Dana Priest explains how Paris”s shadowy “˜Alliance Base” aids U.S. in terror fight in the Washington Post via MSNBC:
PARIS – When Christian Ganczarski, a German convert to Islam, boarded an Air France flight from Riyadh on June 3, 2003, he knew only that the Saudi government had put him under house arrest for an expired pilgrim visa and had given his family one-way tickets back to Germany, with a change of planes in Paris.
He had no idea that he was being secretly escorted by an undercover officer sitting behind him, or that a senior CIA officer was waiting at the end of the jetway as French authorities gently separated him from his family and swept Ganczarski into French custody, where he remains today on suspicion of associating with terrorists.
Ganczarski is among the most important European al Qaeda figures alive, according to U.S. and French law enforcement and intelligence officials. The operation that ensnared him was put together at a top secret center in Paris, code-named Alliance Base, that was set up by the CIA and French intelligence services in 2002, according to U.S. and European intelligence sources. Its existence has not been previously disclosed…
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