Mos­sad’s Canuck gets his man

T H E M A N B E H I N D T H E B O M B E R S

National Post (Latest Edition) - - Front Page - BY STE­WART BELL

They were the dead­li­est alQaeda bomb­ings of the 1990s, and the at­tacks that ig­nited the war on ter­ror. To­day, in the fi­nal in­stal­ment of a three-part se­ries, a quiet Bri­tish Columbia man who helped bomb the Amer­i­can em­bassies in East Africa is cor­nered by the CIA and Mos­sad. It

all be­gan with a tele­phone

call.

Coun­tert­er­ror­ism of­fi­cers at the Is­raeli Mos­sad were se­cretly eaves­drop­ping on a phone line in the Mid­dle East when they heard an ex­change that caught their at­ten­tion.

The caller men­tioned that a sus­pected Egyp­tian ter­ror­ist named Ihab Saqr was plan­ning to meet an uniden­ti­fied mem­ber of the Ira­nian intelligence ser­vice MOIS.

The meet­ing was to take place the fol­low­ing week at a ho­tel in Baku, the cap­i­tal of Azer­bai­jan, the for­mer Soviet repub­lic that shares borders with both Iran and in­sur­gent Chech­nya.

The “sig­nals intelligence” was handed to a vet­eran Mos­sad of­fi­cer, who was the Is­raeli agency’s coun­tert­er­ror­ism li­ai­son to the U.S. intelligence com­mu­nity.

The Baku meet­ing was a rare op­por­tu­nity, the Mos­sad of­fi­cer — now re­tired — told the Na­tional Post

in a se­ries of in­ter­views.

( He also signed a sworn af­fi­davit. This ac­count is based partly on his state­ments. His name has been with­held at his re­quest.)

Al­though the con­tent of the un­pub­lished tes­ti­mony is not en­tirely new, it sheds more light on the close re­la­tion­ship that de­vel­oped be­tween Mr. Guité and Mr. Brault.

Mr. Brault claimed, for ex­am­ple, that in Novem­ber, 1998, Mr. Guité tele­phoned him and asked him to write a cheque to fel­low ad­man Claude Boulay’s Ever­est Com­mu­ni­ca­tions for $50,000.

Mr. Guité told him the cheque was be­ing fun­nelled through Ever­est to help fi­nance the Lib­eral Party of Que­bec’s elec­tion cam­paign, and that the $50,000 was a di­rect re­quest from Que­bec Lib­eral leader Jean Charest, Mr. Brault said.

He said Mr. Guité told him to sim­ply add the cost of the con­tri­bu­tion to a spon­sor­ship con­tract.

Mr. Guité has de­nied ever mak­ing such a re­quest and Mr. Charest has de­nied solic­it­ing or re­ceiv­ing this money. Mr. Boulay tes­ti­fied he re­ceived the $50,000, but it was not for the Lib­eral party. He said it was part of Groupaction’s con­tri­bu­tion to a joint real es­tate ven­ture with Ever­est.

The chummy re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two men was ev­i­dent when Groupaction gave Mr. Guité four tick­ets to the 1998 Ital­ian Grand Prix in Monza.

Mr. Guité ad­mit­ted ask­ing Mr. Brault for the tick­ets. He said he and his fam­ily were go­ing to Italy for a hol­i­day and his son wanted to at­tend the For­mula One race.

Mr. Guité said he made it clear that if they had to pay for the tick­ets he didn’t want them.

“I said, ‘ If there is a cost, I don’t want them.’ I was as­sured there was no cost ... And when I got the tick­ets, I asked again. They said, “No, there is no cost.’ ”

Af­ter Mr. Guité quit his gov­ern­ment job in 1999, he started his own con­sult­ing com­pany called Oro Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Mr. Brault put him on a re­tainer.

From Jan­uary, 1999, to De­cem­ber, 2002, Mr. Brault paid Oro $136,532 in fees. He said he em­ployed Mr. Guité be­cause he had a “unique knowl­edge” in deal­ing with the gov­ern­ment and with Cana­dian ad firms.

He said he also hired him to help sell his com­pany and make al­liances with in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies such as J. Wal­ter Thompson and DDB-Palmer-Jarvis. Mr. Brault said he needed Mr. Guité to main­tain his gov­ern­ment con­tracts be­cause with­out them the value of his com­pany would be re­duced by half.

He said he paid Mr. Guité a $20,000 fee for con­sult­ing on Groupaction’s pur­chase in 2001 of Lafleur Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, an­other firm that ben­e­fited from the spon­sor­ship pro­gram.

In 1997, Mr. Brault tes­ti­fied, he bought a Ford Mus­tang from Mr. Guité for $35,000.

He said Mr. Guité told him he had paid $62,000 for the car only a few months ear­lier. In fact, ac­cord­ing to the sales in­voice, Mr. Guité paid only $36,215.

Mr. Brault claims Mr. Guité told him his wife thought he was too old for the sports car and sug­gested he sell it. Mr. Brault claimed he thought he was get­ting a fan­tas­tic deal on the car.

Mr. Guité stated in his tes­ti­mony that in 2001 Mr. Brault gave him a $25,000 “bridge fi­nanc­ing” loan to help him buy a $140,000 boat.

Mr. Brault also said that be­fore he pur­chased the car from Mr. Guité, he bought a new set of Pirelli rac­ing tires as a gift for Mr. Guité at a cost of $1,304.28.

Groupactions’ ac­counts in­di­cate the bill for the tires was from one of Mr. Brault’s gov­ern­ment spon­sor­ship con­tracts. Mr. Brault, how­ever, said that was an ac­count­ing mis­take.

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