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Correction to timeline entries containing erroneous information about Khalid bin Mahfouz

By Paul Thompson

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Important corrections have been made to certain timeline entries regarding Khalid bin Mahfouz. The entries were first published as part of Paul Thompson’s Complete 911 Timeline and were based on articles by USA Today, Fortune Magazine, The Washington Post, The Mail on Sunday and others. Since the original publication of the timeline entries, several of the articles on which they were based have been retracted, corrected, or amended. Some allegations against bin Mahfouz, such as those from the discredited USA Today reporter, Jack Kelley, appear to be completely without merit and have been removed from our website. Other allegations, such as those by Jean-Charles Brisard, remain in dispute and we endeavor to air both sides. Mr. Mahfouz has begun libel proceedings against Mr. Brisard, claiming that he has made unfounded and defamatory allegations. Paul Thompson and the Center for Cooperative Research regret publishing information from other sources which have since proven to be false and apologize to Mr. Mahfouz and his family for any damage this may have caused.

In a letter to the Center for Cooperative Research, a representative of Khalid bin Mahfouz stated that Mahfouz “has never supported or funded bin Laden’s terrorist activities” and that he and his family “abhor terrorism in every way.”

The following corrections have been made to the appropriate timeline entries:


  • Several timeline entries referred to Mr. Mahfouz as a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden. The information was based on a February 17, 2002 article in The Washington Post which later published a correction explaining that the statement was false. [Washington Post, 3/2/2002]
  • A timeline entry erroneously stated: “A Saudi government audit shows that five of Saudi Arabia’s billionaires have been giving tens of millions of dollars to al-Qaeda. The audit shows that these businessmen transferred money from the National Commercial Bank to accounts of Islamic charities in London and banks in New York that serve as fronts for bin Laden. $3 million was diverted from a Saudi pension fund.” The entry cited a USA Today article by Jack Kelley which contained several grave errors. [USA Today, 4/12/2004]
  • A timeline entry, citing a book by Jean-Charles Brisard, says that Mahfouz had been included in a “secret United Nations list of finances funding al-Qaeda.” It appears that the list was in fact a report submitted to the UN by Brisard himself. It was not endorsed by the UN. According to a representative of Mr. Mahfouz, “the report contains a number of grave and unfounded allegations about Shekh Khalid bin Mahfouz and is currently being contested by him in the English court.” [Kendall Freeman, 5/13/2004]
  • A timeline entry quotes a Fortune magazine article stating that Mahfouz financially controlled a company named Delta Oil. A representative of Mahfouz denies this. Fortune Magazine has since reported that according to a bin Mahfouz family spokesperson, “neither Khalid bin Mahfouz nor Nimir has ever had an ownership interest in Delta Oil.” [Fortune, 3/17/2003]
  • Several timeline entries stated that Mahfouz had been placed under house arrest “for contributions he gave to welfare organizations closely linked to bin Laden.” This was based on a USA Today story that has since issued a correction stating, “Representatives of Mahfouz have stated that while Mahfouz was hospitalized for health reasons at the time of the article, he was not under house arrest, and USA TODAY has no reason to believe that he was.” [USA Today, 4/12/2004]
  • One timeline entry quotes an Ottawa Citizen report saying that the Saudi government bought out the National Commercial bank, founded by Mahfouz, after learning that he had contributed to “welfare organizations closely linked to bin Laden.” Representatives of Mahfouz deny that this was the case. They say that there was no forced buy-out of his stake in the bank. [Kendall Freeman, 5/13/2004]
  • A timeline entry, citing the work of Jean-Charles Brisard, says that Mahfouz attended a meeting in Paris in May 1996 with the financial representatives of al-Qaeda. Representatives of Mahfouz say this is not true and that Mahfouz has never attended any meeting with any representatives of al-Qaeda. Mahfouz has begun libel proceedings against Mr. Brisard, claiming that his book contains unfounded and defamatory allegations.[Kendall Freeman, 5/13/2004]
  • A timeline entry, citing an article in The Washington Post, says that “The role of Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz in supporting bin Laden is emphasized in” an October 2001 70-page French intelligence report. Representatives of Mahfouz say in a letter to the Center for Cooperative Research that this report was prepared by Jean-Charles Brisard and not the French intelligence service. As stated above, Mahfouz has begun libel proceedings against Mr. Brisard, claiming that he has made unfounded and defamatory allegations.[Kendall Freeman, 5/13/2004]


For more information about Khalid bin Mahfouz and any false claims that may have been made against him, go to www.binmahfouz.info 








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