Oil for Food and Al Qaeda

Wretchard (UPDATE - spelling correction - thanks Al!) at the Belmont Club has been on a roll this last week regarding the situation in Iraq. Very interesting reading. Today though, he links to an article by Claudia Rossett who has been doing an excellent job of ferreting out the corruption behind the UN Oil-For-Food program. (Read more here, here, here, here, here and here) In her current article, Ms. Rossett talks about: bq. As the Oil-for-Food program actually worked, however, the United Nations let Saddam choose his own business partners. The world body also kept secret the details of those contracts and the identities of the contractors, and it let Saddam graft at least $4.4 billion out of the program through manipulated contract prices, by estimates of the U.S. General Accountability Office. bq. Saddam's standard scam was to underprice oil sales and overpay for relief supplies, thus generating fat profits for his business partners. Many of those contractors would kick back part of the take to Saddam's regime � or divert it to whatever uses Saddam might fancy. By various accounts, those uses ranged from building palaces to buying arms to supplying Saddam's sadistic son Uday with equipment for torturing Iraqi athletes. bq. One of the big questions is whether any of the money skimmed from Oil-for-Food also slopped into terrorist-financing ventures such as MIGA. Wretchard then goes on with: bq. The circumstantial evidence is pretty damning. Rossett describes MIGA as a "terrorist chamber of commerce". Its founder and president, Ahmed Idris Nasreddin was on a watchlist of suspected Al-Qaeda financiers, as was his business partner Youssef Nada. Another MIGA founder, who remains unindicted still runs the far-flung Hayel Saeed Anam Group of Companies (HSA) which continues to operate worldwide. The HSA was also a large player in the Oil for Food Program and handled at least $400 million in transactions for the former dictator. He then proceeds to do an excellent country by country analysis of the mess. Read it and get that nice fuzzy warm feeling about the United Nations and all the good they do in the world. Arrrrggghhhhh...


What really bothers me is that Fox News and Ms. Rossett didn't comment on Mr. Saeed's statment, and there wasen't any official statment coming from the Government accusing them of any wrongfull acts or linking them to Saddam's regiem. Could you inlight me with what Fox are doing now with nothing to say or back up what they were saying about the company. Talking about PR and i qoute "Public Relations fluff from Mr. Saeed's website doesn't really count in this because he would never admit complicity -- this is smoke and mirrors, misdirection, P.R" Dave, so you truly beilieve that they could only be an acomplice when definding them selves.? My point is that thier statment could be true or false depending on the actions that are made against them not only just words wrriten.

If you re-read the parent article and my comments, you will see that the Treasury data and those documents from the United Nations that were referenced are in the public domain. Anyone can get them with minimal digging. It was Ms. Rosett who put two and two together to come up with the link to Saeed as well as the other links (the article is still available for viewing at Fox News and contains enough links and documentation to get going...)

Quoting back Public Relations fluff from Mr. Saeed's website doesn't really count in this because he would never admit complicity -- this is smoke and mirrors, misdirection, P.R.

I am looking forward to the next four years under the capable hands of President Bush. There are a lot of vipers nests that need to be taken out. I'm not linking Mr. Saeed directly in this statement but if further evidence shows guilt, stand back... Molon Labe

First of all, i wanted to share the comments presented by the office of Mr.Saeed and to give an overview of both parties, so the reader could have some idea and not ignoring the other sides right to defend their reputation, espacially having No actions against them were made what so ever. We have to invistigate and know more about this company before accusing someone of doing wrongfull acts. This company has a very good reputation worldwide espacially with their business dealings, Furthermore, there isn't any proof or solid evidence linking them to Alqida or to the Saddam regim. As a Multinational coroporatin they seek business in where they find it. One of these places was Iraq. After the approval and supervision of the U.N they implaminted thier paln and began with the project. Fox news was the only Media to really give interest in this matter, no other media group did even give interest in it. I am just giving my thoughts in this matter, and we can't just accuse people because a reporter from Fox News has uncovered something that could link Alqida to Saddam. Moreover, The reporter still doesn't have all the Data that the U.N has and also the Treasury, so untill they have the full picture of what's really happining all this accusations are not TRUE..


Reading your carefully worded comment I can see that no amount of data presented to you would convince you to depart from your present view.

The databases at the US Treasury department, the records (such as we have) from the United Nations all point to the fact that Mr Saeed is dirty and any action on his part is to protest and say otherwise.

The 'data' that you are claiming was issued entirely from Mr Saeed's own office and amounts to an excellent Public Relations job.

Hayel Saeed denies FoxNews allegations

Hayel Saeed Anam Group yesterday issued a denial of recent FoxNews reports purporting to link it and certain of its executives to Al-Qa�da. Hayel Saeed Anam Group is an international industrial and commercial group founded in the Yemen in 1938.

In a series of reports written by Claudia Roset and George Russell during 17th to 26th September 2004, FoxNews published allegations purporting to link Hayel Saeed Anam Group to Al-Qa�da.

Mr Abdul Rahman Hayel Saeed, one of the directors, who was personally named in the reports, stated:

"FoxNews allegations are absolutely untrue. Our company and everyone involved in it is deeply opposed to terrorism of all sorts. We have dedicated our lives and careers to the creation of peaceful and prosperous societies wherever we operate. We believe that terrorism in all its manifestations is to be deplored.

Imagine our shock, therefore, to see these stories published by FoxNews".

The facts are as follows:

1. FoxNews alleges that Mr Abdul Rahman Hayel Saeed ("Mr Saeed") and Hayel Saeed Anam Group ("HSA") are associated with Mr Nasruddin, named by the US Office of Public Affairs as a backer of Al-Qa�da. This is untrue. It is true that in 1982, HSA, along with other Gulf-based investors, was invited by Mr Nasruddin to participate in certain projects in Nigeria and consider other projects, which he was promoting. Mr Nasruddin was, as far as HSA was aware, a respectable and well established business man, based in Milan, where he was also the Kuwaiti honorary Consul. The projects did not proceed, since, after due diligence, HSA and the other investors withdrew in 1984. This led to a dispute which was finally resolved in 1987, and neither HSA nor Mr Saeed have had any business dealings with Mr Nasruddin or any of his entities since that time.

2. Fox alleges that since 1984 Mr Saeed has been an active member of MIGA, an entity associated with Mr Nasruddin, and named along with Mr Nasruddin as associated with Al-Qa�da. This is untrue. In early 1984, Mr Saeed was asked by Mr Nasruddin to be a founding member of a Chamber of Commerce to promote trade between Switzerland and the Gulf States. A Chamber of Commerce is not a company engaged in business; it holds exhibitions, publishes articles, promotes tourism etc. Mr Saeed agreed to this, but neither he nor HSA has ever been an active member of the Chamber or had anything to do with it. This is confirmed by the Register of Members on the public file. Indeed, they were not even aware that the Chamber had been established, let alone that it had changed its name to MIGA in 1996, twelve years after they ceased to be associated with Mr Nasruddin. The first they ever heard the name MIGA was when FoxNews wrote to them.

3. Fox alleges that as part of the alleged involvement with MIGA, Mr Saeed gave a power of attorney to Mr Nasruddin and that this power is continuing. This is untrue. In 1984, Mr Saeed gave Mr Nasruddin a "procura" authorising him "to sign in the name of the principal acting as founding partner, the public deed of establishment of the Association 'Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism for the Arab Gulf States and Switzerland'." This is not a continuing power of attorney to Mr Nasruddin, as is clear from the document, which is of public record. The procura was discharged over 20 years ago when Mr Nasruddin apparently used it to sign the foundation deed of the Chamber of Commerce. No subsequent use by Mr Nasruddin of the procura was valid or authorised.

4. FoxNews speculates that Pacific Interlink, a Hayel Saeed Anam Group affiliate based in Malaysia, diverted funds to Saddam Hussein through the UN Oil-for-Food program. This is untrue. Pacific Interlink did participate in the UN Oil-for-Food program, as did many others (and still participates in the program of the Iraq government). It participated solely at an arms length basis, supervised by the UN. There is no shred of evidence to support this baseless allegation by FoxNews and the authors of the article. Pacific Interlink was not aware of any criticism of its contract as allegedly published by a US government agency (DCMA) cited by FoxNews, was never consulted or asked to comment by that agency and denies any over payment or making any "kick back" payments. Contrary to the express statement in the FoxNews report that "By DCMA estimates, Saddam overpaid Pacific Interlink on that contract�". Pacific Interlink is not named by the agency in its report.

Mr Saeed stated:

"We are very angry and concerned that such serious allegations can be made publicly against Hayel Saeed Anam Group and its executives. In the case of Pacific Interlink, the allegation was made in a letter dated September 16th, whereas FoxNews published the story the next day on September 17th, 2004."

The only communications previously received were a phone call and an email in April to Mr Saeed purporting to be from the FoxNews organisation, signed "Investigative Team, FoxNews". Although stated to be "urgent", this was never followed-up. It referred solely to "MIGA", of which Mr Saeed had never heard, making no mention of Mr Nasruddin. Mr Saeed's office treated this approach with great suspicion. Nonetheless, the HSA general counsel was asked to investigate any connection to an entity called MIGA; none was found.

On August 17th, a letter was faxed in the name of "Charles Nolan, Senior Producer, FoxNews" to Mr Saeed and another individual in the Group enquiring about Mr Nasruddin and MIGA and in general terms asking about HSA's role in the UN Oil-for-Food program. Mr Charles Nolan is a fictitious person who does not exist. Since neither of the recipients had heard of MIGA or recalled any power of attorney or had had any business with Mr Nasruddin for 20 years, they instructed the Group's general counsel and external legal adviser to conduct an investigation. That investigation, which went back over 20 years, established that the Chamber of Commerce had been established and had changed its name to MIGA in 1996, but produced no evidence of any business connection to MIGA or its predecessor, the Chamber of Commerce, or Mr Nasruddin, since 1984. On September 16th, as the investigation was being completed, a letter in the name of the same fictitious Mr Nolan was sent to Pacific Interlink, which for the first time spelt out the true nature of the unsubstantiated allegations being made against the Group and its executives. However, by then it was too late to respond, since on September 17th, the next day, FoxNews went into print with these unfounded allegations.

To summarise:

1. HSA and its executives have had no dealings with Mr Nasruddin, or his entities, for over 20 years.

2. HSA and its executives have never been aware or involved in MIGA.

3. Pacific Interlink is an ethical company, which obtained its contracts at arms length supervised by the UN and provided no support directly or indirectly to Saddam Hussein or any other party.

HSA and its executives will take all appropriate steps to protect their good name if these unfounded allegations are repeated.

For more information or comments please contact info@hayelsaeedanam.co.uk

Spelling error, line one. 'Wrethard' is incorrect.

This oil-for-food business... outrageous.

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