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CIA Pick Turned Blind Eye As Arms Flowed To Al Qaeda In BosniaWeapons and supplies flowed to Bin Laden's Balkans terror network during Hayden's tenure as intel commander
From 1993 to 1995, money, arms and expertise flooded from the United States to al Qaeda military networks in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- all under the watchful eye of Gen. Michael V. Hayden, then chief of U.S. military intelligence in the region, today named by President Bush as his nominee to take over the CIA.
Hayden served as director of the U.S. European Command Intelligence Directorate, based in Stuttgart, Germany, from May 1993 to October 1995. He subsequently went on to lead the secretive National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005.
Hayden's role in Bosnia is far from clear. Hayden's name has been linked repeatedly to allegations that the American government supported al Qaeda-linked militants inside Bosnia – support which continued even after the Bosnian network was openly tied to terrorist attacks on American soil.
Hayden accompanied U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke on a trip to Croatia in November 1994, during which Holbrooke gave the Bosnian government a "green light" to receive covert shipments of arms and supplies for the use of al Qaeda's Bosnian network, in violation of a U.N. embargo.
Three months after the meeting, mysterious nighttime airlifts of arms and supplies to Bosnian Muslims began to pass through Hayden's intelligence apparatus unhindered, prompting U.N. observers to accuse the U.S. of deliberately allowing the so-called "black flights" to pass.
The Bosnian official who received the "green light" at the 1994 meeting also sat on the board of a Vienna charity funded by Osama bin Laden. That charity – the Third World Relief Agency – shipped arms to Bosnian militants and also sent more than $40,000 in cash to the New York terrorist cell responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
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Technorati Tags: CIA, Hayden, Michael Hayden, Michael V. Hayden, NSA, Bosnia, al Qaeda, Bush
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