Feds raid Boston-area firm,suspect al-Qaida link

By WND Staff

Federal agents raided a Boston-area computer software firm looking for evidence that the company, which does business with key government agencies including the FBI, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Naval Air Systems, has links to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network.

Ptech CEO Oussama Ziade

The Quincy, Mass., firm, Ptech, makes software and is allegedly secretly owned by Qassin al-Kadi, one of 12 Saudi businessmen accused of funneling millions of dollars to al-Qaida.

U.S. government investigators told ABC News there are fears al-Qaida may have had access to some of the government’s most closely held secrets through the company, which also provided computer software for the Department of Energy, which handles nuclear weapons security.

The raid last night was the culmination of a top-secret investigation coordinated with the White House amid concerns that the company was secretly owned and controlled by al-Qaida activists or sympathizers.

Al-Kadi is a Saudi multimillionaire who is on a CIA list of people suspected of helping finance al-Qaida, according to Reuters. He has repeatedly denied any connection to bin Laden, but he is on the U.S. government’s so-called “dirty dozen” list of leading terror financiers who are being investigated by the CIA, and his accounts have been frozen by the United States.

American officials say al-Kadi and the other businessmen on the CIA list all have business and personal connections to the Saudi royal family.

Ptech Inc. has access to some of the government’s closest held secrets through its work in strategic planning with its clients.

In 2000 and 2001, Ptech was named one of the “100 Companies that Matter by KM World” and to the “New England Fast 50” by Deloitte & Touche and Hale and Dorr, LLP in 2001.

Other Ptech customers include IBM Global Services, the IRS, Motorola, NATO, Naval Aviation Systems, Southern California Edison, Sprint, SYSCO, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Postal Service.

The founder and chief executive officer, Oussama Ziade, left a doctoral program in high-energy physics to create the company. While it took four years for Ptech to land its first client, the company has been one of the fastest-growing high-tech companies in America ever since.

Ptech since gained worldwide attention as a software company that has helped major government agencies, including some branches of the military and Fortune 100 companies, become more efficient. Ptech’s software provides organizations with a visual model, or blueprint, of how processes work. That information is used to better understand how to turn strategy into practice.

The company was on track to reach earnings of $16 billion a year by 2005.
Ptech describes itself as the leading provider of enterprise architecture, business modeling, analysis and integration solutions.

Ziade established Ptech in 1994. He is the chief architect and the driving force behind the company. He has raised over $20 million in private investment for Ptech.

Hussein Ibrahim, the vice president and chief scientist, has also been with Ptech since its inception in 1994. Ibrahim taught computer science at Columbia University, where he also led a research team in a computer vision research project funded by the United States Department of Defense.