Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Quote of the Washington Post :
"When Christian Ganczarski, a German convert to Islam,
boarded an Air France flight from Riyadh on June 3,
2003, he knew only that the Saudi government had put him
under house arrest for an expired pilgrim visa and had
given his family one-way tickets back to Germany, with a
change of planes in Paris.
He had no idea that he was being secretly escorted by an
undercover officer sitting behind him, or that a senior
CIA officer was waiting at the end of the jet-way as
French authorities gently separated him from his family
and swept Ganczarski into French custody, where he
remains today on suspicion of associating with
Ganczarski is among the most important European al Qaeda
figures alive, according to U.S. and French law
enforcement and intelligence officials. The operation
that ensnared him was put together at a top secret
center in Paris, code-named Alliance Base, that was set
up by the CIA and French intelligence services in 2002,
according to U.S. and European intelligence sources.
Its existence has not been previously disclosed.
Funded largely by the CIA's Counter-terrorist Center,
Alliance Base analyzes the transnational movement of
terrorist suspects and develops operations to catch or
spy on them.
Alliance Base demonstrates how most counter-terrorism
operations actually take place: through secretive
alliances between the CIA and other countries'
intelligence services. This is not the work of large
army formations, or even small special forces teams, but
of handfuls of U.S. intelligence case officers working
with handfuls of foreign operatives, often in tentative
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