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Crafty_Dog
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« on: December 03, 2006, 08:29:46 AM »

Hola Todos:

Lamento que tantos de los articulos que comparto aqui sean en ingles, pero asi son mis fuentes embarassed   

CD
===============

Franchising Jihad



By J. Peter Pham & Michael I. Krauss : 04 Dec 2006




In a forthcoming study for the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at Israel's Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, senior researcher Ely Karmon raises the alarming prospect of Hezbollah affiliated groups bringing the Lebanese terrorists' brand of violence to the Americas. While acknowledging that it is too soon to draw clear conclusions about the nature and objectives of these Hezbollah "franchisees," Karmon nonetheless notes that "successful campaigns of proselytism in the heart of poor indigene Indian tribes and populations by both Shi'a and Sunni preachers and activists" have contributed to the growing attraction of Islamist terrorist groups in Latin America. Karmon also observes that "there is a growing trend of solidarity between leftist, Marxist, anti-global and even rightist elements with the Islamists," citing inter alia the September 2004 "strategy conference" of anti-globalization groups hosted by Hezbollah in Beirut.


Evidence of this was already available in the Washington Post's front page coverage of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's September 22 mass rally, which mentioned that among those in attendance was a Lebanese expatriate who had flown in from Venezuela for the event and that "[a]t the mention of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, a critic of America, cheers went up."


As it happens, one month after the demonstration in Beirut, on October 23, Venezuelan police discovered two explosive devices near the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. According to a statement in El Universal from the acting police commissioner of the Baruta district, law enforcement officials arrested a man carrying a "backpack containing one hundred black powder bases, pliers, adhesive tape, glue, and electric conductors" who "admitted that the explosives had been set to detonate within fifteen minutes." The man arrested was José Miguel Rojas Espinoza, a 26-year-old student at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, a Chávez-founded institution whose website proclaims that it offers a free "practical and on the ground education" contributing to "a more just, united, and sustainable society, world peace, and a new progressive and pluralist civilization."


Two days after the failed bombing, a web posting by a group calling itself Venezuelan Hezbollah claimed -- "in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful" -- responsibility for the attack. The bombing was meant to publicize Venezuelan Hezbollah's existence and its mission to "build an Islamic nation in Venezuela and all the countries of America," under the guidance of "the ideology of the revolutionary Islam of the Imam Khomeini." (Without a hint of irony, the communiqué, signed by "Latin American Hezbollah," disparaged those who would present the suspect as "a lunatic and a madman in order to hide the truth that he is an Islamic mujahid, a man who has undertaken jihad through the call of our group.")


This episode, barely noticed in our preoccupation with the midterm elections, is not the first of its kind in the Americas. On November 9, a court in Argentina issued an arrest warrant for former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani and eight other former Iranian officials for their part in the 1994 bombing of the a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and wounded hundreds. Prosecutors in the case formally accused Iran of ordering the terrorist attack and Hezbollah of carrying it out. Immediately after the judicial actions, Argentine Housing Minister Luis D'Elía, a self-professed follower of Chávez and a leftist demagogue on his own right (he is best known for organizing invasions of private property by piqueteros, unruly unemployed protesters), went to the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires and read out a statement denouncing the legal proceedings as "American-Israeli military aggression against the Islamic Republic." (An embarrassed President Néstor Kirchner was forced to fire the minister.)


As Rachel Ehrenfeld spotlighted in an excellent National Review Online column back in 2003, exploiting its entrée with the Lebanese diaspora, Hezbollah has had a longstanding and profitable presence in South America. In the largely ungoverned jungles of the tri-border region of where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay intersect, Hezbollah clerics have been active since the mid-1980s, seeking converts as well as recruiting new members and organizing cells among immigrant Muslim communities from the Middle East. In addition, Brazilian, Argentinean, and other Latin American intelligence sources report the existence of special Hezbollah-run weekend camps, where children and teenagers receive weapons and combat training, as well as indoctrination them in the anti-American and anti-Semitic ideologies of the Ayatollah Khomeini and his successors. Hezbollah is heavily involved in South America's thriving trade in illegal drugs, cultivating alliances with both drug cartels and narco-terrorist outfits with revolutionary aspirations like the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN) in Colombia. Brazilian security agencies estimate that hundreds of millions in profits are sent annually from Islamist organizations operating in the tri-border region to the Middle East, most of it going to Hezbollah in Lebanon.


Last summer, one week before a cross-border raid by Hezbollah precipitated open conflict between the terrorist group governing southern Lebanon and the State of Israel we warned in a contribution to TCS Daily that the Iranian-backed terrorists' build-up along that border was producing dangerous tensions. "Time is not on Israel's side here," we wrote. "Eventually, Israel may feel compelled to exercise its sovereign right to self-defense by preemptively attacking in a manner that not only eliminates the Fajr rockets, but also prevents Tehran from easily reestablishing them." We concluded by arguing: "For all our sakes, it's high time to bring Hezbollah back into the international limelight."


Then came the ceasefire mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, at which point we noted in another TCS essay that "by setting his strategic objective so ridiculously low—at one point he declared that his group 'needs only to survive to win'—Hezbollah's Nasrallah had emerged from the ordeal that he imposed on Lebanon with bragging rights." We feared that Nasrallah would exercise these rights to the detriment not just of Israelis and Lebanese, but also of Americans and others who oppose his terrorist group and the revolutionary ideology of his Iranian mullah patrons. Even we, however, did not anticipate how quickly Hezbollah would be exploiting its strategic opportunity to significantly expand both the scope and magnitude of its nefarious activities—and right into our own backyard at that.


Five months ago, we warned of a dangerous nexus between Iranian revolutionary and geopolitical ambitions, Syrian irredentism, and Hezbollah terrorism north of Israel's borders. Now it appears that the combination of Chávez's anti-Americanism, Iran's well-financed expansion of the umma and Latin American radicalism is forming yet another front for Islamist fascism, this time in nominally Christian South America. Secretary of Defense-designate Robert Gates, a former CIA chief, would do well to insist that this new front for jihad become a priority for the administration's war on terror.


J. Peter Pham is director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University. Michael I. Krauss is professor of law at George Mason University School of Law. Both are adjunct fellows of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2006, 05:57:05 PM »

U.S./PARAGUAY/BRAZIL/ARGENTINA: The U.S. Treasury Department took action Dec. 6 against individuals and companies with alleged links to Hezbollah in the tri-border region of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, Mercopress reported. Alleged funding hubs in Paraguay for Hezbollah, including an electronics company, a shopping mall and connected individuals, are forbidden from doing business with U.S. companies. Any accounts they hold in U.S. banks have been frozen.

Stratfor.com
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2006, 12:51:23 AM »

V= Hide Post
Tri-border transfers 'funding terror'

The tri-border area, where Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina meet, is a lawless region where drugs trafficking, gun running and counterfeit goods are rife.

The BBC has now found documents showing the suspicious transfer of large sums of money to the Middle East, which investigators believe goes to fund terrorism. The BBC's Andrew Bomford reports from Ciudad del Este in Paraguay.


It didn't look like the global centre of a business sending billions of dollars overseas, but on the first floor of the dingy-looking shopping arcade, if you could get past the two guards blocking the stairs, there it was - a shop, looking like a pawnbrokers, called Telefax.
According to Paraguayan and American investigators, Telefax, owned by a Lebanese businessman called Kassem Hijazi, is responsible for transferring huge sums of laundered money overseas and hiding the identities of the people responsible.

The money is believed to be the proceeds of crime - anything from drug smuggling, to gun running, to counterfeit goods to tax evasion.

"From the evidence and documentation we saw, it was clear that this man was moving large sums, hundreds of millions of dollars, through its doors, in its own name, hiding the identities of who was truly the owners of the money," said Carlos Maza, of the US Department of Homeland Security.

"Kassem Hijazi is a serious player who more than anything else has found the vulnerability in the Paraguayan system, the ability to control how money is moved through its banking system."

'Frustrating situation'

But US investigators are particularly worried that some of this money goes to fund terrorism as well as militant organisations like Hezbollah and Hamas.


Robert Morgenthau, the New York District Attorney, has prosecuted a number of American banks for moving millions of dollars from the tri-border area to what he suspects are terrorist bank accounts in the Middle East.

"We've found money going to the Arab Bank in Ramallah," he told the BBC.

"The Arab Bank is well known as one of the banks used by terrorist organisations. But that's part of the frustration. You don't know who's sending the money and you don't know who's receiving it."

The BBC saw company accounts for Telefax showing a business with an annual turnover of just $50,000.

But a large number of money transfer documents, obtained in a series of raids by Paraguayan prosecutors, show Telefax making international transfers worth ten times that amount almost on a daily basis.

Claims denied

The owner of Telefax, Kassem Hijazi, agreed to do an interview with the BBC.


The people I work with are friends, not terrorists
Kassem Hijazi
Telefax owner

He produced a large amount of the prosecution paperwork allegedly showing thousands of money transfers, but claimed that every single one of the documents had been forged.

"The proof is here," Mr Hijazi said, indicating the transfer documents.

"They have to prove that I've done it. Even the prosecutor says the documents are false, not us, the prosecutor. I wasn't transferring money abroad. It's the money exchange houses that send the money, and they've forged the documents. We don't do transfers abroad."

Mr Hijazi did admit to using numbers instead of names for his clients, effectively hiding their identities, but he said that was merely to make his paperwork easier.


The BBC examined a number of the transfer documents and saw large amounts of money, around $10m, moving to Lebanon in the space of a year.

Three transfers, for $100,000, $70,000, and $42,200, went in the space of two days to companies in Beirut which did not appear to exist.

Adolfo Marin, the original prosecutor in the case, said it was very difficult to investigate the money transfers because the banks in Beirut were dominated by Hezbollah.

"I have no idea what they can export to us from Lebanon, so necessarily the money that goes to Lebanon is not for imports," he said. "So it is possible to formulate a hypothesis about the probability of money laundering and links with terrorism."

Kassem Hijazi strongly denied any involvement in terrorist financing. "It's absurd," he said.

"It doesn't happen here. The people I work with are friends, not terrorists. They've been investigated and if there was some evidence they would have been charged."

'Helping our brothers'

This view was supported by Sheik Taleb Jomha, the Muslim leader of the 30,000-strong Lebanese community in the tri-border area.


"I am not telling you a secret when I say that Iran and Syria are supporting Hezbollah," he said.

"Iran has the ability to send weapons and rockets, not us. They say money is moving from here to the Middle East. That's right. But not to help political or military groups, but to help our brothers and sisters who need help."

Kassem Hijazi is not facing charges of money laundering or even terrorist financing.

In Paraguay, funding terrorism is not a crime, and the law on money laundering is out of date, making it difficult to achieve a prosecution.

A new law has been languishing, unapproved, in the country's Congress for more than two years.

In the meantime, Mr Hijazi has been accused of tax evasion, which he also denies, and is expected to face trial in 2007.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/6179085.stm
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2007, 10:27:23 AM »

Argentina Pursues Iran in '94 Blast As Neighbors Court Ahmadinejad

By Monte Reel
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, January 14, 2007; Page A14

BUENOS AIRES -- As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits Latin America this weekend to strengthen economic and political ties with the region, Argentina's Néstor Kirchner will not be in the line of presidents turning out to greet him.

Kirchner's government has reinvigorated attempts to prosecute Iranian figures for their alleged role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center here, recently issuing arrest warrants for nine former Iranian officials. Among those sought is former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, accused of ordering the attack that killed 85 people and injured more than 200.

 

A bomb exploded at a Jewish community center in downtown Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, killing 85 people and wounding more than 200. Efforts to prosecute in the case, initially stalled by judicial corruption, have led to the indictments of nine former Iranian officials. (1994 Photo By Alejandro Pagni -- Associated Press)

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The pursuit of Iran has been frustrated over the years by blatant corruption in the Argentine judicial system and accusations of coverups. The latest efforts to resolve the case come as much of the region is expanding relations with Iran, and several of Argentina's regional allies are pledging support for Ahmadinejad's government.

The Iranian leader plans to meet this week with Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Ecuador's Rafael Correa, Bolivia's Evo Morales and possibly others. They are expected to discuss broadening bilateral agreements, such as the technology-sharing deals that Chávez signed with Iran last year.

"Clearly the actors driving all of this are Chávez and Ahmadinejad," said Michael Shifter, an analyst with the Inter-American Dialogue, a policy forum in Washington. "Both of them see themselves as global players, and so it's nice for them to build these sorts of alliances and coalitions, which people like Correa and Morales are inclined to join in."

Although Argentina maintains friendly relations with each of those leaders, Kirchner's domestic agenda is driving him in a different direction. For example, he canceled plans to attend Correa's inauguration ceremony Monday after Ahmadinejad announced that he would attend.

The continuing U.S. conflict with Iran complicates matters further: Some critics contend that Kirchner's government has been manipulated by a regionally unpopular U.S. government that wants to use the Argentine court rulings to stir international outrage against Iran.

When one of Kirchner's most loyal and high-profile domestic allies -- former street activist Luis D'Elia -- recently suggested that U.S. and Israeli pressure was fueling Argentina's pursuit of Iran, he was forced to resign from his government post two days later.

For many people in Argentina, the indictments have been a bright spot in a case that has been marred for years by botched attempts to bring the bombers to justice.

"Now at least there is hope, a small light that can be seen in the darkness," said Luis Sergio Grynwald, president of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association, the community organization targeted in the attack. "That light hasn't been reached yet, and we'd like it to be bigger, but it's still a light."

The bombing was the second attack on a Jewish target in Argentina. In 1992, a suicide bomber struck the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29.

Shortly after the community center blast, then-Argentine President Carlos Menem blamed the attack on Islamic extremists from Iran. Menem was eventually saddled with some of the blame for the derailed investigations that followed: In 2002, a former Iranian intelligence official alleged that Menem, by then out of office, had received $10 million to cover up Tehran's role in the attack. Menem vigorously denied the accusation, but it nonetheless damaged his standing.

The judge investigating the community center bombing -- Juan José Galeano -- was also criticized for undermining the case. He was impeached after being found guilty of misdeeds including paying a defendant $400,000 to testify. He also lost hundreds of hours of wiretap recordings and other evidence.

The only suspects to be tried in the case have been four Argentine police officers and a car thief who were charged as accessories for providing the van used in the bombing. They were acquitted for lack of proof.

Following the judicial missteps, prosecutor Alberto Nisman has been leading a team of investigators dedicated solely to the community center bombing. In late October, Nisman said that his team traced the bombing to a planning session held in 1993 in the Iranian city of Mashhad. He said the motive for the attack had been Argentina's decision to withdraw some of its support for Iran's nuclear ambitions and for its decision to strengthen relations with the United States and Israel.

In November, an Argentine judge said that Nisman's team had provided convincing evidence and issued arrest warrants for the nine former Iranian officials, including Rafsanjani, who was president from 1989 to 1997.

Iran has repeatedly proclaimed its officials had nothing to do with the bombing. In the weeks since Iran said it would ignore the extradition requests, Rafsanjani has maintained a high public profile in Iran, running for a seat in a council of clerics in December.

Even Nisman acknowledges that arresting the suspects is a long shot as long as they stay in Iran. But he insisted that people who criticize his request for the warrants -- particularly those who say he did it solely to bolster the U.S. political case against Iran -- are wrong.

"Unfortunately, there's an upside-down analysis that's happening here," Nisman said. "Instead of analyzing all of this in terms of the proof we have compiled, people are analyzing the case in terms of political convenience
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2007, 11:48:01 AM »

Hezbollah builds a Western base
From inside South America's Tri-border area, Iran-linked militia targets
U.S.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17874369/
By Pablo Gato and Robert Windrem
NBC News
Updated: 2 hours, 36 minutes ago
CIUDAD DEL ESTE, Paraguay - The Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia has taken
root in South America, fostering a well-financed force of Islamist radicals
boiling with hatred for the United States and ready to die to prove it,
according to militia members, U.S. officials and police agencies across the
continent.

From its Western base in a remote region divided by the borders of Paraguay,
Brazil and Argentina known as the Tri-border, or the Triple Frontier,
Hezbollah has mined the frustrations of many Muslims among about 25,000 Arab
residents whose families immigrated mainly from Lebanon in two waves, after
the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and after the 1985 Lebanese civil war.

An investigation by Telemundo and NBC News has uncovered details of an
extensive smuggling network run by Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group founded
in Lebanon in 1982 that the United States has labeled an international
terrorist organization. The operation funnels large sums of money to militia
leaders in the Middle East and finances training camps, propaganda
operations and bomb attacks in South America, according to U.S. and South
American officials.

U.S. officials fear that poorly patrolled borders and rampant corruption in
the Tri-border region could make it easy for Hezbollah terrorists to
infiltrate the southern U.S. border. From the largely lawless region, it is
easy for potential terrorists, without detection, to book passage to the
United States through Brazil and then Mexico simply by posing as tourists.

They are men like Mustafa Khalil Meri, a young Arab Muslim whom Telemundo
interviewed in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay's second-largest city and the
center of the Tri-border region. There is nothing particularly distinctive
about him, but beneath the everyday T-shirt he wears beats the heart of a
devoted Hezbollah militiaman.

"If he attacks Iran, in two minutes Bush is dead," Meri said. "We are
Muslims. I am Hezbollah. We are Muslims, and we will defend our countries at
any time they are attacked



Hezbollah builds a Western base
From inside South America's Tri-border area, Iran-linked militia targets
U.S.

By Pablo Gato and Robert Windrem
NBC News
Updated: 2 hours, 36 minutes ago
CIUDAD DEL ESTE, Paraguay - The Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia has taken
root in South America, fostering a well-financed force of Islamist radicals
boiling with hatred for the United States and ready to die to prove it,
according to militia members, U.S. officials and police agencies across the
continent.

From its Western base in a remote region divided by the borders of Paraguay,
Brazil and Argentina known as the Tri-border, or the Triple Frontier,
Hezbollah has mined the frustrations of many Muslims among about 25,000 Arab
residents whose families immigrated mainly from Lebanon in two waves, after
the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and after the 1985 Lebanese civil war.

An investigation by Telemundo and NBC News has uncovered details of an
extensive smuggling network run by Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group founded
in Lebanon in 1982 that the United States has labeled an international
terrorist organization. The operation funnels large sums of money to militia
leaders in the Middle East and finances training camps, propaganda
operations and bomb attacks in South America, according to U.S. and South
American officials.
U.S. officials fear that poorly patrolled borders and rampant corruption in
the Tri-border region could make it easy for Hezbollah terrorists to
infiltrate the southern U.S. border. From the largely lawless region, it is
easy for potential terrorists, without detection, to book passage to the
United States through Brazil and then Mexico simply by posing as tourists.

They are men like Mustafa Khalil Meri, a young Arab Muslim whom Telemundo
interviewed in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay's second-largest city and the
center of the Tri-border region. There is nothing particularly distinctive
about him, but beneath the everyday T-shirt he wears beats the heart of a
devoted Hezbollah militiaman.

"If he attacks Iran, in two minutes Bush is dead," Meri said. "We are
Muslims. I am Hezbollah. We are Muslims, and we will defend our countries at
any time they are attacked



===========



Straight shot to the U.S.
U.S. and South American officials warn that Meri's is more than a rhetorical
threat.

It is surprisingly easy to move across borders in the Triple Frontier, where
motorbikes are permitted to cross without documents. A smuggler can bike
from Paraguay into Brazil and return without ever being asked for a
passport, and it is not much harder for cars and trucks.



The implications of such lawlessness could be dire, U.S. and Paraguayan
officials said. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, chairman of the House
Intelligence Committee, said Hezbollah militiamen would raise no suspicions
because they have Latin American passports, speak Spanish and look like
Hispanic tourists.

The CIA singles out the Mexican border as an especially inviting target for
Hezbollah operatives. "Many alien smuggling networks that facilitate the
movement of non-Mexicans have established links to Muslim communities in
Mexico," its Counter Terrorism Center said in a 2004 threat paper.

"Non-Mexicans often are more difficult to intercept because they typically
pay high-end smugglers a large sum of money to efficiently assist them
across the border, rather than haphazardly traverse it on their own."

Deadly legacy of a lawless frontier
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Tri-border has become a
top-level, if little-publicized, concern for Washington, particularly as
tension mounts with Iran, Hezbollah's main sponsor. Paraguayan government
officials told Telemundo that CIA operatives and agents of Israel's Mossad
security force were known to be in the region seeking to neutralize what
they believe could be an imminent threat.

But long before that, U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies
regarded the region as a "free zone for significant criminal activity,
including people who are organized to commit acts of terrorism," Louis
Freeh, then the director of the FBI, said in 1998.

Edward Luttwak, a counterterrorism expert with the Pentagon's National
Security Study Group, described the Tri-border as the most important base
for Hezbollah outside Lebanon itself, home to "a community of dangerous
fanatics that send their money for financial support to Hezbollah."

"People kill with that, and they have planned terrorist attacks from there,"
said Luttwak, who has been a terrorism consultant to the CIA and the
National Security Council. "The northern region of Argentina, the eastern
region of Paraguay and even Brazil are large terrains, and they have an
organized training and recruitment camp for terrorists."

"Our experience is that if you see one roach, there are a lot more," said
Frank Urbancic, principal deputy director of the State Department's
counterterrorism office, who has spent most of his career in the Middle
East.

A mother lode of money
Operating out of the Tri-border, Hezbollah is accused of killing more than
100 people in attacks in nearby Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the early
1990s in operations personally masterminded by Hezbollah's military
commander, Imad Mugniyah.

Mugniyah is on the most-wanted terrorist lists of both the FBI and the
European Union, and he is believed to work frequently out of Ciudad del
Este.

For President Bush and the U.S.-led "war on terror," the flourishing of
Hezbollah in the Western Hemisphere demonstrates the worrying worldwide
reach of Islamist radicalism. In the Tri-border, Hezbollah and other radical
anti-U.S. groups have found a lucrative base from which to finance many of
their operations.

Smuggling has long been the lifeblood of the Tri-border, accounting for $2
billion to $3 billion in the region, according to congressional officials.
Several U.S. agencies said that Arab merchants were involved in smuggling
cigarettes and livestock to avoid taxes, as well as cocaine and marijuana
through the border with Brazil on their way to Europe. Some of the proceeds
are sent to Hezbollah, they said.

Many Arabs in the Tri-border openly acknowledge that they send money to
Hezbollah to help their families, and the man in charge of the local mosque
in Ciudad del Este, who asked not to be identified by name, declared that
Shiite Muslim mosques had "an obligation to finance it."

But the U.S. government maintains that the money ends up stained with blood
when it goes through Hezbollah, which is blamed for the bombings of the U.S.
Embassy and the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in the 1980s, as well as
the kidnappings of Americans, two of whom were tortured and killed.

Patrick M. O'Brien, the assistant secretary of the Treasury in charge of
fighting terrorist financing, acknowledged flatly that "we are worried."

"Hezbollah has penetrated the area, and part of that smuggling money is used
to finance terrorist attacks," he said.

===========



In Paraguay, looking the other way
The biggest obstacle in the U.S. campaign to counter Hezbollah close to home
is Paraguay, whose "judicial system remains severely hampered by a lack of
strong anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism legislation," the State
Department said in a "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report.

Since 2004, a draft bill to strengthen money laundering laws has been
stalled in the Paraguayan legislature, and the government of President
Nicanor Duarte has introduced no draft legislation of its own.

Hampering reform efforts is an endemic reluctance in Paraguay to acknowledge
the problem.

Interior Minister Rogelio Benitez Vargas, who supervises the national
police, claimed that Hezbollah-linked smuggling was a relic of the 1980s.
Today, he said, the Triple Frontier is a safe and regulated "commercial
paradise."

But authorities from the U.S. State and Treasury departments to Interpol to
the front-line Paraguayan police agencies all paint a different picture.
Eduardo Arce, secretary of the Paraguayan Union of Journalists, said the
government was widely considered to be under the control of drug traffickers
and smugglers.

Without interference, thousands of people cross the River Parana every day
from Paraguay to Brazil over the Bridge of Friendship loaded with products
on which they pay no taxes. As police look the other way, he said, some
smugglers cross the border 10 to 20 times a day. Earlier this year,
Telemundo cameras were present as smugglers in Ciudad del Este loaded trucks
headed for Brazil. They could have been laden with drugs or weapons, but no
authorities ever checked.

Direct link to Iran alleged
José Adasco knows better than most why Hezbollah has the region in a grip of
fear.

In 1992 and 1994, terrorists believed to be linked to Hezbollah carried out
two attacks against Jewish targets in Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital.
In the first, a car bomb exploded at the Israeli Embassy, killing 29 people.
Two years later, a suicide bomber attacked the Argentine Israelite Mutual
Association, a Jewish community center, killing 85 more.

Adasco, who represents the Jewish association, has never been able to forget
that day and the friends he lost.

"Really, to see the knocked-down building, [to hear] the screams, the cries,
people running - it was total chaos. Chaos, chaos. It is inexpressible," he
said.

An investigation by Interpol and the FBI found not only Hezbollah's
involvement, but Iran's, as well. The Argentine prosecutor's office said the
Iranian president at the time, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, ordered the
attack to retaliate against Argentina for suspending nuclear cooperation
with Iran.

A warrant for Rafsanjani's arrest remains outstanding, and the prosecutor's
office continues its investigation 13 years later.

Hezbollah tells its story
Alberto Nisman, the Argentine district attorney leading the investigation,
said the connection between the Hezbollah attack and the Tri-border is
unquestionable. Among other things, he said, the suicide bomber passed
through the area to receive instructions.

In the intervening years, Hezbollah has spread throughout Latin America.

On their Web page, local Hezbollah militants in Venezuela call their fight
against the United States a "holy war" and post photographs of would-be
suicide terrorists with masks and bombs. There are also Web sites for
Hezbollah in Chile, El Salvador, Argentina and most other Latin American
countries.

"The Paraguayan justice [ministry] and the national police have found
propaganda materials for Hezbollah" across the hemisphere, said Augusto
Anibal Lima of Paraguay's Tri-border Police.

And it is not only propaganda. In October, homemade bombs were left in front
of the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, which is next to a school.

Police arrested a student carrying Hezbollah propaganda in Spanish. One of
the pamphlets showed a picture of children and said, "Combat is our highest
expression of love and the only way to offer a healthy and uncorrupted
world."

Caracas police were able to detonate the bombs safely. Police Commissioner
Wilfredo Borras said they appeared to be "explosive devices made to make
noise and publicity" - very different from what would be used if the United
States attacked Iran.

"In [the] United States, there are many Arabs - in Canada, too," said Meri,
the Hezbollah member who spoke with Telemundo. "If one bomb [strikes] Iran,
one bomb, [Bush] will see the world burning.

"... If an order arrives, all the Arabs that are here, in other parts in the
world, all will go to take bombs, bombs for everybody if he bombs Iran."

Pablo Gato is a correspondent for Telemundo. Robert Windrem is an
investigative producer for NBC News.
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2007, 11:49:27 AM »

Segundo post del dia:
==================



http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16840357/site/newsweek/

Tehran Goes Latin
By Joseph Contreras
Newsweek International
Feb. 5, 2007 issue - When Iran's firebrand president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
chose to visit three Latin American capitals earlier this month, there's
little doubt he meant his trip to irritate the Great Satan to the north.
Sure enough, it had just that effect; "Iran's track record does not suggest
it wishes to play a constructive role in the hemisphere," said Eric Watnik,
a U.S. State Department spokesman. But U.S. officials are worried about more
than just Tehran's diplomacy these days. They fear that Iran might one day
help its terrorist proxy, Hizbullah, set up shop throughout the United
States' backyard. Indeed, Latin America could be emerging as a quiet new
front in the war on terror. So far, however, most regional governments
remain unmoved by Washington's requests that they clamp down, and the
controversy could further damage some already fragile relationships.

The lawless tri-border region, where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet,
has long been a suspected locus for Hizbullah fund-raising, although the
State Department continues to rate the threat of terror strikes as low in
most of these countries. Last month U.S. Treasury officials issued a
statement describing in detail how an established Hizbullah network, based
in Ciudad del Este in eastern Paraguay, has sent millions of dollars to the
terrorist group over the past two years. The report also fingered nine
Lebanese men-most of whom hold Paraguayan or Brazilian passports-it claimed
were running the operation.

Latin America is home to between 3 million and 6 million Muslims, many of
whose forefathers came from Syria and Lebanon in the 19th century. They
settled largely in Brazil (which now has more than 1.5 million Muslims),
Argentina (which has 700,000), Venezuela and Colombia. The region is no
stranger to terror operations allegedly bearing Tehran's stamp.. In
November, an Argentine judge issued arrest warrants for Iran's ex-president,
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and eight of his associates for complicity in
the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85
people. An Argentine prosecutor has traced the planning for that operation
to a 1993 meeting in the Iranian city of Mashhad. But Iran has denied the
charges and said it would ignore any extradition requests from the
government of President Néstor Kirchner. The case has yet to produce a
single conviction and remains a sore point with Kirchner, who two weeks ago
abruptly canceled plans to attend the Inauguration of Ecuador's new
president, Rafael Correa, when he learned that Ahmadinejad would be there.

Sources in U.S. military intelligence have also identified Islamic radicals
in the Brazilian cities of São Paulo and Curitiba, the Colombian town of
Maicao, the Dutch Antilles island of Curaçao and the Chilean free port of
Iquique, where one of Hizbullah's fund-raisers traveled frequently to raise
cash. The mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, spent some
time in Brazil in 1995, and another Qaeda operative named Adnan G.
al-Shukrijumah visited Panama in 2001 while traveling on a passport issued
by Trinidad and Tobago. Dozens of missionaries belonging to a
Pakistani-based Islamic organization called Jamaat al-Tabligh are dispatched
to the region each year in search of converts. "The bottom line is that
there are Islamic radical groups throughout Latin America and the Caribbean
and not just in the tri-border area," says a U.S. military intelligence
official, who asked not to be named for security reasons. "Latin America is
still an area where it's easy for people to move in and out of, and there
are communities in which terrorists can hide." Now Iran's increased outreach
may be making matters worse, say diplomats. Jaime Daremblum, a former Costa
Rican ambassador to the United States, called Iran's new activism "a very
explosive cocktail that's being mixed."

The State Department has credited Panama, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago,
Jamaica and Mexico with stepping up their antiterror activities. Yet to
Washington's dismay, other local governments seem less willing to address
the threat. The Brazilian Foreign Ministry responded to Washington's charges
last month by stating that Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay had found no
evidence to corroborate the U.S. allegations about terrorist financing
activity in the tri-border area. Brasília went on to complain that
"unilateral declarations that point arbitrarily to the triple border cause
undue damage to the region." Some regional governments have adopted a
see-no-evil attitude, treating Hizbullah fund-raising, for example, as
innocent cases of Arab immigrants' sending cash remittances back home. "It's
difficult sometimes to get these countries to talk about the presence of
terrorist organizations within their borders," says Patrick O'Brien,
assistant Treasury secretary for terrorist financing. "But Hizbullah is a
global organization, and we certainly think [their Latin operatives] are
major figures in [this] activity."


      Juan Mabromata / AFP-Getty Images
      Muslims protested at the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires last summer
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

If some local governments appear reluctant to crack down on Iranian-backed
groups or sever ties with Tehran, it may be because Ahmadinejad has worked
hard to make himself an attractive friend. On his recent tour of the region,
he promised to open an embassy in Managua, build dams and housing, and
improve Nicaragua's drinking-water supplies. Meanwhile, Venezuela's
President Hugo Chávez has worked closely with Iran inside OPEC to boost oil
prices and has defended Ahmadinejad's nuclear ambitions. During the Iranian
president's latest visit to Caracas, Chávez announced that a $2 billion
investment fund previously established by the two countries would be used to
"liberate" other nations from what he called "the imperialist yoke."

It's no surprise, then, that U.S. concerns keep growing. The United States'
porous border with Mexico has long loomed as a tempting entry route for
terrorists, and Latin America itself has until recently been what one expert
calls a virtual "blind spot" in Washington's war against terror.
"Law-enforcement officials are very concerned about [South America's]
becoming a transit point [for terrorists], and [governments in the region]
have yet to demonstrate in any serious fashion their counterterrorism
capacity," says Magnus Ranstorp, a specialist in militant Islamic movements
at the Swedish National Defense College. "If I were a terrorist today, I'd
be hiding out in South America." If Washington's claims are right, some
Islamic radicals have done just that, and with an expanding Iranian presence
in the region, others may soon follow in their footsteps.

© 2007 Newsweek, Inc.
========================

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5786549/

Al-Qaida said to recruit in Latin America
Region on alert amid growing evidence of terrorist presence

Updated: 3:46 a.m. PT Aug 22, 2004
MONTERREY, Mexico - Governments throughout Mexico and Central America are on
alert as evidence grows that al-Qaida members are traveling in the region
and looking for recruits to carry out attacks in Latin America - the
potential last frontier for international terrorism.

The territory could be a perfect staging ground for Osama bin Laden's
militants, with homegrown rebel groups, drug and people smugglers, and
corrupt governments. U.S. officials have long feared al-Qaida could launch
an attack from south of the border, and they have been paying closer
attention as the number of terrorism-related incidents has increased since
last year.

The strongest possible al-Qaida link is Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, a
29-year-old Saudi pilot suspected of being a terrorist cell leader. The FBI
issued a border-wide alert earlier this month for Shukrijumah, saying he may
try to cross into Arizona or Texas.

In June, Honduran officials said Shukrijumah was spotted earlier this year
at an Internet cafe in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. Panamanian
officials say the pilot and alleged bombmaker passed through their country
before the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in May singled out Shukrijumah as one of
seven especially dangerous al-Qaida-linked terrorist figures wanted by the
government, which fears a new al-Qaida attack. A $5 million reward is posted
for information leading to his capture.

'The alert has been sounded'
Mexican and U.S. border officials have been on extra alert, checking foreign
passports and arresting any illegal migrants. In a sign of a growing Mexican
crackdown, eight people from Armenia, Iran and Iraq were arrested Thursday
in Mexicali on charges they may have entered Mexico with false documents,
although they did not appear to have any terrorist ties.

Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, Mexico's top anti-crime prosecutor, said
Mexican officials have no evidence that Shukrijumah - or any other al-Qaida
operatives - are in Mexico. But Mexican authorities are investigating and
keeping a close eye on the airports and borders.

"The alert has been sounded," Vasconcelos told The Associated Press last
month.

In Central America, Honduran Security Minister Oscar Alvarez said officials
have uncovered evidence that terrorists, likely from al-Qaida, may be trying
to recruit Hondurans to carry out attacks in Central America. He did not
offer details.

El Salvador authorities last week reinforced security at the country's
international airport and along the borders after purported al-Qaida threats
appeared on the Internet against their country for supporting the U.S.-led
coalition in Iraq. President Tony Saca, undeterred, is sending the country's
third peacekeeping unit - 380 troops - to Iraq.

Terrorists have struck in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the
United States. Latin America could be next, analysts say, especially as it
becomes harder to operate elsewhere.

"If there is a crackdown, they are going to pick up shop and move," said
Matt Levitt, a terrorism analyst and senior fellow at the Washington
Institute.

Officials worry the Panama Canal could be a likely target. In 2003, boats
making more than 13,000 trips through the waterway carried about 188 million
tons of cargo.

Earlier this month, the United States and seven Latin American countries -
including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Peru
and Panama - carried out a weeklong anti-terror exercise aimed at protecting
the canal.

In South America, U.S. officials have long suspected Paraguay's border with
Brazil and Argentina as an area for Islamic terrorist fund-raising. Much of
the focus has fallen on the Muslim community that sprouted during the 1970s,
and authorities believe as much as $100 million a year flows out of the
region, with large portions diverted to Islamic militants linked to
Hezbollah and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

But Mexico remains a concern for U.S.
The more immediate concern is Mexico, which shares a porous, 2,000-mile
border with the United States and is the home to widespread organized crime.

In December, Mexican officials canceled two Aeromexico flights from Mexico
City to Los Angeles, and a third was forced to turn around after takeoff
because of terrorism concerns.

At the time, the United States, Canada and Interpol told Mexico that
officials suspected terrorists might be using Mexican soil to plan an
attack, Vasconcelos said.

Concerns increased this summer about whether Mexico was doing enough to
screen international visitors after a 48-year-old South African woman
arrived in Mexico with a passport that was missing several pages and then
waded across the Rio Grande into Texas.

Farida Goolam Mahamed Ahmed was arrested July 19 while trying to board a
flight in McAllen, Texas. She pleaded innocent Friday to immigration
violations and was under investigation for links to terrorist activities or
groups. Court testimony indicated she traveled from Johannesburg on July 8,
via Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to London, then to Mexico City on or about
July 14. The countries she traveled through do not require South Africans to
have visas.

Mexican officials said Ahmed was not stopped upon entering Mexico because
her name did not appear on any international terrorist watch-lists.

Mexican officials say they are closely scrutinizing visa requests from the
Middle East and have heightened surveillance at the nation's largest
airports since Sept. 11.

"The requirements for a visa for people from the Middle East have not
changed, but all requests are being checked more thoroughly," said Mauricio
Juarez, a spokesman with Mexico's Migration Institute.

The country is a popular U.S. entry point for people trying to sneak into
the United States, and the majority - 46 percent - of all people arrested on
immigration violations in Mexico come from Brazil. The rest are largely from
the Americas, China or Singapore.

It has become nearly impossible for people from Muslim countries to get
visas to come to Mexico since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Fayesa Amin, a 37-year-old Pakistani, started the process to get a Mexican
visa two months before she was to attend a wedding in Mexico. The Mexican
consulate in Karachi asked her to fill out several forms and to turn in
copies of her credit card and bank statements for a full year.

Amin, who runs three beauty salons in Pakistan, said Mexican authorities
told her a visa had been approved and it could be picked up in London. But
Mexican officials there said her visa was being held in Ankara, Turkey. In
the end, she ended up spending her holiday stranded in London.

"I knew it would be hard to get to that part of the world and that
everything had become more difficult," Amin said in a telephone interview
from Islamabad. "But I didn't realize how hard it could be."

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2007, 12:55:11 AM »


Spain arrests Syrian man for selling arms to FARC
By Michelle Nichols 32 minutes ago
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A suspected Syrian weapons dealer accused of arming militants from  Iraq to Nicaragua for decades has been arrested in Spain on U.S. charges of trying to supply Colombian rebels, authorities said on Friday.
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The arrest of Monzer al-Kassar "finally brought one of the world's most prolific arms traffickers to justice," U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said.
U.S. authorities were seeking the extradition of Kassar, 61, of Marbella, Spain, and two other men, Tareq Mousa al Ghazi, 60, of Lebanon, and Luis Felipe Moreno Godoy, 58, also of Marbella, who were arrested in Romania.
All three are wanted on charges of conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
An indictment unsealed in New York on Friday said the men had agreed to provide the weapons for the FARC "to use to protect their cocaine-trafficking business and to attack United States interests in Colombia."
"They knew the weapons they agreed to sell were destined for a terrorist organization. They knew the arms were going to be used to kill Americans," Garcia told a news conference.
Colombia is the world's top producer of cocaine, with most of its crop destined for the United States and Europe.
A longtime Spanish resident known as the "Prince of Marbella" for his opulent lifestyle, Kassar has sold weapons to the Palestinian Liberation Front, Nicaragua, Bosnia, Croatia, Iran, Iraq and Somalia since the 1970s, the U.S. Embassy in Madrid said.
The three are also charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, conspiracy to kill officers and employees of the United States, conspiracy to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles, and money laundering.
MISSILE OFFER
In 1995, Kassar was acquitted by Spain's high court of a charge of piracy in connection with the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro by Palestinian guerrillas.
He was arrested at Madrid airport on Thursday on a U.S. request and appeared before a judge in the capital on Friday.
Prosecutors said Kassar and Ghazi met with two confidential sources working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration at Kassar's home in Marbella in February and discussed the sale of weapons to the FARC.
The sources said they represented the FARC and needed the weapons to fight against the United States in Colombia. They requested assault rifles, sniper rifles, Makarov pistols, ammunition, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, grenade rounds and hand grenades.
Prosecutors say Kassar told the sources the weapons would cost between 6 million and 8 million euros ($8 million to $10.6 million) and offered to send 1,000 men to fight with the FARC against U.S. military officers.
He also offered to supply the sources "with C4 explosives, detonators, and experts to train the FARC to use them against these United States armed forces," the indictment said.
In March, prosecutors said all three men met again with the sources at Kassar's home where the men allegedly agreed to provide prices for "surface-to-air missile systems for the FARC to use to attack United States helicopters in Colombia."
DEA administrator Karen Tandy told reporters Kassar was a "notorious transnational criminal" whose motivation was "sometimes based on a shared ideology of hatred for America and what we stand for and sometimes purely for greed."
The U.S. government has designated the FARC as a foreign terrorist organization. The rebels have been fighting for socialist revolution since 1964 and have at times run large swathes of Colombia.
 
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2007, 02:10:31 PM »

?Alguien tiene mas informacion sobre este caso?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/...109110031/1003

Ten Iraqi citizens with forged passports and documents are in a Peruvian prison after an apparent bid to enter the United States on a flight to Los Angeles, officials here say.

An 11th Iraqi man thought to be part of the group is at large.

One of the men arrested is thought to have links to al Qaeda, said Peruvian National Police Col. Roberto Lujan, who is leading the investigation.

The capture of the 10 in this Andean nation raises the specter of a smuggling ring that could touch neighboring Ecuador.

The plot unfolded on June 21, when three Iraqis entered Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima attempting to board a flight to Los Angeles.

Airline officials alerted police after two of the men holding Dutch passports could not speak Dutch. Citizens of the Netherlands are not required to hold a visa to enter the United States.

Police detained the suspects and learned that another group of Iraqis had been en route to the airport.

"The others were slowed by traffic on their way to the airport," Col. Lujan said. "When they arrived, they apparently saw what was happening and left."


None of the three Iraqis arrested in the airport spoke Spanish. One gave police the name of a 40-year-old Spanish-speaking Iraqi citizen named Rafid Joboo Pati, the group"s reputed leader.


Police said the Iraqis entered Peru on May 11 and passed through the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Ecuador without authorities noticing that their documents were fake.


Peruvian intelligence units spent several days watching Mr. Pati, who was residing in the upscale Lima neighborhood Miraflores, Col. Lujan said. Others thought to be part of the smuggling ring also were watched.


On the night of July 17, police raided three apartments where the suspects were living and arrested seven persons, including Mr. Pati.


Mr. Pati confirmed that all of the suspects were Iraqis. Two had Dutch passports, two carried Ecuadoran identification and two held Iraqi passports, police said. Mr. Pati carried an Ecuadoran passport, Col. Lujan said.


Authorities found no weapons but seized a laptop computer and cell phones that they turned over to Interpol in France.


An 11th person was not in the apartment at the time of the raid and is at large, officials said.


Those detained are brothers Dane-K-Mansour, 26, and Nail Mansour, 29, Mushtaq-y-Hana, 24, Loayi-s-Elda, 29, Jaboo Pati-Rafid, 40, Adelmika Homow, 61, Salema Hazim, 53, Ala Tomina, 30, Istab Hekmat, 28, and Rafid Joboo Pati, 40.


"The Iraqis refused to give the name of the missing individual," Col. Lujan said.


Interpol advised Peruvian police that two of the Dutch passports were reported stolen last year.


"We have been told by Interpol sources in Lima that fingerprints of one of the men carrying a Dutch passport have been sent to Baghdad and is thought to have links to al Qaeda," Col. Lujan said, adding that he could not identify the man for security reasons.


All are detained at Lima"s Lurigancho prison. They are prohibited from giving interviews to the press.


The suspects were not employed during their stay in the high-end neighborhood, authorities said.


"Someone was funding them but we do not know who yet," Col. Lujan said, adding that his department is working on the investigation with U.S. officials and Interpol.


"We are very satisfied with how the Peruvian authorities are handling the matter," said Sam Wunder, a U.S. Embassy spokesman in Lima. "We are very interested in finding out more about these people."


U.S. officials in Washington would not comment on the investigation because it is continuing.


Col. Lujan rejected a theory that the men could be Chaldean Christians, a group said to frequently attempt entry to the United States on claims of religious persecution in Iraq.


"These people were not part of a group," he said. "Besides the brothers, they did not even know each other."


One man was arrested while clutching a flag of unknown origin. A photo shows the flag to have a white background with four squiggly blue and red lines converging onto a four-pointed light blue symbol that is similar to those found on Chaldean flags.


Officials said they do not know whether other Iraqi smuggling rings have operated in the country. One police official who declined to be identified said he doubted the ring was still operating in Peru.


"They might be in Ecuador because they know we are looking for them here," Col. Lujan said.
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2008, 10:53:13 PM »

Former New York Police Department detective and current polygraphist Ralph Nieves. (Photo by Patrick McCarthy, Photo by Patrick McCarthy)



BY ANTHONY M. DESTEFANO | anthony.destefano@newsday.com
Article tools
E-mail Share
Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Fark Google Newsvine Reddit Yahoo  Print Reprints Post Comment Text size:  Ralph Nieves, a wiry ex-NYPD narcotics detective, lived through the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, in Manhattan. That is why what he discovered about a particular part of Paraguay during a recent assignment there has so disturbed him.

Working under a U.S. government contract to carry out polygraph examinations of public officials in the country, Nieves said he discovered evidence of pervasive corruption among some police and military units.

It is a situation other law enforcement officials believe has contributed to parts of Paraguay being a terrorist haven where al-Qaida, Hezbollah and allied groups have been for years.




As a result, Paraguay's borders with Brazil and Argentina -- an area called the "tri-border" -- are being increasingly viewed by investigators, as well as American diplomats, as the vulnerable underbelly of the U.S. Ciudad del Este, Paraguay's second largest city,which is suspected of being a financial hub for terror and organized crime groups.

Some American investigators also believe the area's porous borders make it an ideal springboard for terrorists to make their way to the U.S. circuitously through Mexico and the Caribbean by using a variety of smuggling venues.

"Every major criminal organization in the world has a criminal representation in Ciudad del Este," Nieves, 63, said in a recent interview.

The lawlessness of the region makes it a threat for future terrorist financing and action in New York, Nieves said. He isn't alone in his concerns.

"It is being watched," Rep. Peter King, the ranking Republican on the House's Homeland Security Committee, told Newsday recently when asked about the tri-border zone.

Hezbollah, an umbrella organization for Shia Muslims, which started in Lebanon, is believed to have laundered $10 million annually through the area, King said.

Martin Ficke, former head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New York and now director of operations for the Jericho-based investigative firm SES Resources Ltd., said the tri-border is a continuing concern for money laundering. Ficke, who worked with the El Dorado money laundering task force, said agents were looking to see how readily terrorists could rely on narcotics networks in Paraguay to move cash to support terror operations. He wouldn't comment further.

Officially, the U.S. Department of State says southern Paraguay has yet to sustain an "operational" presence for al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas. King also doesn't believe al-Qaida is present in the area. But there are documented cases where members and sympathizers of Hamas, a militant Palestinian organization, and Hezbollah have engaged in money laundering, extortion, bombings and other crimes inside Ciudad del Este and surrounding areas. Back in the 1990s, suspects in the bombings of South America's Jewish communities were traced to the area.

Some U.S. officials also believe an al-Qaida ally, a shadowy terrorist group known as Lashkar-e-Taiba, which became active in Kashmir in the 1990s, is now operating in the region. Earlier this year, a Manhattan federal judge sentenced a Baltimore man to 15 years in prison for traveling to Pakistan for terrorism training at one of the group's camps.

A report prepared by the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay in April said the country doesn't have effective ways to deal with money laundering and terrorist financing but does try to cooperate in counterterrorism efforts. Judicial and police corruption were concerns, said the report.

In May, MSNBC ran a brief interview by correspondent Pablo Gato with a young Arab Muslim sympathizer of Hezbollah in Ciudad del Este who threatened to attack the U.S. if Iran was targeted.

"In two minutes, Bush is dead," the man told MSNBC of the threatened consequences of a U.S attack.

While those remarks seem like braggadocio, some U.S. officials have been wary of Hezbollah members infiltrating the United States through Mexico to carry out acts of terror. Washington has been pouring millions into Paraguay to try to strengthen its legal institutions, which is why Nieves, who is a private investigator in the Bronx, was working there.

Nieves took polygraph exams of nearly 80 cops, customs officials and military officers. They were applicants for positions in a special customs task force aimed at improving border controls in Paraguay that was to be funded by American aid dollars.

According to Nieves, one of a few U.S.-based Spanish-language polygraphers active in the business, the officials easily opened up to him. After Nieves assured them that admissions of participating in routine graft -- known locally as "la coima" -- wouldn't get them in trouble, the applicants said they believed criminals were tipped off to investigations by law enforcement officials. In some cases, local prosecutors warned smugglers of raids so they could dispose of contraband, Nieves said.

One customs officer said that some higher-ranked customs officials knew all of the organized crime leaders and provided them with information. Some national police also took part in executions on the border with Brazil near the town of Pedro Juan Caballero, said the official, adding that the killings involved disputes over smuggled goods.  The applicants painted a picture of a wild-west atmosphere where legitimate law enforcement was intimidated by criminals and corrupt higher officials.

"They mentioned terrorists, every organized crime group, al-Qaida, the Chinese," recalled Nieves of his debriefings.

One American law enforcement consultant who didn't want to be identified because he does a lot of business in Paraguay said the country's customs service is prone to corruption because of the low wages officials are paid. But even higher pay won't bring speedy reform, he said.

"They don't look at it as corruption. It is part of the culture," he said. "Everybody takes a piece of the government income."

"Most of those people who were coming forward were decent people. Unfortunately, the circumstances are overwhelming for them," Nieves said about the corruption.

Nieves thinks the United States could benefit by developing its own network of paid informants within Paraguay's customs and border police as an early warning system against terrorism.

"Everyone I met were people we could flip," he said.

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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2008, 10:53:36 AM »

De www.diariode america.com

Quote
1/12/2007
 
Asignatura pendiente de la derecha
Islamofascismo o integrismo islámico

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
Nuestros enemigos están dispuestos a hacer la yihad contra el mundo libre para que el imperio de la sharía se imponga al de la Ley. Y nosotros no podemos permanecer impasibles ante un relativismo que nos impedirá ganar la Guerra contra el Terror, una guerra por la ideas y por nuestra libertad.
 
     Aznar se refirió a la ideología que sustenta y alienta a los terroristas islámicos y regímenes teocráticos como el de Irán como islamofascismo.
 
 
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
Por Miquel Rosselló Arrom
 
El ex presidente del gobierno español José María Aznar se refirió a la ideología que sustenta y alienta a los terroristas islámicos y regímenes teocráticos como el de Irán como islamofascismo. No se trata de un término nuevo pues ya en 1990 fue utilizado por Malise Ruthven en su artículo titulado "Construing Islam as a Language" y desde el 11S son muchos los columnistas, teóricos y bloguers que han popularizado y extendido su uso. Si supone, en cambio, un paso importante en la batalla por las ideas tras sumarse a las palabras pronunciadas por el presidente Bush en 2005.

Tras pronunciar Bush el término islamofascismo se desató un debate periodístico y teórico sobre su buen uso. Un debate que se centró entonces en la falta de exactitud en el uso de esta palabra por parte del presidente de los EEUU que no tardó en reproducirse a escala española tras la intervención de Aznar durante su investidura como profesor honorífico por la Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas. La mayor crítica se sustenta en aquellos que asegurar que fomenta la islamofóbia cuando realmente produce el efecto contrario: marcar la diferencia entre el Islam y una interpretación integrista del mismo de pretensiones totalitarias.

Hasta la derrota de ejército Nazi en 1945 el Fascismo fue la ideología que sustento los regímenes totalitarios que asolaron Europa y pusieron en grave amenaza la libertad a lo largo y ancho de todo el planeta. Desde entonces el fascismo no sólo ha servido para describir una ideología y una práctica política concretas sino que ha sido utilizada por la izquierda –desde que se rompieran los acuerdos entre Moscú y Berlín- como una etiqueta con la que insultar y desacreditar a todo rival político. Para Stalin fueron fascistas tanto Hítler -después de haber colaborado estrechamente y repartirse Polonia- como Trotsky, de la misma forma que hoy la izquierda tilda de fascista a todo aquel que se manifiesta en contra de sus postulados incuestionables. El último en recibir este calificativo ha sido el mismo Aznar. Este caso resulta evidente e ilustrativo: un golpista como Hugo Chávez llamando fascista a un presidente que abandonó el poder voluntariamente cuando él busca la perpetuación de su persona al frente de la ya poco democrática República Bolivariana de Venezuela. El fascismo dejó entonces de ser estrictamente un término politológico que definía una doctrina para devaluar su sentido en el ruedo político de la confrontación partidista. Desde entonces, la ideología que planeó y llevó a cabo la "solución final" para exterminar al pueblo judío, fue vaciada de contenido por su condición de término equívoco y su identificación con comportamientos, ideologías, partidos o gobiernos que no podrían ser considerados rigurosamente como fascistas. El fascismo ha penetrado en la mentalidad y creencias de la sociedad, calado entre amplios sectores de la población como un elemento de deslegitimación política del adversario, como un calificativo para cualquier tipo de autoritarismo.

La derecha no ha sido capaz de combatir eficazmente esta identificación malintencionada con el fascismo que le atribuye la izquierda. Fue la derecha de Winston Churchill la que combatió en solitario al fascismo en Europa mientras que fueron Stalin y el Partido Comunista los que pactaron y compartían objetivos con los fascistas. Del mismo modo la derecha no ha sido capaz de situar en su justo lugar la otra gran ideología del mal y contraria a la libertad que es el comunismo. Sólo en los países de la Europa oriental que sufrieron regímenes comunistas o en los EEUU, que lo combatió activamente, podemos encontrar un uso negativo del término comunista o socialista. Mientras tanto, en el resto del mundo, las dictaduras de izquierdas siguen percibiéndose con cierto halo de respetabilidad y melancólica admiración. Por esto aunque algunos autores han insinuado la conveniencia de referirse a este integrismo islámico como islamocomunismo supondría un nuevo error. El comunismo, a pesar de los millones de asesinados, perseguidos, guerras y pobreza que ha generado, no es percibido por el mundo libre de una forma tan negativa como el fascismo. Ya hemos dicho que no estamos tan interesados en la exactitud del término como en la concienciación del peligro que supone esta ideología. Fascismo y comunismo comparten con el islamismo la voluntad totalizadora de someter a los individuos a un colectivo superior, ya sea el Reich alemán, una sociedad internacional igualitaria o la gran Umma.

Una de las grandes asignaturas pendientes en la derecha – partidos, gobiernos, medios de comunicación e institutos de pensamiento- es la falta de campañas de comunicación capaces de enviar mensajes sencillos, concretos y directos que expliquen sus verdaderas posiciones y políticas ante los ciudadanos. Aznar, en su condición de ex gobernante, y Bush, como gobernante en activo, parecen haber dado un paso importante en este sentido y pasan a encabezar una nueva estrategia política. Y es que aunque el término de islamofascismo no sea científicamente del todo correcto sí supone una simplificación sencilla y útil de cara a concienciar a la opinión pública del peligro real que supone el integrismo islámico para nuestra libertad y las sociedades libres en las que vivimos. Supone una acción decidida y necesaria en la lucha global contra el Terror, que no sólo debe ser militar sino que también debe desarrollarse en otros ámbitos como el ideológico y el cultural. Lejos de renegar de ella deberíamos imitarla. Porque las batallas más importantes no se libran en montañas lejanas y desiertos remotos, sino en el campo ideológico.

Nuestros enemigos están dispuestos a hacer la yihad contra el mundo libre para que el imperio de la sharía se imponga al de la Ley. Y nosotros no podemos permanecer impasibles ante un relativismo que nos impedirá ganar la Guerra contra el Terror, una guerra por la ideas y por nuestra libertad.

 
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"Ve a decirles a los espartanos,
extranjero que pasas por aqui,
que, obedientes a sus leyes,
aqui yacemos."
                                   Simonides.

WebBlog: www.cecilioandrade.es
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2009, 07:13:46 AM »

EEUU endurece posición contra amenaza nuclear Irán-Venezuela (Video)

Muy interesante entrevista de Maria Elvira donde tratan sobre las relaciones Irán-Venezuela y como éstas apoyan la capacidad nuclear de Irán. Depósitos de uranio, plantas de "bicicletas" en la jungla, vuelos misteriosos Caracas-Teheran, sequestro de barco ruso en el Báltico supuestamente con misiles a bordo y destino desconocido.





http://cifrasonline.com.ve/informecifras/?p=16706

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Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2009, 07:14:06 AM »

 shocked shocked shocked
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2012, 11:48:15 AM »



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXYEG5o1-5Q&feature=player_embedded
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