Dubai has solid links to Islamic terrorists; Galadari curse?
Terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden has roots in Dubai. In the 1990s, while working as a copy editor at the Khaleej Times, I was surprised to see the sign board Bin Laden Construction Company at multiple construction projects. I thought it was a British company but my banker brother then posted there told me it was an Arab company.
Now an international money laundering center, Dubai was a smugglers paradise even when Britain ruled it but London looked the other way as most of the smuggling monies were deposited in British banks. Smugglers of Iranian, Indian and Pakistani origin controlled as much as 20 percent of the world gold trade, while sitting in small offices in Dubai.
Sheikh Rashid bin Al Maktoum, who was a intelligent and humble man and credited with founding the federation U.A.E., used to get financial support from these "traders." However, his son Sheikh Mohammed -- present ruler -- inherited political power and state wealth and became rough with some of his father's friends.
One of the oldest and pioneering families of Dubai are the Iranian-origin Galadaris
The present financial troubles of Dubai may be the curse of the late Abdul Wahab Galadari. who was a very generous person. It is intriguing Dubai's debts are 100 times more than what Abdul Wahab Galadari lost in futures trading in the late 1980s but the emirate did not help him.
The story goes Sheikh Mohammed wanted to own the Hyatt Regency of Abdul Wahab Galadari, who declined to hand over the hotel to the sheikh. Sheikh Mohammed was furious and when Galadari lost as much as $800 million in futures trading, the government of Dubai was swift to mercilessly attach his real estate properties. The government of Dubai could have easily bailed him out, but Sheikh Mohammed allegedly did not let this happen.
It was interesting as the late Wahab Galadari main competitors were his two brothers, Abdur Rahim Galadari and Abdul Latif Galadari -- also deceased -- in almost all fields of business from hospitality, to media, to automotive. For instance Abdur Rahim and Abdul Latif launched the Khaleej Times and Abdul Wahab launched the Gulf News.
Dubai also has solid links to Islamic terrorists, the recent case of the aborted bombing attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who had studied in Dubai, showed.
But the family had become concerned when the young man announced that he wanted to stay on in Yemen and drop his post-graduate programme in business administration at Dubai University.
"We became worried when in August Farouk called and said he was no longer interested in his post-graduate studies anymore, saying he would be staying in Yemen to pursue another course he did not disclose," said another relative who gave his name only as Sani.
Some of the financial moguls are linked to father of the Islamic bomb, A.Q. Khan.
Because the investigation was highly classified after it was underway, I have heard little of it in recent years. But now the Asia Timesbrings news of new developments in the case. The most interesting is tying ARY and Razzak to financial network of A.Q. Kahn, the Pakistani nuclear scientist who sold nuclear secrets and technology to Libya, North Korea, Iran and others.