It Tatex One to Know One


Mark Hosenball has written an article for Newsweek on the so-called Syrian connection to the 9/11 attacks that asks more questions than it provides answers. The questions center around a Hamburg-based Syrian-owned company, Tatex, suspected of having had ties to Al-Qaeda. The only thing is, the German investigation of the company was brought to a close:

German prosecutors began preparing their case. The United States considered freezing Tatex's bank accounts, as it had done to dozens of other companies suspected of financing terrorism. Then something strange happened: nothing. Last summer the German government quietly closed the investigation and decided against prosecuting the company. The United States never touched its assets. Case closed.

Why did this happen? Hosenball isn't sure.

The Syrians' interest in the company isn't entirely clear. Some German investigators speculate that Syrian intelligence may have infiltrated the company as a cover to spy on Hamburg's community of extremist Syrian exiles?jihadis the Syrians feared were plotting against their secular government. But other investigators believe the Syrians were using Tatex as a front to illegally acquire high-tech equipment from the West. (Tatex officials have repeatedly denied any connection with terrorism or Syrian intelligence. Said could not be reached.)