UQ Wire: Atta In Elite US-German Exchange Prog.

Published: Wed 14 May 2003 10:03 AM
VENICE, FL—April 24
by Daniel Hopsicker
MadCowMorningNews World Exclusive!
IMAGE: CDS = Carl Duisberg Society
For at least four years while living in Hamburg during the 1990’s terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta was part of a 'joint venture' between the U.S. and German Governments, the MadCowMorningNews has learned, an elite international “exchange” program run by a little-known private organization with close ties to powerful American political figures like David Rockefeller and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
The jointly-funded government effort picked up the tab for Atta on sojourns in Cairo, Istanbul, and Aleppo in Syria during the years 1994 and 1995, as well as employing him as a “tutor” and “seminar participant” during 1996 and 1997.
Moreover Atta’s financial relationship with the U.S.—German government effort may even extend back to his initial move from Egypt to Germany in 1992, after being “recruited” in Cairo by a mysterious German couple dubbed the “hijacker’s sponsors” in a recent news account in the Chicago Tribune.
Mohamed Atta, before becoming a ‘terrorist ringleader,’ enjoyed the patronage of a government initiative, known as the “ Congress-Bundestag Program," overseen by the U.S. State Department and the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the German equivalent of the U.S. Agency for International Development busy currently supervising the secretive bidding race for tens of billions of dollars of post-war reconstruction contracts in Iraq.
All The News That Fits...Under The Rug
News that Mohamed Atta had been on the payroll of the elite international program surfaced in a curious way just a month after the 9/11 attack: a brief seven-line report by German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Oct. 18, 2001, under the headline “ATTA WAS TUTOR FOR SCHOLARSHIP HOLDERS.”
The story quoted spokesmen for “ Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft,” described as a “German international further education organisation,” as having admitted paying Hamburg cadre principal Atta as a “scholarship holder” and “tutor,” between 1995 and 1997.
But what makes the story curious is that the German paper concealed the shocking implications of their story—-that Mohamed Atta had been on the payroll of a joint U.S.-German government program—-through the simple expedient of neglecting to mention that the “Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft” was merely a private entity set up to administer the "exchange" initiative of the two governments.
The U.S. end of the program is run out of an address at United Nations Plaza in New York by CDS International. The letters stand for Carl Duisberg Society, also the name of its German counterpart in Cologne, the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft. Both are named for Carl Duisberg, a German chemist and industrialist who headed the Bayer Corporation during the 1920’s.
The list of elite power brokers backing CDS International ranges from the aforementioned Kissinger and Rockefeller to former President Bill Clinton and other Democratic heavyweights like former First Lady Hillary Clinton and Clinton White House adviser Ira Magaziner.
One Reason Kissinger Bowed Out
Kissinger, to cite just one example, had at one time addressed over 100 international business leaders at an anniversary dinner organized and celebrating CDS International held at the River Club of New York June 2, 1987.
Kissinger congratulated CDS International on its 20 years of service in keeping close business ties, not only between Germany and the United States, but more recently through career development programs for participants from other countries as well.
Five years later, Mohamed Atta became one of these participants from "other" countries.
Then-President Bill Clinton also found a lot to like about CDS International. During his visit to Germany to commemorate the Berlin Airlift he noted that the United States "will be working hard to expand our support" for the "Congress-Bundestag" exchange which "has already given more than 10,000 German and American students the chance to visit each other's countries."
Were he to give the same speech today, he would no doubt change the wording to read "the chance to visit and vaporize " each other's countries.
CDS International, states the organizations literature, provides opportunities for young German engineers. Mohamed Atta wasn't, strictly speaking, a "young German engineer," but apparently Kissinger's praise for " career development programs for participants from other countries as well " had been taken to heart by the friendly folks at the Carl Duisberg Society.
"These young German engineers earn real world experience and are given assignments to contribute from the start,” a program spokesman enthused in a newspaper interview.
The organization is today understandably shy about mentioning that their most famous recent graduate's “real world experience” included murdering almost 3000 people in New York City in slightly less than two hours.
A financial relationship between the terrorist ringleader and the U.S. and German Governments has not previously even been hinted at in America's major media. The conspiracy-minded might conclude that the fact that the scoop is going to the MadCowMorningNews may owe something to the program’s raft of politically-powerful boosters.
Big Juice in High Places
Having big juice in high places may also explain more equally-curious omissions in a second story about Mohamed Atta’s time in Germany, which appeared recently in the March 7,2003 Chicago Tribune, under the headline “9/11 haunts hijacker's sponsors; German couple talks of living with pilot Atta.”
The article describes the 1992 meeting in Cairo between Atta and a German couple running an "international student exchange program," a meeting which the Tribune says led Atta to move to Hamburg.
During a visit to the Egyptian capital in fall 1991, the Tribune reported, the German couple had stayed with friends who knew Atta's father, a Cairo lawyer, and his father's friends had then introduced the German couple to Atta.
“Atta, who had recently graduated with a degree in architectural engineering from the University of Cairo, told the couple he wanted to study architecture in Germany, but he had no particular idea where he should go,” the paper reported.
Though the article neglects to mention it, the reason Atta found himself with “ no particular idea where he should go” was because although he had studied engineering at prestigious Cairo University, he had not fared well enough to gain admission to its graduate school.
The paper quotes the German wife telling investigators: "In this first conversation, we suggested he continue his studies in Hamburg and offered him a place to live at our house."
Atta, she states, accepted their offer right away.
This magnanimous gesture by the German couple to an undistinguished young man they have just met should raise an eyebrow or two. But probably they are just exhibiting the very milk of human kindness, albeit with a certain missionary zeal.
What made a German couple running an international exchange program leap at the opportunity to help a young man not considered promising enough to get into graduate school... in Cairo?
And then let him live in their house for six months... for free?
The Tribune doesn’t say.
And they have made it difficult for anyone else to follow up on their story, because they somehow forgot to identify almost anyone in it.
Except, of course, Atta.
The Tribune doesn't identify the German couple involved. They are just the "German couple." Nor do they bother to tell anyone which international program they represented.
Although Tribune correspondent Stevenson Swanson cites them for “ having played such an important role in Atta's move to Germany,” he throws a cloak of anonymity over them them and their organization.
His story is 1200 words in length. So its not as if he didn't have room to report the names of the German couple and their organization.
"Jane and John Doe from Help-A-Student International" would have been enough.
You know: "Who What When Where and Why."
In a story involving the murder of almost 3000 people, the Chicago Tribune forgot the "who."
Had they suffered just a momentary journalistic lapse?
Or had something weirder happened?
This is all 'some curious,' as they say in Texas.
Did "Shock & Awe' Campaign Premiere Sept 11, 2001?
After studying German in Cairo, Atta arrived in Germany on July 24, 1992, according to investigators' records, and then lived rent-free for at least the next six months in the couple's home in a quiet, middle-class neighborhood.
And since just two years later Atta was on the payroll of the “Congress-Bundestag Program” it is reasonable to conclude--and no thanks to the Chicago Tribune--that it was also the "exchange program" responsible for bringing him to Germany in the first place..
CDS International's elite sponsors are apparently influential enough to have kept their organization’s name out of the newspapers.
Or at any rate out of the Chicago Tribune.
When Atta returned home several years later for a three-month visit to Cairo, in 1995, the Egyptian government was in the midst of cracking down viciously on Islamic fundamentalists.
Yet, strangely, Atta chose this exact time to grow a beard, traditionally a sign of a devout Muslim, but also in Atta's case assumed to have been a defiant political gesture chosen to register his disgust at the secular elite that ruled his homeland.
Or, at least, that's the way they tell the story.
And indeed, his two German traveling “companions” report that Atta said he would not be cowed by his home country's "fat cats," who he believed were criminalizing religious traditionalists while bowing shamefully to the West in foreign and economic policies.
At least that's what they say he said.
But maybe growing a beard and assuming an "Islamic fundamentalist" pose had instead merely been the act of a man “singing for his supper” by going undercover on behalf of “fat cats” from another part of the forest entirely...
It couldn't be.
Could it?
- Daniel Hopsicker is the author of Barry & 'the boys: The CIA, the Mob and America's Secret History. About the author. - Email the author.
Distribution via the Unanswered Questions Wire
Sign up for the wire at:
Unanswered Questions : Thinking for ourselves.
STANDARD DISCLAIMER FROM UQ.ORG: does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the above article. We present this in the interests of research -for the relevant information we believe it contains. We hope that the reader finds in it inspiration to work with us further, in helping to build bridges between our various investigative communities, towards a greater, common understanding of the unanswered questions which now lie before us.

Next in Comment

A Looting Matter: Cambodia’s Stolen Antiquities
By: Binoy Kampmark
Dunne Speaks: Labour Leadership Speculation Premature And Facile
By: Peter Dunne
Colossal ‘Porkies’ And Band-aids Don’t Make A Health Workforce Plan
By: Ian Powell
The Fuss About Monkeypox
By: Binoy Kampmark
Dunne Speaks: Time For MPs To Think For Themselves
By: Peter Dunne
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media