This “bank” possessed its very own diplomatic corps, intelligence network, and private army, its own shipping and commodities trading companies. And BCCI itself was so thoroughly enmeshed in the official affairs of Pakistan that it was often impossible to separate the two.[The Outlaw Bank via The Catbird Seat]
So is it with Al Qaeda
BCCI was bigger even than that: It was the unsettling next-stage evolution of the multinational corporation, the one the theorists had been predicting for years but which never seemed to be able to shed its sovereign boundaries. (General Motors and Mitsubishi are both good examples of this – huge companies with holdings and operations all over the world that nonetheless persist in being fundamentally American and Japanese entities.) In taking that step, BCCI became truly stateless and very nearly invisible to the authorities in each country where it did business.[The Outlaw Bank via The Catbird Seat]
So is al Qaeda
In the United States, BCCI became the subject of a massive and decade-long cover-up. For the investigators and the reporters who finally cracked it, the most difficult task of all was breaking down the formidable walls erected by their own law enforcement agencies.[The Outlaw Bank via The Catbird Seat]
So is al Qaeda to this day. Amid all the media frenzy about the 9/11 commission and Richard Clarke the question of who created al Qaeda’s precessor, the Maktab al-Khidmat, remains assiduously unasked.
“You’re onto something and you’re correct about there being no separation between [Agha Hasan] Abedi and Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence]. A number of Pakistan’s generals have been on Abedi’s private payroll for years. You might not be aware of it, but several people in the State Department have resigned over the years in protest to the extent of our tilt to Pakistan. We gave them unauthorized satellite and communications technology as well as authorized sophisticated technology like the F-16 fighter plane program, and your friend Abedi and BCCI were in the middle of all of it.”[The Outlaw Bank via The Catbird Seat]
Khalid bin Mahfouz, a secretive Arab businessman was a leading light of BCCI and convicted for his role in the bank’s shenanigans. His sister is married to the prodigal scion of a Saudi business family: a man by the name of Osama bin Laden.
Endpiece: The BCCI affair was investigated by a Senate Foreign Relations Committee led by Senators John Kerry and Hank Brown. Henry Kissinger bore down on Hank Brown to omit references to Kissinger Associates in the report. But the entire report is still available.