From Vietnam to 9/11, via the CIA

How did a US special forces Vietnam veteran come to be furnishing a terrorist front company in 1990s Yemen? This report examines that transition from the perspective of one of his work colleagues, me, Anthony C Heaford.

Dave Dean was about nineteen years old during the May 1969 Battle for Hamburger Hill in Vietnam. After his friend Sergeant Lyden was killed by a rocket propelled grenade to the chest, Dean helped evacuate Lyden’s body down the hill while under fire. His actions in that ultimately pointless battle are described here by Samuel Zaffiri:

“ Private Dave Dean, one of the stretcher bearers for Lyden, felt as if he were in a bad dream, a terrible nightmare that try as he might, he could not awaken from. Dean had likewise been good friends with Lyden, and having to carry his friend now - a man he had partied with on many weekends at Lake Charles just outside of Fort Polk - was almost more than he could bear. And now the rain on top of it all, and all the wild shooting and screaming… it had to be a dream.

A moment later, he found out for sure that it was not a dream. It was real, as real as NVA [North Vietnamese Army] manoeuvring at the column from the draw. He and three other bearers dropped Lyden, fell into the oozing mud, and cut loose at the pith helmets emerging from the jungle below. Half a dozen M16s ripped away at the enemy soldiers on both sides of him.

Dean picked up his corner of the poncho a moment later and started struggling forward again. But a little farther down the trial he again had to stop, this time to shoot at snipers who were in the trees in the draw. He fired and he fired, but in the rain, he could not tell if he was hitting anything or not.”
- excerpt from Samuel Zaffiri’s book ‘Hamburger Hill: The Brutal Battle for Dong Ap Bai, May 11-20 1969'

I met Dave Dean in 1988 when we were both working at IPEX, a printing industry exhibition in Birmingham, England. He was the new US sales agent for my father's engineering company and I was eighteen years old, working for my father during the summer holidays between school and college. I knew nothing of Dean's combat experience then, but when prompted by my brother Paul he did tell me his military career ended quickly when he was injured by a hard-landing during parachute training in Vietnam. His parachute entangled in the jungle canopy and he'd swung at full pelt into a large tree trunk, breaking nearly every bone in his body he said. Dean told me that his training accident marked the end of his military career and that he'd spent the rest of the war living in the Philippines, the owner of a go-go bar serving US air force personnel in the city of Angeles, besides Clark air base. 

In November 2019 I read that (a text copy of said article - now deleted - is copied here) the only such parachute training being conducted in Vietnam at that time (1970/71) was overseen by legendary Korean War veteran Sergeant Major Billy Waugh. Waugh was serving with the very secretive special forces Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG), often working with indigenous Hmong forces deep behind enemy lines. The controversial MACV-SOG unit disbanded in 1972 and Waugh medically discharged from the military the same year, about the same time Dave Dean was medically discharged and will have been setting up his go-go bar besides Clark air base. What is critical to know at this juncture is the CIA were using Clark air base at that time for Air America activities and as a training area for Hmong insurgents flown over from Vietnam. This is when I believe many ex-special forces operators, like Waugh and Dean, became private military contractors for the CIA. 

In the late 1970s Waugh was involved in training Libyan special forces and supplying them with tons of plastic explosives. Waugh's associate in that matter, Edwin Wilson, was convicted and sentenced to fifty-two years in prison for his part in the illegal arms trade with Libya. Waugh walked free from the matter - protected by the CIA.

I’m not sure of Dean’s activities before 1988 but I do remember my father returning from a business trip to El Salvador in 1986. He’d sold a gravure proofing press to the government mint in San Salvador and told me how the government driver who'd collected him at the airport drove him slowly passed a recently executed (fresh blood seeping from a head wound) young man sprawled on the pavement. Given the nature of El Salvador’s government in 1986 - a CIA backed junta - it seems quite likely to me that’s when Dean and my father first crossed paths. Was that my father’s first involvement with intelligence agencies and the deep state? I don’t think so; I think that began in the 1970s after he was made managing director of one of his uncle’s companies (his Uncle Dick was a descendant of Roger Cunliffe of Cunliffe, Brooks and Co.), an engineering export business in Manchester called George Moulton Successors (GMS) Limited. My parents setup their own engineering export business in 1982, in direct competition to GMS.

While Dean was working as a sales agent for my father in the 1990s, Dean's special forces mentor Billy Waugh was training al Qaeda fighters in Yemen, whilst contracting for the CIA . In his own words:

“I worked right there with these al-Qaeda operatives and heard these arguments [against US foreign policy] firsthand many times, especially during an assignment in Yemen. I have spoken to some of those terrorists, and they consider terror attacks against the general public their only outlet to hurt and destroy the infidels who have wrongly ousted them from their homes so many years in the past.” 
Excerpt from Billy Waugh’s 2004 autobiography ‘Hunting the Jackal'

When exactly Billy Waugh oversaw that training of Al Qaeda fighters in Yemen is not specified, but in 1994 the US was a party to the Yemen civil war, supporting a Northern coalition that included Al Qaeda fighters and was opposed to the Southern coalition which was supported by Saudi, Kuwait, UAE, China and others. Yemen is clearly a very complicated battlefield, with Yemen’s US allied President Saleh (1990-2012) widely accused of providing material support to Al Qaeda:

My father’s first machine sale to Yemen was just before the 1994 civil war and was installed by my brother Paul in 1993. The customer was Yemen’s richest family, the owners of the Hayel Saeed Anam Group - close allies of President Saleh. My brother Paul worked directly for Dave Dean rather than our father and was based in America for much of the 1990s. That suggests Dean was furnishing front companies in Yemen to host Al Qaeda members in 1993, and therefore it's very likely that when Billy Waugh was there too, training Al Qaeda fighters for the impending civil war. That setup - of Al Qaeda cells operating out of factory buildings in Yemen - would match ex-US Ambassador to Yemen (1997-01) Barbara Bodine's flippent comment:

"When I got there in 1997, there was already an Al Qaeda presence. 
We knew about it. The Yemenis knew about it. Everyone knew about it.” 

"Numbers [are] always impossible to know, but these people were primarily foreign nationals. One of the best ways to describe the presence is that they were largely warehousing lower-level people.” 

My father’s second machine sale to Yemen was in 1997 was purchased by the Hayel Saeed Anam Group again but through a front company in London (Longulf Trading) for a shadowy (vague name, no address) third party in Yemen. I witnessed the sale at the CMM trade show in Chicago (Dean’s home town) and I went to Yemen to install the machine there too. Although present at the exhibition Dean kept just enough distance (including declining his sales commission of several thousand dollars) so as not to be directly associated with the sale to Yemen or the Hayel Saeed Anam Group’s trading office Longulf Trading. And I can understand why: the machine I installed in 1997 Yemen was to furnish known terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s front company, YemPak (a Yemen-Pakistan collaboration), located seventeen miles south of Al Qa’idah town, which I also visited in 1997.

Dean appears to have been playing a very canny game, using his business Dean Printing Systems as a front to assist terrorists and their backers in Yemen - furnishing their ‘warehouses’ with western machinery. The terrorist's warehouses became legitimate factories and western manufacturing companies won valuble export orders. Intel agency spooks and career diplomats must have been overjoyed too, gaining power on the oil rich Arabian peninsular and some control over the Arab-Afghan Mujahideen forces who’d fought the Soviet Union in 1980s Afghanistan. The only losers appear to have been the victims of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s terrorist spree, just everyday people:

Six Americans and an unborn child murdered in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing
A Filipino and a Japanese man murdered during the 1994/95 Bojinka plot preparations
Two hundred and twenty-four murdered in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania
Two thousand, nine hundred and ninty-seven murdered on 9/11

How do I know the spooks and diplomats were overjoyed? From a British perspective, my father’s engineering company got two Queens Award for Export Achievements, one in 1987 (after the 1986 machine sale to El Salvador’s military junta) and the second in 1995 (after his 1993 machine sale to Al Qaeda’s fianciers in Yemen - the Hayel Saeed Anam Group). The links to the British Establishment are further confirmed by a Hayel Saeed Anam Group director being made honorary vice president of the London based British-Yemeni Society in 1993. The honourary VP, Dirhem Abdo Saeed, is also a director of the Longulf Trading London office, chairman of Britain’s largest cardboard packaging company Cepac Limited, is a share holder in the Tadhamon International Islamic Bank which is implicated in providing banking services to Daesh in Yemen and used the British Cayman Island tax haven from 1997 to 2014

The perspective on the US deep state and Intel agencies' complicity with Al Qaeda in Yemen is an open book:

- from Billy Waugh writing in his autobiography about training Al Qaeda fighters and Dean furnishing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s front company in 1990s Yemen

- to the US Embassy in Yemen sourcing industrial quantities of explosive TNT chemicals for the company hosting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s terror cell - the Hayel Saeed Anam Group:

In August 1996 the US embassy Yemen published two ‘Export Opportunities’ lists which between them contained just about every ingredient needed to make TNT explosives. The destination of those chemicals was the Hayel Saeed Anam Group headquarters in Taiz city, the same compound KSM’s front company YemPak was located. Toluene, TNT’s primary ingredient, was curiously mis-spelt ‘Tuluene' - a deliberate ploy to avoid detection maybe? In 1998 industrial quantities of TNT were used to bomb the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. I think the TNT was made by the Pakistani chemical engineers I met in the YemPak factory in 1997.

The Hayel Saeed Anam Group has previously been linked to terrorist financing via a shell company called MIGA (Malaysian Swiss Gulf African Chamber) based in Switzerland, and was found to be price skimming millions of dollars off contracts with the United Nation’s 1990s Iraqi oil for food program. No action was taken and today the Hayel Saeed Anam Group remains partnered with the UN, WFP & WHO, with multinationals like Unilever and TetraPak, and at the heart of the British Establishment - even using the British Cayman island tax haven from 1997 to 2014.

Therefore, whatever Dean and Waugh were involved in, they weren’t kingpins - they were pawns. They were men with a ‘certain set of skills’ - combat experience and special forces training - fullfilling technical roles in someone else’s scheme, someone like George Tenet. Tenet was the CIA director from 1997 to 2004 and is recorded here asking Yemen President Saleh to release an Al Qaeda prisoner because “This is my person, this is my problem, this is my issue Tenet said (starting at 1-min 30secs):

But it was Dean's involvement that caused Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to take up a plan to use hijacked civilian airliners as kamikaze piloted missiles to attack the World Trade Centre. That happened between 22-26 September 1997, during my visit to YemPak - KSM’s front company. Three months earlier I’d predicted a 9/11 style attack when flying from Logan airport Boston to Toronto and gave the clearest warning I could - of a civilian airliner departing Logan airport being hijacked and used as a kamikaze piloted missiles to attack the World Trade Centre - to the factory manager I was visiting in Toronto. But there was never any follow-up or feed back; no one appeared interested. Then I was asked to install the machine sold in Chicago to the vague end customer without an address in Yemen. There the Pakistani employees of YemPak asked me about visiting New York as tourists amd I repeated my travel warning - in detail. 

That was the beginning of the 9/11 plot.

A BIG Question:

Was I asked to go to Yemen because of the travel warning I’d given in Toronto in June?
Was my visit engineered in the hope I’d repeat my warning to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s terror cell? 

I don’t know, but I do know my repeated warnings of an attack, and my concerns about the customer in Yemen were resolutely ignored. 

Dave Dean, 2019

My last visit to the USA in December 1997, three months after my visit to Yemen, included an installation in Brooklyn New York. The machine operators there asked me if I’d be visiting the World Trade Center and once again I repeated my warning of a terrorist attack. I gave my clearest warning to their boss Dan Barkochba, but there was no response - again no one seemed to care. Was the installation in New York a setup by Dean? A test to see if I’d repeat my 9/11 warning there? It seems quite likely to me in retrospect. I was sent on numerous very unusual installations in Asia after that, but never again to the USA. 

The last time I spoke with Dean was in April 1997, at the exhibition in Chicago where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s financiers purchased one of our machines. I was made redundant from my family’s business in April 1998, six months after my visit to Yemen. I’ve been told Dean died in 2020, around the same time I first made these accusations, in January 2020.

Truly, for some of us nothing is written, unless we write it 
© Anthony C Heaford - The Quiet Mancunian