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Mansoor Ijaz/Sudan

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In mid-August 1993 the U.S. government designated the Government of Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism. [1] In its annual review of terrorism for 1993 the U.S. Department of State wrote that "while there is no evidence that the Government of Sudan--or the National Islamic Front, the power broker in the country--has been a direct sponsor of terrorism, it has willingly harbored elements of several notorious terrorist groups, including the Abu Nidal organization, Egypt's IG, and Hizballah." [2]

Sudan's growing diplomatic isolation

Following the attempted assassination of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on June 26, 1995, while he was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia further pressure was brought to bear on the government of Sudan. In late 1995 the Organization of African Unity (OAU) passed resolutions urging the the government of Sudan to extradite three men suspected of involvement in the assassination plot to Ethiopia. In 1996 the United Nations Security Council passed three resolutions also urging the government of Sudan to extradite the three men.

In 1996, Mansoor Ijaz had a series of meetings with Sudan's president, Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Bashir and the Islamic leader, Hassan Turabi as well as Clinton administration officials including Sandy Berger. Ijaz argued the U.S. should adopt a policy of "constructive engagement" with Sudan. [3]

In June 1997, Ijaz appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime Hearing on the "Prohibition on Financial Transactions With Countries Supporting Terrorism Act". Ijaz urged the need to enlist "Sudan's Islamic movement to help us in our fight against global extremism" and in particular stressed "the value of Sudan's relationships going forward with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Afghanistan and other countries that are now and will be in the not-so-distant future vital to our economic interests." [4]

A few months earlier, Washington Post journalist David B. Ottaway wrote that, based on an interview Ijaz "acknowledged his commercial interests in effecting a reconciliation between the United States and Sudan. As chairman of Crescent Investment Management LLC, a New York firm that he said handles a $ 2.7 billion investment portfolio—much of it on behalf of Middle East governments—Ijaz said he is particularly interested in new oil field development. Sudan, with moderate reserves estimated at 3.5 billion barrels, is expected to become a petroleum exporter soon and Ijaz said he hopes to manage some of Khartoum's foreign investment of oil profits." [5]

In November 1997, the New York Times noted that Ijaz's access and advocacy had came to little. "Last week," the Times Jill Abramson wrote, "the State Department announced stiffer sanctions against Sudan for sponsoring international terrorism." [6]

In a December 2001 op-ed column in the Los Angeles Times Ijaz wrote that between "1996 to 1998, I opened unofficial channels between Sudan and the Clinton administration. I met with officials in both countries, including Clinton, U.S. National Security Advisor Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger and Sudan's president and intelligence chief. President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, who wanted terrorism sanctions against Sudan lifted, offered the arrest and extradition of Bin Laden and detailed intelligence data about the global networks constructed by Egypt's Islamic Jihad, Iran's Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas." [7]

"Among those in the networks were the two hijackers who piloted commercial airliners into the World Trade Center. The silence of the Clinton administration in responding to these offers was deafening," he wrote. [8]

In particular, he recounted that in February 1996 Bashir "offered to arrest Bin Laden and extradite him to Saudi Arabia or, barring that, to 'baby-sit' him--monitoring all his activities and associates." Ijaz wrote that with Saudi Arabia not interested in having bin Laden back, "the Sudanese capitulated to U.S. pressure and asked Bin Laden to leave, despite their feeling that he could be monitored better in Sudan than elsewhere." [9]

Ijaz wrote that he was involved in another attempt in July 2000 in which an unspecified Arab country offered to entice Bin Laden and then facilitate his extradition to the U.S. All it required, he wrote, was that "Clinton make a state visit there to personally request Bin Laden's extradition". [10]

This story telescoped through the right-wing press to lay blame on Clinton et al. for having failed to fight terrorism and prevent the devastating September 11 attacks.

External links

United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Sudan & Terrorism

U.S. State Department Reports and Notes on Counter-Terrorism and Sanctions

1997 News Stories

  • Mansoor Ijaz, "A Dangerous Foreign-Policy Vacuum", Wall Street Journal, March 11, 1997.
  • Arakis Energy Corporation, "Arakis Energy Announces Material Change", Business Wire, April 25, 1997. ("Arakis also announced the appointment of two members to an advisory committee to the Board, Mr. Mansoor Ijaz and Mr. Abdel Rahim Hamdi. Mr. Ijaz is the founder and chairman of Crescent Investment Management L.P., a New York based global investment advisor and hedge fund manager overseeing several billion dollars in global fixed income and equity investments. Mr. Hamdi is the former Finance Minister of the Republic of Sudan, a former international banker and is currently a director of Faisal Islamic Bank of Saudi Arabia.")
  • David B. Ottaway, "Democratic Fund-Raiser Pursues Agenda on Sudan," Washington Post (SurvivorRightsInternational.org), April 29, 1997. ("Ijaz is not registered with the Justice Department as a lobbyist for Sudan and said he has received no compensation from the Khartoum regime. He acknowledged that the congressional ban, as originally devised, would have impinged on his business aspirations in Sudan. But his larger ambition, he said, is to parlay his Democratic connections into a powerful Muslim American lobby with influence on U.S. foreign policy.")
  • Testimony of Mansoor Ijaz, Chairman, Crescent Investment Management, LP, House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime Hearing on H.R. 748: "Prohibition on Financial Transactions With Countries Supporting Terrorism Act", June 10, 1997 (published on Federation of American Scientists website). Also see House Documents with Ijaz's testimony beginning on pages 98, 121, 125, 129, and 131.
  • Mansoor Ijaz, "Renewed Ties With Sudan - a Shrewd Move by Albright", Opinion, Christian Science Monitor, October 1, 1997, Page 19.
  • Jill Abramson, "Money Buys a Lot More Than Access", New York Times, November 9, 1997, Sunday, section 4, page 4. (Got to pay for access for this NYT article too.)

1998 News Stories

  • Mansoor Ijaz, "Is Islamic Democracy Possible?", Christian Science Monitor, May 13, 1998.
  • Mansoor Ijaz and James A. Abrahamson, "Let Muslims Help Combat Terrorism", San Jose Mercury News, November 8, 1998, page 7P
  • Mansoor Ijaz and Haifa El Hajj, "What's to protest in 'Siege'?", Christian Science Monitor, November 17, 1998.

1999 News Stories

  • Andrew Marshall,, "U.S. Evidence of Terror Links to Blitzed Medicine Factory

Was 'Totally Wrong'", The Independent, London, 15 February 1999.

  • "No Trace of Nerve Gas Precursor Found at Bombed Sudan Plant", Chemical & Engineering News, 15 February 1999.

2001 News Stories

2002 News Stories

2003 News Stories

2004 News Stories

Other SourceWatch resources

Links to Articles By And About Ijaz