Ramadan refutes allegations
Pipes: He publicly refers to the Islamist atrocities of 9/11, Bali, and Madrid as "interventions," minimizing them to the point of near-endorsement.
Ramadan: The term "interventions" was not my word, but one effectively used by the journalists in the French magazine Le Point (April 22, 2004) following a phone interview with me. Proche-Orient.info, a French website known in France as the "sister website of Daniel Pipes' website," echoed Mr. Pipes' allegation of "minimizing them to the point of near-endorsement." I called the chief editor, who was so upset with what was attributed to me that he offered me the opportunity to respond. In the next issue (April 29, 2004), I wrote an article titled very clearly "Enough Is Enough" and I made it clear that I have always condemned the terrorist attacks in New York, Bali, Madrid or elsewhere.
Pipes: Intelligence agencies suspect that Mr. Ramadan (along with his brother Hani) coordinated a meeting at the Hotel Penta in Geneva for Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy head of Al-Qaeda, and Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh, now in a Minnesota prison.
Ramadan: It is interesting to note that Daniel Pipes does not give the date. The first time I heard this story, it alleged that this meeting was in 1992. In 1992, I was in Egypt. A few months later the story changed and alleged the year was in 1991. In 1991, my brother was in Egypt. So when and with whom was this supposed meeting? The Swiss intelligence cleared my name of these accusations when it publicly stated that Ayman al-Zawahri did not enter Switzerland. Furthermore, I did not ever meet him or Omar Abd el Rahman to whom I am supposedly related to, according to Daniel Pipes sources.
Pipes: Mr. Ramadan's address appears in a register of Al Taqwa Bank, an organization the State Department accuses of supporting Islamist terrorism.
Ramadan: The Al Taqwa Bank had a list of addresses in a general mailing list. We were told that the address of the Islamic Centre of Geneva was in this list along with the addresses of more than 2,000 international organisations including UN headquarters address, the Swiss Confederation, and embassies including the Egyptian and American embassies. Neither my name nor my address appears in a register of al-Taqwa. I never met nor talked to its director.
Pipes: Then there is the intriguing possibility, reported by Olivier Guitta, that Osama bin Laden studied with Tariq's father in Geneva, suggesting that the future terrorist and the future scholar might have known each other.
Ramadan: This is the first time I hear that Osama was even in Geneva, a point apparently also missed by the Swiss intelligence and Osama's biographers. My father did not know Osama and I have neither met nor talked to him. It is possible, however, that Mr. Pipes is confusing Osama with his half-brother, Yaslem bin Laden, whom I met once for exactly five minutes after a lecture I gave in Geneva in 2003 and who also is known to be in contact with high level American politicians.