[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 133

NOVEMBER 12 1988

The commissioning and the inspiration for the bombing of Pan Am 103 came from the Iranians. They commissioned an operation against an American civilian airliner in revenge for the shootdown of the Iranian Airbus in the Gulf in July of 1988. The original commission was given to Jibril. His commission was frustrated because the West German unit that was to go against aircraft including American civilian aircraft was arrested. The CIA has evidence which indicates that Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani knew of the decision and supported it. It was not a rogue decision.”

Vincent Cannistraro – Former Head of the CIA Counterterrorism Center [1]

According to Vincent Cannistraro, soon after the PFLP-GC sentenced Ramzi Diab to death, Jibril sent a representative of his organization to Tripoli, Libya. Jibril wanted Gaddafi to help with the revenge bombing he had been contacted for by Tehran.

Ahmed Jibril

Ahmed Jibril

A meeting was held at the Libyan Intelligence Service, located on the outskirt of Tripoli. Major Abdel Salem Jaloud attended the meeting. Jaloud is a former Prime Minister and a man often described as Gaddafi second-in-command.

Beside Jalloud, Abdulllah Sanussi and other high ranking Libyan Intelligence officers attended the meeting. Sanussi was the Deputy Head of Libyan Intelligence.

According to investigative British journalist David Leppard, the most senior British police sources have confirmed this crucial meeting. They admitted that the information had been forwarded in real-time to MI6 headquarters at Westminster Bridge Road, in Lambeth, South London. But according to a senior police officer, the information was dismissed as a hoax.

“It is always easy to have the benefit of hindsight but at the time the things were much less clear. The CIA mole could have been a hoaxer.”

Nice Story But…

I find the above story extremely implausible. I consider beyond belief that despite the explicit threats from Tehran, the admitted knowledge that Jibril had been contracted to avenge the downing of an Iranian airliner, and the ongoing concerns regarding the type of radio bombs built by Jibril cell in Germany, neither the CIA nor MI6 deemed it necessary to investigate this intelligence seriously and simply dismissed it off-hand as a hoax.

Moreover, in 1988, Libya had ceased its support to Iran as part of a diplomatic effort to convince the West that Gadaffi had renounced terrorism.

In fact, just a couple of days after the alleged meeting, Jalloud visited Rome to announce that Libya had decided to renounce sponsoring international terrorism.

Because of these doubts, I contacted former CIA operative Bob Baer and Richard Marquise, the FBI agent who led the Lockerbie investigation. I asked them if they could confirm the allegation made by Cannistraro regarding the meeting between Jibril’s representative and Jalloud in Tripoli in mid November (1988).

The reply from Marquise reads as follows.

“The CIA said they would give us anything they could to help solve the case and even if the info was so sensitive, we would get it so we could turn the intelligence into evidence which COULD be used in court.

We knew there were meetings [2] and I do not think anyone could ever say when they happened (specifically) or what they discussed. […]

If someone makes an allegation and refuses to testify in court, that allegation is not and can never be evidence on its own.  If a criminal investigator can investigate the allegation and substantiate it — others heard the conversation or proof they traveled on the same plane or stayed at the same hotel — that becomes evidence and may help prove things.

However, 99% of the time, intelligence agencies have no burden of proof — something we had — cops and prosecutors.  So, as an intel guy, I can say anything and that makes it so.

Not true in the real world of evidence.  The CIA said they would give us all the intelligence to help make the case.  In the event someone in the US or UK Government had a smoking gun and did not give it to us, I would support their prosecution — even at this stage.  I just do not think these allegations have any merit.”

[The reply from Baer was quite interesting…]

“I have heard the story but have seen nothing to believe it is authentic,” Baer told me.

There is more…

In an article published by the Independent on Dec. 19 1990, Cannistraro told Leonard Doyle that the evidence linking the bombing of Pan Am 103 was discovered after he had left the Agency.

This raises three issues. Obviously, if the meeting between Jibril and Jalloud occurred in mid November 1988, then the CIA had the information pointing to Libya more than two years prior his retirement.

Secondly, the fragment of the MST-13 timer that led the investigators on the Libyan trail was “discovered-identified” by former FBI agent Thomas Thurman in June 1990. That is at least 6 months before Cannistraro retired from the CIA.

Finally, in early January 1989, just a few days after the tragedy, Edwin Bollier blamed Libya for Lockerbie in a letter sent to the CIA. Again, this happened two years before his retirement.

Final Twist

In Feb. 1992, in the aftermath of the indictment, Cannistraro told the New York Times that he had been informed by Arab intelligence agents in the Middle East that Gadaffi intended to announce the disappearance and possible kidnapping and execution of the two suspects.

“The Libyans have a plan to make the two disappear and then make it appear they had been kidnapped and never be found.”

The State Department could not confirm the story.

“I don’t know where the information supposedly came from, or why it was put out,” a spokesman, Richard Boucher, said.

Libyan judge Ahmed al-Zawi was investigating the Western charges against the suspects at the time. Judge al-Zawi immediately denied that they have disappeared or that they were dead.

“That is not true,” al-Zawi told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Eight years later, Megrahi and Fimah would appear at Camp Zeist for the Lockerbie trial…


1- Marquise pointed out that the title I have attributed to Cannistraro is incorrect. I have no doubt that Marquise is correct but I am unable to solve this issue at the moment. Most likely, Cannistraro was Deputy Head.

“Vincent Cannistraro was NEVER the head of the CTC–at best he was the deputy.  I saw him at one meeting in DC concerning Lockerbie that I recall and rarely dealt with him.  I usually dealt with his boss — THE head of the CTC.  Not Vince,” Marquise told me.

But, in a Letter to Senator McCain http://www.humanrightsfirst.info/pdf/051209-etn-cia-mcain.pdf, Cannistaro short biography can be consulted. It reads:

“Vincent Cannistraro is the former head of the CIA Counterterrorism Center and led the CIA’s investigation into the bombing of Pan Am 103. Since leaving the CIA in 1991, he has been a consultant on terrorism and national security issues. Prior to working for the CIA, Mr. Cannistraro was the Special Assistant for Intelligence in the office of the Secretary of Defense from 1987 to 1988, the Director of NSC intelligence from 1984 to 1987, and worked as a clandestine CIA officer in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.”

According to Frontline, Vincent Cannistraro went on to serve as chief of operations for the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and to lead the CIA’s investigation into the bombing of Pan Am 103.

2- A meeting between a member of Iran Islamic Revolutionary Guards and Jibril has indeed been acknowledged.

Washington Talk: Briefing; And Now, Iran-Contra — November 12, 1988

Court Rejects North Bid to Throw out Charges — November 12, 1988



This entry was posted in Cannistraro, Jibril, Lockerbie. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s