By Kevin Ryan
The Kuwaiti-American Corporation (KuwAm), parent company of World Trade Center (WTC) security company Stratesec, had some interesting links to royalty in both Iran and Kuwait. Some of the company’s directors also had connections to U.S. intelligence agencies and at least one was associated with the CIA-funded terrorist financing network that included BCCI. Through these links we can see that the origins of the War on Terror are related to the origins of the first Gulf War, and to a private network of covert operatives that stretches back for generations.
After the 1993 bombing, a company called Stratesec was responsible for the overall integration of the new WTC security system. In the few years leading up to 9/11, Stratesec also had contracts to provide security services for United Airlines, which owned two of the planes that were destroyed on 9/11, and Dulles Airport where American Airlines Flight 77 took off.
Stratesec’s board of directors included Marvin Bush, the brother of George W. Bush, and Wirt Dexter Walker III, a distant relative of the Bush brothers. Marvin Bush joined the board of Stratesec after meeting members of the Al Sabah family on a trip to Kuwait with his father in April 1993. During this trip, the Kuwaiti royals displayed enormous gratitude to the elder Bush for having saved their country from Saddam Hussein only two years earlier.
But the Bush-Kuwaiti connection went back much farther, to 1959, when the Kuwaitis helped to fund Bush’s start-up company, Zapata Off-Shore. As a CIA business asset during this time, Bush and his company worked directly with the anti-Castro Cuban groups in Miami before and after the Bay of Pigs invasion.
During the 1993 trip, the royals in the United Arab Emirates showed similar gratitude to the Bush family by putting Marvin on the board at Fresh Del Monte, which was purchased by the UAE-owned company IAT in 1994. The alleged 9/11 hijackers had many connections to the UAE, and much of the funding for the attacks came through that country.
Mish’al Yusuf Saud Al Sabah, the majority owner of KuwAm Corporation, was the company’s chairman since 1982. Just after the Bush family visit in 1993, KuwAm gained a controlling interest in Stratesec. The other owners of Stratesec were Walker, who along with Al Sabah joined the Stratesec board, and an entity controlled by Walker and Al Sabah, called Special Situation Investment Holdings (SSIH). KuwAm owned several other companies, including Commander Aircraft (CAC) and Strategic Jet Services (SJS), which were controlled under the Oklahoma-based company called Aviation General (AGI).
KuwAm’s aircraft companies had international clientele and Al Sabah was known to personally engage customers who purchased aircraft. In 1996, Al Sabah announced that AGI sold aircraft to the National Civil Aviation Training Organization (NCATO) in Giza, Egypt, the hometown of Mohamed Atta. NCATO was in a partnership with the flight school run by Embry-Riddle University where two of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, Saeed Alghamdi and Waleed M. Al Shehri, were said to have gone to flight school. Ten days after the attacks, Embry-Riddle was relieved to report that Al Shehri had turned up alive. Unfortunately, the many reports that some of the alleged hijackers had turned up alive were never investigated by the FBI or the 9/11 Commission.
Like Stratesec, all three of KuwAm’s aircraft companies went bankrupt within three years after 9/11. The company blamed terrorism and the war in Iraq for a reduced demand for its products. Despite the losses, the Kuwaiti royal family can be said to have benefited from 9/11 due to “The War on Terror” that removed Saddam Hussein from power. Of course, that was the second consecutive US war that Kuwait benefited from, the first being the 1991 Gulf War led by President George H.W. Bush.
The 1991 Gulf War was started on the basis of blatant lies, at least one of which involved a relative of Mish’al Al Sabah. This was a 15-year old girl named Nayirah, who was the daughter of Mish’al’s first cousin, Saud Nasser Al Saud Al Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. The girl lied about having witnessed Iraqi soldiers taking babies out of incubators and leaving them on the “cold floor to die.” It was later learned that her testimony was false and that she had been coached to tell the lies by the public relations firm, Hill & Knowlton. It seems worthwhile to notice that the first Gulf War was started based on lies told by the cousin of the man who owned a WTC security company.
Needless to say, Mish’al Al Sabah is very well connected to the Kuwaiti royal family and, therefore, to the Kuwaiti government. Other first cousins of Mish’al included Salim Abdal-Aziz Saud Al Sabah, the Governor of Kuwait’s Central Bank, and Sabah Nasir Saud Al Sabah, the Head of the Engineering Department for Military Projects in the Ministry of Defence. Mish’al’s brother Ali married the daughter of Kuwaiti Emir Jabir III.
Wirt D. Walker III, CEO of Stratesec and managing director at KuwAm, was the son of a career U.S. intelligence officer and a former coworker of William Casey, who later became CIA director. Walker was also a descendant of James Monroe Walker, who ran the businesses of the U.S. deep state organization called Russell & Company. Coincidentally, the brother-in-law of the original Wirt D. Walker, John Wellborn Root, was the long-time employer of Emery Roth, whose company was later the architect of record for both the WTC towers and building 7.
Mish’al Al Sabah actually lived with Walker and his family for six months when Al Sabah was only 15 years of age, at the time that George H.W. Bush was CIA director. As a result of their close relationship, Al Sabah brought Walker and KuwAm “many rich, limited partnership investors from Kuwait, Europe and the U.S.” Walker and Al Sabah started KuwAm in 1982, when Al Sabah turned 21 years of age.
Other people who worked for Kuwam included Pamela S. Singleton, who was a KuwAm partner and principal. Singleton was also associated with Winston Partners, another company run by Marvin Bush.
KuwAm board member Robert D. van Roijen was said to be the man responsible for getting Walker involved in the aircraft business. Like Walker, van Roijen was the son of a CIA officer. His father was born a Dutch citizen in England, immigrated to the U.S. in the 1930s and was an intelligence officer in the Army Air Corps before joining the CIA. The senior van Roijen later became the owner of Robert B. Luce, Inc., a Washington-based company that published The New Republic.
Van Roijen’s grandfather was Dutch ambassador to the United States in the 1920s, and his uncle, Jan H. van Roijen, had the very same appointment from 1950 to 1964. During the 1973 Oil Crisis, the Dutch government sent Jan H. van Roijen, who was also a member of the Bilderberg Group, to Saudi Arabia in an unsuccessful attempt to patch things up diplomatically.
Unlike Walker, the younger van Roijen admits that he was an intelligence officer too, with the U.S. Marines from 1961 to 1963. It is interesting to note that the CIA-trained anti-Castro Cubans that Marvin Bush’s father was helping, during this same time, thought that the U.S. Marines would be right behind them as they stormed the shores at the Bay of Pigs.
Van Roijen was also Tricia Nixon’s White House party escort during the time of the Nixon Administration. Van Roijen’s sister was working in the White House communications office, and he used those connections to his advantage as a lobbyist for IBM, obtaining strategic information from government offices such as the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). At the time, future Carlyle Group CEO Frank Carlucci was Deputy Director of the OMB.
Another interesting connection between KuwAm and the Nixon years was that KuwAm’s offices were in the Watergate Hotel, the same building that was burglarized in the 1972 scandal that led to Nixon’s resignation. In the years leading up to 9/11, both Stratesec and Aviation General convened their annual shareholders’ meetings in KuwAm’s Watergate offices, in Suite 900. As of 1998, the building was owned by The Blackstone Group and the offices that KuwAm occupied were leased by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. The offices just below KuwAm, in Suite 800, were occupied by the Saudi embassy.
Hamzah M. Behbehani was a director and partner at KuwAm from 1995 to 1997, and was named as a principal, along with Walker and Al Sabah, in lawsuits in which KuwAm engaged. BehBehani had come to KuwAm after spending three years with investment companies in London. Prior to that, from 1986 to 1992, Behbehani had worked for the British branch of the Banque Arabe et Internationale d’Investissments (BAII), one of the Arab-Western partnership banks started in the 1970s .
BAII was “heavily involved in the oil trade; it finances oil imports and the export of capital goods and equipment for the refining and petrochemical industries.” But as authors Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin noted, BAII was also intimately associated with the CIA-linked terrorist financing network, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
“Run by a board member of BCCI, Yves Lamarche, BAII had played a critical role in some of BCCI’s dubious schemes, lending $50 million to help finance the takeover of First American and also providing funds to allow [Ghaith] Pharaon to buy Independence Bank in Los Angeles.” KuwAm director Behbehani worked for BCCI’s partner BAII from the time Pharaon purchased Independence Bank and throughout the time that the financial crimes, in which these banks engaged, came to a crescendo.
Behbehani left KuwAm to become Senior Vice President at Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), where he remained until 2004. GIC’s 2002 annual report lists Behbehani as “Head of Marketing.” From 2004 to 2008, Behbehani was Executive Vice President at Kuwait Finance & Investment Company (KFIC).
The relationship between the Kuwaiti firms that Behbehani worked for, the Al Sabah family, and the prime BCCI funding vehicle, the Kuwaiti International Finance Company (KIFCO), remains to be revealed. However, the U.S Senate investigation did turn up a clue. The IZ Company for Exchange, indicted by the Senate committee, was run by one Subhash Sgar, who was also a director of the Al-Sabah General Electrical company.
The Senate Committee reported that — “Concerning BCCI’s banking arm in Kuwait, the Kuwait International Finance Company (KIFCO), Price Waterhouse found that placements recorded by BCCI with KIFCO were inconsistent with Kifco’s financial statements regarding the same transactions. Price Waterhouse noted that the principal mechanism for repaying Kifco’s loans from BCCI was a mysterious Kuwaiti entity called “the IZ company for Exchange,” and that “we now have suspicions as to the propriety of the transactions.”
In June 2000, there was a sell-off of Stratesec stock as the company was reporting several years of steady losses. The investors who owned Stratesec stock at the time formed a most surprising group.
- Barah Salem Al Sabah was a Stratesec shareholder. She was the exiled Kuwaiti royal who had called for the ouster of Saddam, in 1990. Two days after Barah’s plea, on September 11, 1990, President Bush addressed a joint session of Congress and the American people and called for an intervention (and a New World Order).
- Journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave was also an investor in Stratesec. De Borchgrave is currently Editor-at-Large of The Washington Times and United Press International. Stratesec stock was also held by a trust in the name of his wife, Alexandra de Borchgrave, who was the granddaughter of American journalist and financier Henry Villard. Alexandra’s father and grandfather both owned the left-leaning magazine, The Nation.
- Another Kuwaiti family, that of Adel & Anwar Mustafah T. Alghanim, was a large volume stockholder in Stratesec. The family runs Anwar Alghanim Engineering in Kuwait.
- A man named Manuchehr Riah was a Stratesec stockholder. This appears to be the same person as Manouchehr (or Manoutchehr) Riahi, who worked for the Shah of Iran. It was said that Mr. Riahi’s family had “devoted itself to the service of the Persian royal families since the 1500s.” Riahi’s wife was the sister of the woman married to the Shah’s half-brother, Prince Abdul Reza-Pahlavi. In 1955, Riahi worked to land a major oil contract for Iran. His partner was Vincent Hillyer, a Californian who married into the royal family. Hillyer’s wife was the Shah’s younger sister, Princess Fatemeh. Together they were trying to woo the Pan American International Oil Company (later AMOCO). Riahi fled to the United States when the Shah fell from power. Interestingly, a young Iranian businessman named Kamran Hashemi was a director and large volume stockholder at Stratesec.
- Additional Stratesec stock was held by Harrison Augur, an attorney and financier who was a graduate of Yale (1964) and the law schools of both Columbia and New York University.
Wirt D. Walker and his wife, Sally White Walker, were the focus of 9/11 insider trading flagged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Unfortunately, the FBI did not interview either of the Walkers and they were both cleared of any wrongdoing because they were said to have “no ties to terrorism or other negative information.”
Previous research done by Wayne Madsen indicated that Walker and Stratesec might also have been linked to the Bush family friend and Saudi-linked operative, James Bath. This would not be surprising given the existing links between Stratesec, KuwAm, and the Bush network.
Madsen reported that — “A Houston businessman who worked closely with the Bush family over the years confided that Marvin Bush and Wirt Walker appear to have taken over the Saudi real estate investment and aircraft brokerage business once run out of Texas by Houston-based James Bath in association with Salem bin Laden, the late brother of Osama bin Laden, and Khalid bin Mahfouz.”
In any case, there is solid evidence that KuwAm and, its WTC security company Stratesec, had strong connections to the Kuwaiti royal family, which benefited from 9/11 through the ouster of Saddam Hussein. The companies were also strongly linked to the Bush family network and to people who came from deep-state U.S. intelligence backgrounds, like Wirt D. Walker and Robert D. van Roijen. Combined with other information about the directors and shareholders, these facts call out for in-depth investigation into KuwAm and its associates with regard to the events of September 11.
 Stratesec Incorporated, Notice of Annual Meeting of Shareholders, December 23, 2002
 Joseph Trento, Prelude to terror: the rogue CIA and the legacy of America’s private intelligence network, Carroll & Graf, 2005
 History Commons 9/11 Timeline, Profile: Kuwait-American Corporation (KuwAm)
 Although there is considerable variation in the English spellings of Kuwaiti names, Mish’al Yusuf Saud Al Sabah and Saud Nasir Saud Al Sabah (along with Saud Nasir’s daughter, Neira) are listed in Al-Sabah: history & genealogy of Kuwait’s ruling family, 1752-1987, by Alan Rush. See pp 132 and 133.
 Bertie Charles Forbes, Forbes, Volume 153, Issues 8-13, 1994
 Obituary for Robert D. Van Roijen, The New York Times, January 17, 1981
 Traute Wohlers-Scharf, Arab and Islamic banks: new business partners for developing countries, OCDE Paris, 1983
 Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin, False Profits: The Inside Story of BCCI, the World’s Most Corrupt Financial Empire, Houghton Mifflin, 1992, p 297
 Pascal Mahvi, Deadly Secrets of Iranian Princes: Audacity to Act, Friesen Press, pp 22-27