BOSTON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - It is premature to draw a "terrorist" link in the probe of Ptech, a small Boston-area software firm that was searched by federal agents, the top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts said on Friday.
"The search was conducted in connection with an on-going financial crime investigation. Media characterizations of this as a terrorist investigation are premature," Michael Sullivan, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said in a statement.
Sullivan confirmed that federal and state investigators searched the offices of Quincy, Massachusetts-based Ptech without incident early on Friday.
The affidavit filed in support of the search warrant was under a court-ordered seal and no further information about the search warrant could be disclosed, Sullivan said.
ABC News had reported earlier on Friday that Ptech was secretly controlled by Qassin al-Kadi, one of 12 Saudi businessmen accused of funneling millions of dollars to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda militant network.
In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the Bush Administration designated al-Kadi as a terrorist entity, citing a relationship with a Saudi charity called Muwafaq Foundation, or "Blessed Relief" that is said by the government to transfer money from wealthy Saudi citizens to Al Qaeda. [Source]
The Blessed Relief is no stranger to the CIA or any other US government agency involved in Kosovo. This was one of the "charities" which supported the CIA's "freedom fighters."
""Bin Laden’s kind offer of "humanitarian help" in 1994 has been used repeatedly ever since to fund terrorism in Albania. Many terrorists have posed as "humanitarian workers" since. Secret KLA training camps, which the CIA and SAS also used, were created in Northern Albania by Iran and other countries "using Islamic educational institutions and projects for the development of rural communities as a front."
Back in 1999, "a Saudi government audit acquired by US intelligence showed that 5 of Saudi Arabia’s top business executives ordered the National Commercial Bank (NCB), the kingdom’s largest, to transfer personal funds along with $3 million diverted from a Saudi pension fund to New York and London banks. The money was diverted into the accounts of Islamic charities, including Islamic Relief and Blessed Relief, that serve as fronts for Bin Laden." [Source]
The company's client list reads like a who's who of the high-tech industry, including companies such as IBM, Booz Allen & Hamilton Inc., Motorola Inc., Sprint Corp. and The Mitre Corp...[Source]
"Booz-Allen & Hamilton, in conjunction with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, runs the Saudi Armed Forces Staff College, while O'Gara Protective Services (former U.S. CIA and Secret Service agents) protects the Saudi royal family and their property and provides Saudi forces with security training." [Source]
A fellow researcher added:
"Maybe along the lines of INSLAW, as 'The FBI has used Ptech’s software for financial tracking and internal budgeting' sounds remarkably similar to PROMIS."