sheikh Ahmad Turki Yamani, then the Saudi minister of petroleum; and Sheikh Abdel Hadir Taher, the governor of the Saudi state oil company Petromin. Both of those Sheikhs were also shareholders in BCCI. And the mammoth oil profits that these Sheikhs earned from the embargo were, to a large extent, delivered to BCCI, which opened for business just before the embargo went into effect. It was, in fact, this new oil money that made BCCI a powerhouse in the world of finance and a giant criminal enterprise capable of plundering the U.S. economy throughout the latter half of the 1970s and the 1980s.
Henry Kissinger once said that the oil embargo was “one of the pivotal events in the history of the [twentieth] century.” Kissinger was not referring to BCCI, but the emergence of BCCI as destructive criminal element was certainly an important outcome. And it is not out of the question that some of the acts that BCCI subsequently perpetrated against the United States were, like the oil embargo, motivated to some extent by ideology and the by the resentment that the sheikhs felt as a result of the 1973 Arab war with Israel. After all, a principal tenet of both Salafi Islam (the brand of Islam subscribed to by the sheikhs behind both BCCI and the oil embargo) and radical Shiite Islam (subscribed to by a number of BCCI’s key executives) is that Muslims should fight their enemies by “plundering their money.”
Regardless of what the motives of BCCI’s founders were in the past, it is clear that most of them are, to this day, major players in the global financial system. They have more than enough firepower to inflict damage on the U.S. markets. And, as the French intelligence report noted, “directors and cadres of the bank [BCCI] and its affiliates, arms merchants, oil merchants, Saudi investors” have been among the most important financial supporters of America’s Enemy Number One – Al Qaeda.
By way of introducing just a few of the billionaire BCCI figures who support Al Qaeda, I need to relate a story about Benevolence International, the Al Qaeda front that was accused by the U.S. government of having contacts with people trying to obtain nuclear weapons for Osama bin Laden.
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In 2002, U.S. soldiers stationed in Sarajevo raided the local offices of Benevolence International and found a document that referred to the “Golden Chain” – an elite club of twenty Saudi billionaires whom Osama bin Laden had identified as his most important financiers. These financiers not only delivered large sums of money to the prospective nuclear weapons proliferators at Benevolence International, but can correctly be understood to have been among Al Qaeda’s founding fathers.
Some highly regarded authors, such as Steve Coll, who is otherwise quite reliable (though arguably a bit over-reliant on his Saudi sources), have suggested that the Golden Chain members funded Al Qaeda only in its early years. This is false. Most of them continued to support Al Qaeda after bin Laden declared war against the United States and after Al Qaeda carried out the 9-11 attacks.
The Golden Chain document has, meanwhile, received virtually no attention from the media, perhaps because it would seem a bit “crazy” to suggest that Al Qaeda is a movement whose most important operatives are not rag-tag fringe fanatics living in caves, but rather the crème de la crème of Saudi society – the people who control much of the world’s oil wealth, the people who own the most powerful manufacturing conglomerates, and the biggest Saudi banks, and the biggest hedge funds, and the biggest stock brokerages, and the Saudi stock exchange itself.
One of the names on the Golden Chain list? Sheikh Yamani himself. Yamani struck at us once through the Arab oil embargo. Is it so hard to believe that he would have attempted an encore performance by funding Osama bin Laden?