From Vietnam to 9/11, via the CIA

By Anthony C Heaford, 26 January 2020
(Last update 09 August 2020 - el Salvador sale & Queen’s Award dates corrected)

David Dean

I first met Dave Dean in 1988. He was the US sales agent for my Father's engineering company attending a printing industry sales exhibition in Birmingham, England. 

Dean was a fascinating character, a US Special Forces veteran of the Vietnam War who could recite from memory every King and Queen of England from Egbert in 827 A.D. to the present day monarch. Conversely, Dean wasn't that familiar with the printing industry, but he did have a practical working knowledge of electronic control systems; combining that with a sharp intellect and charming personality I assumed it was reason enough for my Father to have engaged him as his US sales rep. 

As a keen photographer I noted a curiosity about Dean from the start, one that persisted throughout the 10-year time span that I worked with him for - he hated having his photo taken. When incidental photos were being taken he'd literally duck, and when it came to group photos he'd always volunteer to take the photo or would wander out of shot at the crucial moment.


Vietnam, 1969 - 70 
Dave Dean, Billy Waugh 
and US Special Forces

dave dean019

Dean spoke little of his military service but he did say he’d fought on the infamous Hamburger Hill (a claim validated in Samuel Zaffiri’s account of the 1969 battle) before being selected for Special Forces training. He told me he was very badly injured by a hard-landing during advanced Special Forces training in Vietnam. His parachute had become entangled in the jungle canopy resulting in him swinging at full pelt into a solid tree trunk with enough force to break nearly every bone in his body.

A little research reveals the only such parachute training being conducted in Vietnam at that time (1970/71) was overseen by Korean War veteran Sergeant Major Billy Waugh of the very secretive Special Forces Studies and Observations Group (SOG).

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 in the city of Angeles, besides Clark airforce base. 

I assume Dean maintained his contact with Sergeant Major Billy Waugh, given that the parachute training program that nearly killed Dean was Waugh's brainchild. Running a go-go bar besides the US airforce's largest base in Asia meant it was frequented by US pilots, aircrew and ground-staff. It isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination to assume Dean also knew about Air America and the CIA’s clandestine activities of that time too. It’s pertinent to note here that when I visited Dean in the US in the 1990s he took me to another bar he owned, again one frequented by aircrew and airport ground-staff. It was called 'the Sky Box' and was tucked away inside the cargo handling area of Chicago’s O’Hare airport.

Yemen - 1990s
Billy Waugh, al Qaeda and the CIA

I don’t need to prove Billy Waugh’s CIA credentials or his links to al Qaeda - he did that himself in his 2004 autobiography ‘Hunting the Jackal, as quoted here:

“I worked right there with these al-Qaeda operatives and heard these arguments* firsthand many times, especially during an assignment in Yemen

*  against US foreign policy


“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.

* al Qaeda and related organisations

Assuming Waugh wasn’t lying in his autobiography, and that he wasn't a rogue agent, I’ll ask readers to take the following three statements as facts:

The CIA were training al Qaeda personnel after its formation in 1988
The CIA were aware of al Qaeda’s operational presence in Yemen
They knew al Qaeda wanted to commit terrorist acts against the USA

The nature of Waugh’s work with the CIA over the decades he worked with the agency is best illistrated by his involvement with arms and explosives sales to Libya in the 1970s and 80s. His associate in that endeavour was another American but not an employee of the CIA at that time. Consequently his associate Edwin Wilson was convicted and imprisoned for his part in the illegal arms trade with Libya while Waugh walked free from the matter - protected by his CIA applied legal indemnity. Waugh was and remains above the laws that govern the rest of us.

Chicago - 1997
Dave Dean and al Qaeda’s Financiers

As described at the beginning of my Brief 9/11 Timeline, my first contact with al Qaeda was at a printing industry exhibition in Chicago, in April 1997. Representitives of the multi-billion dollar global conglomerate (the Hayel Saeed Anam Group) that was hosting an al Qaeda terrorist cell in their HQ compound in Taiz, Yemen visited my Father’s company’s exhibition stand. 

They spent £100,000 with us in less than half-an-hour, on a machine sale that was immediately referred to as suspicious (suspicions that were as quickly brushed asided) and which I now know was to furnish Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s (the accused 9/11 mastermind) front company with the appearance of a legitimate business.

I was the sales technician and there were two salesmen present, but neither Dave Dean nor the company owner (my Father) were there. That in itself was a curious absence; half-an-hour before the suspicious customer arrived at our stand Dean had told my Father that he had something important to show him and they both departed to an unknown destination. They returned half-an-hour or so after the suspicious sale had been completed and their absence was never explained.

That £100,000 sale alone had covered the costs of the exhibition for us, a cost that had been of concern to my Father given the otherwise very quiet sales activity at the exhibition. Dean was pleased and congratulated the salesmen, one of whom (my brother) responded by congratulating Dean on the commission that this sale on his territory would earn him. Dean’s reaction was very out of character (given the ex-wife’s expensive maintenance payments he always complained about), in that he said he didn’t want the commission worth serveral thousand dollars to him. My brother pushed Dean on this, saying he was contractually entitled to it even though he wasn’t present at the sale. But Dean was insistent, remaining pleased for us and our sales success, whilst seeming to ensuring there’d be no financial connection between him and this suspicious customer who’d given a delivery address of Yemen. That wasn’t an address in Yemen they’d given, Yemen was all the information the customer had given us about the machine's destination, and it was clear that the end customer’s company name they’d given had been made up on-the-hoof too. 

It was without doubt a very suspicious sale in the most curious of circumstances.


Dave Dean’s account of his Special Forces training, told to me first-hand, leaves me with very little doubt that he will have worked closely with Billy Waugh. Billy Waugh published his account of having worked closely with al Qaeda in Yemen, the destination of the described machine sale completed in Chicago (Dean’s home town).

But those matters would have meant nothing to me if I hadn’t been the technician sent to install the said machine in Yemen: 

al qaidah qaeda yemen hsa

Associated Matters

It was around 1997 that my Father had briefed me before I went on a seperate installation visit in the USA. He told me not to mention Dean to this particular customer and likewise not to mention this customer to Dean. The issue  was that the customer had refused to buy the machine through Dean’s agency, therefore denying Dean his sales area commission. When I asked why, I was told that the customer had moral issues with the work Dean had been involved with previously. This didn’t make any sense to me and so I asked whether it was because he had served as a volunteer in the Vietnam War. My Father replied vaguely, saying that's it, or something like that”.

I don’t know when my Father’s business relationship with Dean started but I do know that in 1986 one of my Father’s export orders was to the brutal right-wing, CIA backed government of el Salvador. My Father told me he'd been driven past a recently executed man on his route from the airport to the government’s national mint printing factory. He said it was a young man with fresh blood seeping out across the pavement; he couldn’t explain to me why or who had killed him. That export order was instrumental in winning his company a Queen’s Award for Export Achievemnt in 1987. In retrospect it seems to me that being willing to deal with such people is a likely route for a business man to enter in to the clandestine world of intelligence agencies and regime change mechanisms. This is my suspicion, one of many I have from my time working for my Father, and from observing his business activities when I was a child.


I know that the factory I visited was an al Qaeda front, and it was where the 9/11 plot originated, based on a travel warning I gave to the Pakistani machine operators when they asked me about visiting New York. I also know that al Qaeda ran a training or study camp 1-mile from al Qaidah town in Yemen - I visited it. Those are my facts.

My belief, based on those facts and my wider research, is that the CIA was 100% complicit with al Qaeda in the 1990s, specifically through men like Billy Waugh working with al Qaeda in Yemen, as per his own confession.

I have little to no doubt that Billy Waugh will have used subcontractors too, 'frontline' men like Edwin Wilson in Libya. He’ll of used other people in supporting roles too, like Dave Dean - a Vietnam veteran nearly fatally injured in one of Waugh’s crazier schemes, a plan to parachute Special Forces soldiers in to Laos to sabotage the Ho Chi Minh trail. It’s Dean who will have lubricated the wheels of industry linking terrorist financiers or CIA backed regimes with legitimate businesses - providing the cover and mechanisms for such schemes, and almost certainly the instructions to al Qaeda’s financiers about which printing machinery to buy, and from whom, at the Chicago trade show in 1997.

What was my Father’s company’s role? He was simply a successful business man willing to turn a blind eye for the financial rewards, establishment endorsement and national accolades, such as a Queen’s Award for Export Achievement. 

And finally my role; a naive if not quite innocent tool used by all of the above. The rewards for my silence and willing complicity in such matters could have been huge, but instead I’ve chosen to try to be the world’s conscience. Speaking out at great cost to myself and with no assurance of success, just a hope for redemption and a better world for us all.


I now know that all this activity goes on with the blessing, encouragement and direction of governments, security services and the entire Establishment. Investigation or validation of my assertions is not going to come from them. I'm depending on similar minded individuals to myself to stand up and speak out: maybe Dean’s ex-wife or the US customer who refused to deal with him when purchasing machinery from my family’s business. I’m sure there’s many others who know the truth and could confirm what I am telling you. I don’t know their names but my life now depends on them. 

This is the only photo I’ve been able to find of Dave Dean, published by a Czech Republic company in 2019. They are now employing Dean as their sales representative. The other photo is of Billy Waugh from the invasion of Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11, chasing down an enemy that Waugh had trained the decade before in Yemen.

Truly, for some of us nothing is written, unless we write it