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Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #150 on: March 15, 2007, 10:47:20 AM »

It's jihad by lawsuit. The global jihad is fought with many different weapons.
Power User
Posts: 42473

« Reply #151 on: March 22, 2007, 01:15:16 AM »

An American Beslan?

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 4:20 PM PT

Homeland Security: As Democrats hold more silly hearings to embarrass Republicans, the FBI is warning local police to be alert for Muslim extremists hijacking school buses. Reality check, please.

We wonder if any of the grandstanding politicians on Capitol Hill are thinking in terms of one of these nuts driving a fertilizer-filled yellow bus up to a government building — or, easier yet, a school. Of course not. They're too busy swooning over Valerie Plame to even notice we're still under threat from the Islamic terrorists they say we shouldn't be spying on.

The FBI and Homeland Security Department last week sent out a bulletin to law enforcement across the country warning that Muslims with "ties to extremist groups" are signing up to be school bus drivers. They also noted "recent suspicious activity" by foreigners who drive school buses or are licensed to drive them.

Recent events come on top of several other school bus-related incidents involving Mideast men that raise suspicion of terror activity.

They include last year's surprise boarding of a school bus in Florida by two Saudi men dressed in trench coats. Authorities suspect they were making a dry run to see how easy it would be to hijack or blow up a school bus filled with American children.

Previously, an Arab man from Detroit was caught trying to obtain a job as a school bus driver in New York using fake Social Security documents.

Authorities fear the school massacre that took place in Beslan, Russia, in 2004 may be a dress rehearsal for what al-Qaida plans to do here. Chechen terrorists tied to al-Qaida seized a building in Beslan on the first day of school and slaughtered 338, including 172 kids.

Three years later, schools and local police in this country are still unprepared to deal with such an assault. Most don't have response plans for handling a single active shooter, let alone a cell of trained terrorists.

Yet terror cells secreted inside America may be planning to use buses as a Trojan horse to infiltrate school campuses and murder students and teachers. Floor plans for schools in Virginia, Texas and New Jersey have been recovered from terrorist hands in Iraq. Videotapes confiscated in Afghanistan show al-Qaida terrorists practicing the takeover of a school.

Simultaneous attacks on schools in multiple states would follow Osama bin Laden's goal of crippling the U.S. economy. If multiple schools were hit, parents would drop out of the work force en masse to protect their children.

A prolonged labor disruption would cost businesses billions of dollars in lost revenue.

It's a grim picture. But don't think for a moment that al-Qaida is above targeting school children. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said in his Gitmo confession that while he may not like killing kids, they're fair game in jihad. He claims U.S. forces bombed and killed the children of bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, and arrested and "abused" his own children.

These people have nothing better to do than sit around and think of ways to kill us and our most precious resource, our children. They have many helpers placed inside U.S. cities who canvass targets and perform other logistics for such attacks. And these people will stop at nothing to pull them off. They're just waiting for the right time, when our guard is down.

Are we witnessing with Muslim men trying to obtain bus licenses what some alert (but ignored) agents witnessed before 9/11 when they noticed a number of Muslim men training to obtain pilot's licenses? Are schools and children the target of the next wave of terror attacks?

Parents should be outraged that Washington would continue to play politics with national security. Instead of using hearings to score partisan points, Congress would best serve constituents by using that power to investigate the terror threat to schools and how best to protect our children from attack.
Power User
Posts: 42473

« Reply #152 on: March 25, 2007, 07:37:37 AM »

As some of you may know, the six imans who deliberately created an incident to get themselves thrown off a plane are now suing various people/institutions/compaines including the citizens who reported their strange behavior. 

Little Green Footballs blog is reporting one US Muslim group with the integrity to stand by these citizens:
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Legal Aid Offered to CAIR Targets
People from across the board are outraged at the Council on American Islamic Relations’ announced plan to file lawsuits against US Airways passengers who reported the six non-flying imams. Now the American Islamic Forum for Democracy has offered to pay for the legal defense of any “John Doe” passengers who end up being sued by CAIR.

A U.S. Islamic group is offering to pay to defend “John Does” being sued by six imams who were removed from a plane in Minneapolis for suspicious behavior.

The suit arose from an incident last November in which passengers and crew reported the men aboard a US Airways plane were disruptive, did not take assigned seats, loudly criticized the war in Iraq and shouted about al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. They were removed from the flight, interrogated and later released.

They have since filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination by the airline, the airport authority and the “John Does” who reported them, The Washington Times reported Wednesday.

However, M. Zuhdi Jasser, director of American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told the Times his group will raise money for the unnamed peoples’ defense. He said anti-Muslim “backlash will be even greater when Americans see Islamists trying to punish innocent passengers reporting fears.”

Minnesota law firm Faegre & Benson LLP is also offering to represent the passengers for free, the report said.

The AIFD is an example of a legitimate (if unfortunately rather small) Muslim group that deserves the label “moderate.”

Here’s another Minneapolis attorney who’s offering to defend any passengers sued by CAIR: Attorney to defend passengers in Imam suit.
Power User
Posts: 42473

« Reply #153 on: March 28, 2007, 07:52:45 AM »

Looks like Congress is acting to create legal immunity in such cases.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #154 on: March 28, 2007, 08:57:26 PM »

Dear Muslim Terrorist Plotter/Planner/Funder/Enabler/Apologist,

You do not know me. But I am on the lookout for you. You are my enemy. And I am yours.

I am John Doe.

I am traveling on your plane. I am riding on your train. I am at your bus stop. I am on your street. I am in your subway car. I am on your lift.

I am your neighbor. I am your customer. I am your classmate. I am your boss.

I am John Doe.

I will never forget the example of the passengers of American Airlines Flight 93 who refused to sit back on 9/11 and let themselves be murdered in the name of Islam without a fight.

I will never forget the passengers and crew members who tackled al Qaeda shoe-bomber Richard Reid on American Airlines Flight 63 before he had a chance to blow up the plane over the Atlantic Ocean.

I will never forget the alertness of actor James Woods, who notified a stewardess that several Arab men sitting in his first-class cabin on an August 2001 flight were behaving strangely. The men turned out to be 9/11 hijackers on a test run.

I will act when homeland security officials ask me to “report suspicious activity.”

I will embrace my local police department’s admonition: “If you see something, say something.”

I am John Doe.

I will protest your Jew-hating, America-bashing “scholars.”

I will petition against your hate-mongering mosque leaders.

I will raise my voice against your subjugation of women and religious minorities.

I will challenge your attempts to indoctrinate my children in our schools.

I will combat your violent propaganda on the Internet.

I am John Doe.

I will support law enforcement initiatives to spy on your operatives, cut off your funding, and disrupt your murderous conspiracies.

I will oppose all attempts to undermine our borders and immigration laws.

I will resist the imposition of sharia principles and sharia law in my taxi cab, my restaurant, my community pool, the halls of Congress, our national monuments, the radio and television airwaves, and all public spaces.

I will not be censored in the name of tolerance.

I will not be cowed by your Beltway lobbying groups in moderate clothing. I will not cringe when you shriek about “profiling” or “Islamophobia.”

I will put my family’s safety above sensitivity. I will put my country above multiculturalism.

I will not submit to your will. I will not be intimidated.

I am John Doe.

Power User
Posts: 42473

« Reply #155 on: April 10, 2007, 10:08:53 AM »


The Great Al-Qaeda "Patriot"
By Paul Sperry | April 9, 2007

A man identified as "Esam Omesh" spoke just before Cindy Sheehan at last month's antiwar rally that Sheehan headlined in Washington.

Following chants of "Impeach Bush!" from shivering protesters, Omesh took the podium and exhorted "brothers and sisters" to condemn Bush for the deaths of "more than 650,000 Iraqi lives." He demanded the White House "pull our troops out of Iraq now" and "end the war today."

The speaker counted himself among the "great American patriots" who braved the cold to march on Washington and protest the war that day.

While there may have been legitimate voices there, this speaker decidedly was not one of them. Not because he's Muslim, but because he's an Islamist tied to an al-Qaida fund raiser and the spiritual adviser to the 9/11 hijackers.

Turns out it his real name is Esam S. Omeish, and he runs a nonprofit group in Washington called the Muslim American Society, which the FBI believes is the U.S. branch of the dangerous Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement that operates like the mafia. The secret Islamist society counts Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and blind sheik Omar Abdel Rahman among its members. Its motto: "The Quran is our constitution, the prophet is our guide; Death for the glory of Allah is our greatest ambition."

His office is right next door to the old office of one of Al-Qaida's top fund raisers in America, Abdurahman Alamoudi, before he was jailed a few years ago. And it's located in the same Alexandria, Va., business park as the former office of Osama bin Laden's nephew, before he hightailed it back to Saudi Arabia after 9/11.

"Omesh" is not the legal spelling of his name. He may spell it that way for the media, but that's not how it's listed in court documents I've examined. The correct spelling is Omeish with an "i." Perhaps he leaves it out to avoid links to his brother, Mohamed S. Omeish.

As I first reported in my book, "Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington," Mohamed Omeish headed the U.S. branch of one of bin Laden's favorite Saudi charities, the International Islamic Relief Organization, which was raided after 9/11. Tax records I've obtained show Omeish shared an office with Alamoudi, the convicted al-Qaida-tied terrorist and godfather of the Muslim mafia in America. This is the same "moderate" Muslim leader who federal prosecutors caught on tape complaining bin Laden hadn't killed enough Americans.

It gets worse. Esam S. Omeish also sits on the board of the 9/11-tied mosque in Washington that helped the hijackers get licenses and housing, and whose imam prepared them for martyrdom operations in private closed-door sessions. Omeish personally hired the imam, Anwar Aulaqi, who fled the country on a Saudi jet about a year after 9/11 (the FBI now wants another crack at questioning him).

Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, which tax records show has received large donations from the Islamic Relief Organization, is a Muslim Brotherhood bastion. Another former imam and current prayer leader, for example, is an admitted Brotherhood member from the Sudan. The mosque's deed was signed by an Alamoudi crony who has admitted participating in the Brotherhood's "Ikhwan" movement in America.

Dar al-Hijrah is a turnstile for terrorists and terror suspects. A prayer leader, Sheikh Mohammed al-Hanooti, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing. Other dubious mosque members have included: Alamoudi, Abdullah bin Laden, Osama's nephew; Hamas leader and fugitive Mousa Abu Marzook and his partners Ismail Elbarasse and Abdelhaleem Ashqar, who was convicted of obstruction of justice in February; convicted Virginia Jihad Network leader Randall "Ismail" Royer, a former CAIR official; and Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, an al-Qaida operative recently convicted of plotting to assassinate President Bush.

Leaders of the mosque rallied around Ali, calling the trial a Zionist "witch hunt," even after it became obvious he was guilty.

What's more, the phone number to the mosque was found in the German apartment of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, roommate of 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta. Atta's deputy "emir" in the "raid" on America, Nawaf al-Hazmi, worshipped at Dar al-Hijrah, along with the pilot who crashed the plane into the Pentagon.

Back to mosque leader Esam Omeish, the "American patriot." Court records I've obtained show he put his home up for bond collateral in 2004 to help spring from jail a terrorist suspect who was caught allegedly casing the Chesapeake bridge for attack. His dubious pal Ismail Elbarasse is a founding member of Dar al-Hijrah.

Omeish's house is just down the road from the mosque in Falls Church, Va., and just a few blocks in the other direction from the Islamist business park in Alexandria. One of Omeish's neighbors on his cul-de-sac is the former bookkeeper for terror banker Soliman Biheiri. He started an Islamic investment bank that included Hamas leader Marzook and Abdullah bin Laden as major investors. Biheiri, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was recently convicted of lying about his connections to Marzook in an investigation into his terrorist ties.

It's one big happy Islamist family in Omeish's neck of the woods.

This is who is rallying opposition to the war. Omeish may claim to be an "American patriot," but even Cindy Sheehan should know better. The people she's consorting with would not have shed a tear had her son been beheaded in Iraq.
Power User
Posts: 42473

« Reply #156 on: April 18, 2007, 06:10:11 PM »

CAIR’s Grievance Theater, the Flying Imams and 9/11
By Patrick Poole | April 18, 2007

It’s a tale of two Novembers with the horror of September 11th sandwiched in between.
In November 2006, six imams on a US Airways Minneapolis to Phoenix flight begin engaging in bizarre behaviors eerily similar to those used by the 9/11 hijackers to takeover the planes used on that terrible day: shouting slogans in Arabic; leaving assigned seats to position themselves much like the 9/11 attackers; requesting seat belt extenders that they positioned on the floor, rather than used to secure themselves. Responding to the reasonable concerns of passengers and the flight crew, the imams were removed from the plane by authorities.

Seven years earlier in November 1999, two Saudi students on an America West flight from Phoenix to Columbus were detained after landing because they had made repeated attempts to enter the cockpit area of the plane during the flight.

In both cases, CAIR rose up to defend the offenders in question and engaged in their now standard grievance theater protest politics. In the most recent case, CAIR has tried to capitalize on the publicity surrounding the incident by backing the "Flying Imams" and supporting their lawsuit against the airlines and passengers for responding to their bizarre behavior. The lawsuit is being handled by a Muslim attorney associated with CAIR.

When it comes to the November 1999 incident, any mention of CAIR’s involvement or defense of the Saudi students has been scrubbed from the organization’s website. It’s no wonder, as the 9/11 Commission Report (page 521, footnote 60) explains that the FBI now considers the incident as a “dry run” for the 9/11 hijackings. And the two men involved? As the 9/11 Commission Report explains, Hamdan al-Shalawi was in Afghanistan in November 2000 training at an Al-Qaeda camp to launch “Khobar Tower”-type attacks against the US in Saudi Arabia, and Mohammad Al-Qadhaieen was arrested in June 2003 as a material witness in the 9/11 attacks. Both men were friends of Al-Qaeda recruiter, Zakaria Mustapha Soubra, who drove them to the airport that day in Qadhaieen’s car. Another friend of Shalawi is Ghassan al-Sharbi, another Al-Qaeda operative that would later be captured in Pakistan with high-level Al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida.

There is a connection between these two incidents, as the leader of the six “Flying Imams” this past November is none other than Omar Shahin, the former imam of the Islamic Center of Tucson, where the two Saudi students from the November 1999 incident attended. Counterterrorism expert Rita Katz told the Washington Post in September 2002 that the mosque served as “basically the first cell of Al-Qaeda in the United States; that is where it all started”. (Len Sherman’s Arizona Monthly November 2004 article, “Al Qaeda among Us”, provides greater detail about the connections between the Saudi pair involved in the November 1999 event and the Al-Qaeda cell that operated in Tucson and Phoenix.)

Their current silence and website purge notwithstanding, immediately after the November 1999 “dry run”, CAIR was not shy about publicly speaking on the incident. “It seems like they single out some individuals because of their name, the way they look or their national origin,” huffed current CAIR National Vice Chairman Ahmad Al-Akhras (who was then president of the CAIR Ohio chapter) in an interview with the Egyptian daily, Al-Ahram. That same article quoted Nihad Awad, Executive Director and Co-Founder of CAIR, who explained, “the hysteria around [the crash of] EgyptAir [Flight 990] has created a negative atmosphere that leads to such incidents.”

CAIR not only gave indirect support to the 9/11 “dry run” hijackers by launching an aggressive media defense and circulating their woeful tale of innocents victimized by the bigotry of non-Muslims, but as Katherine Kersten of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reminds us, in 2000 CAIR fronted a lawsuit for Shalawi and Qadhaieen against America West by hiring attorneys and calling for a boycott of the airline as a result of the incident. Again, two identical events eight years apart with CAIR playing the exact same role.

CAIR was unsuccessful in the lawsuit stemming from the November 1999 9/11 “dry run”, as the judge quickly dismissed the case, but they did succeed in creating an atmosphere of intimidation that was certainly aimed at stopping airline passengers from speaking up about suspicious behavior. Did CAIR’s campaign of intimidation silence any of the passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 11, American Airlines Flight 77, or United Airlines Flight 93 who might have witnessed suspicious behavior of the 9/11 hijackers that day? Since all the passengers of those flights were silenced forever, we will never know.

But the horrific consequences of their previous defense of the 9/11 “dry run” has not prevented CAIR from using the exact same tactics and rhetoric in the current “Flying Imams” case. As Janet Levy recently explained in an article here at FrontPage (“The Minneapolis Six Sabotage Airline Security”), the CAIR-backed lawsuit by the six imams is being used as a propaganda device to advance CAIR’s legislative agenda for the passage of a bill through Congress that would prevent authorities from acting on suspicious behavior, much like what was seen in the November 1999 and November 2006 incidents, as well as 9/11.

As their current protest politics in the “Flying Imams” case demonstrates, CAIR shows no remorse for their complicity in providing cover for the 9/11 “dry run” operatives, though the purge of their website of any mention of their participation was clearly an attempt to try to wipe the public record clean of their involvement. But in light of their past actions and with their pursuit of the current lawsuit, it seems fair to ask: will thousands more Americans need to be murdered before CAIR brings the curtain down on their grievance theater road show? Tragically, we might have the opportunity to find out.

Patrick Poole is an author and public policy researcher. He also maintains a blog, "Existential Space," where he writes on a number of cultural, political and religious issues.
Power User
Posts: 42473

« Reply #157 on: April 22, 2007, 09:43:32 AM »

Fifth Column Imam Flyers
By Joe Kaufman and Gary Gross | April 20, 2007

f they don’t trust the security, this is their problem, not our problem.
- Omar Shahin, teleconference about imam lawsuit

On November 20, 2006, when six imams were removed from a plane headed for Phoenix, Arizona, little was known about them. All that could be determined was that they were Muslim and that they were acting in a way that was deemed suspicious – the two things at an airport that sound the loudest alarms in our post-9/11 world. Who they were and why they were in Minnesota were things yet to be determined. However, knowing what we know today, given the venue that they were coming from, given at least some of their extremist pasts, given whom they ally themselves with, and given the fiasco that took place at the airport and its carefully produced aftermath with a known terror front, it’s safe to say that it was probably a mistake to allow them to board the plane to begin with.

Omar Shahin and NAIF

The North American Imams Federation (NAIF) held its 2006 annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Attending the three-day event were one newly elected Congressman – Keith Ellison – and a surplus of Islamist radicals masquerading as holy men. They included Siraj Wahhaj, an individual whose name is found on the U.S. Attorney’s list of “unindicted co-conspirators” of the 1993 World Trade Center attack, and Mazen Mokhtar, an Al-Qaeda web designer that has used the internet to proclaim his support for Hamas and suicide bombings. In fact, all three of the aforementioned are pictured on the same page of the NAIF conference program, side-by-side one another.

The President of NAIF (and one of the removed imams) is Omar Shahin. Before NAIF’s founding in 2004, Shahin was the imam and President of the Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT), a mosque that represented one of Al-Qaeda’s main hubs in America, prior to the ‘93 attack. One of Shahin’s predecessors at the mosque was Wael Hamza Julaidan, a former colleague of Osama bin Laden and bin Laden’s mentor, Abdullah Azzam. Shahin, himself, has admitted to once supporting bin Laden.

Throughout his time with and after leaving ICT, Shahin was involved in terror financing organizations. He was the Arizona Coordinator for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), a Hamas charity whose funds were frozen by the U.S. government soon after 9/11. Under his leadership, thousands of dollars were raised for HLF through ICT. As well, Shahin was a representative for KindHearts, another Hamas charity that was shut down by the U.S. (February 2006). In both cases, Shahin walked free.

As ICT’s imam, Shahin has used his pulpit to target Jews and Christians, even with death. During his October 4, 2002 sermon, he stated, “Allah almighty has described his servants with a precise description in order for us to follow in their footsteps. Allah Almighty started by saying ‘the slaves of (Allah) Most Gracious’ as an indication to their real loyalty… What an honor for any one to be called by Allah ‘the slaves of (Allah) Most Gracious.’ Allah has dignified those alone among all humanity. Because of them, Allah will also dignify the whole Islamic Nation. Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said: ‘you will keep on fighting with the Jews until the fight reaches the east of Jordan river then the stones and trees will say: oh Muslim, oh (servant) slaves of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him…’”

During his December 20, 2002 sermon, he stated, “We should invite them [Christians] to investigate the religion of Islam especially nowadays we should give them the right information about Islam. And now let us open our hearts to what our great prophet said: Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said: You would tread the same path that was trodden by those before you span by span and cubit by cubit (inch by inch and step by step) so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah's Messenger, do you mean the Jews and the Christians (by your words)? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)?”

Another of the flying imams is Marwan Sadeddin, the Coordinator of the Imams Council of Arizona. Soon after the incident, Sadeddin discussed the matter of being ejected from the plane, on KFYI-Phoenix. When the host of the show confronted him about Omar Shahin’s involvement with Hamas-related charities, he responded by defending Hamas. He stated, “Hamas has nothing to do with [the] United States. Talk about Al-Qaeda only, because this is [sic] where they hit America. Hamas never said, ‘We are against America.’ They extend their hand many times to America, but America consider it – the foreign policy of America consider Hamas – as a terrorist. That’s their business.” Just as recently as December of 2006, Hamas has threatened attacks on the U.S.

NAIF has a Board of Trustees comprised of seven individuals, including Shahin. One of them is Siraj Wahhaj (mentioned earlier). Another is Mohamad Mwafak Algalaieni, the imam of the Grand Blanc Islamic Center, located in Grand Blanc, Michigan. In December of 2001, Algalaieni showed up in support of terror charity head Rabih Haddad, at Haddad’s INS hearing. Haddad was deported, after having been arrested for his leadership role in the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), an organization that was shut down by the U.S. government for raising millions of dollars for Al-Qaeda and Hamas.

A third trustee is Johari Abdul-Malik, the imam of Dar Al-Hijrah, located in Falls Church, Virginia. On his radio show, in September of 2004, discussing the impact of 9/11 on the Muslim community, Abdul-Malik took the opportunity to laud one of his congregants, Ismael Selim Elbarasse, who had just been arrested for videotaping structural parts of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Elbarasse, who has been described as a “high-ranking Hamas operative,” held a joint bank account with Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook for the purpose of financing the terror group. Another congregant, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, in March of 2006, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for providing material support to Al-Qaeda, whilst plotting to assassinate President Bush. About the charges against Abu Ali, Abdul-Malik stated, “Our whole community is under siege.”

In addition to a Board of Trustees, NAIF has an Executive Committee. One of the committeemen is Ashrafuzzaman Khan, the former Secretary General (President, Amir) of the Islamic Circle of North America (see below). Prior to coming to the States, Khan was located in Bangladesh – then Eastern Pakistan. To this day, he stands accused of being a death squad leader for Al-Badr, the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan’s (Jamaat-e-Islami’s) former paramilitary wing, during the 1971 massacre that led to Bangladesh’s independence, personally responsible for the murders of numerous individuals.

On the NAIF website, one finds many pictures from past events. Two of the pictures contain Ibrahim Dremali, the imam of the Islamic Center of Des Moines (Iowa). Shortly before 9/11, Dremali was the contact for a group that was telling its followers to provide material support to a website that was raising funds and recruiting fighters for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda related groups. At an October 2000 rally, amidst burning Israeli flags and shouts of “Zionist blood will wet the sand,” Dremali told a crowd “not to be sad for those who were martyred and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in.”

Three of the pictures contain Wagdy Ghoneim, who, in January of 1999, was denied entrance into Canada for being a member of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and who, in January of 2005, was deported from the United States. In a November 2006 essay, Ghoneim stated, “We must all equip ourselves, and be prepared for jihad at any moment… and to constantly renew the intention [for jihad]… We must all strive in praying that Allah - the Exalted and Majestic - have revenge on the damned Jews and to weaken them, them and their allies, helpers, and those who aid them…”

One more pic contains Zulfiqar Ali Shah, the Imam of the Islamic Center of Milwaukee. Prior to it being shut down, Shah was the South Asian Director of KindHearts. In June of 2001, he is quoted as saying, “If we are unable to stop the Jews now, their next stop is Yathrib (The Prophet's city of Medina), where the Jews used to live until their expulsion by Prophet Muhammad (SAW). That's the pinnacle of their motives.”

According to its website, “NAIF seeks establishing relationships with Islamic organizations (IOs) that are licensed to operate in North America.” The site states that this relationship is “collaborative, complementary, and cooperative.” These “partner organizations” include:

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), an umbrella organization for South Asian-oriented mosques and Islamic centers that was established, in 1971, to emulate the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan, Jamaat-e-Islami
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an umbrella organization for Arab-oriented mosques and Islamic centers that was co-founded, in 1981, by convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami Al-Arian
Life for Relief and Development (LIFE), a Michigan-based “charity” that was raided, in September of 2006, by federal agents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force and has been linked to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a defense mechanism for terrorists that was created, in June of 1994, by leaders of the now-defunct American propaganda wing of Hamas, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)

CAIR and the Choreography

The last organization mentioned, CAIR, and another group, the Muslim American Society (MAS), have played large roles in the saga of the six flying imams. MAS, which led a “pray-in” for the imams at Reagan Washington National Airport on November 27, was created as a Muslim Brotherhood activist organization in June of 1993.

According to an officer in the police report concerning the November 20 affair, both he and a U.S. Federal Air Marshal “agreed the seating configuration, the request for seatbelt extensions, the prior praying and utterances about Allah and the U.S. in the gate area and the seating configuration chosen among the traveling group was suspicious.” [A U.S. Airways official added that three of the six only had one-way tickets and no checked luggage.] The officer then states that an FBI Agent “requested we detain the six passengers until he could arrive and interview the six individuals on their suspicious behavior.” The report later goes on to say that the imams were escorted off the plane and detained for further investigation. The removal took place sometime after 5:30 p.m.

After the removal, the magnified role of CAIR took form. According to a spokesperson for the airport:

The imams contacted CAIR that evening.
The imams spent the night at a CAIR members’ home.
The next morning CAIR put out a press release.
Following the pr, CAIR accompanied the imams to the airport and appeared with them on camera.
In Shahin’s own words: “Since minute one of this incident, I then contacted Ibrahim Hooper and brother Nihad Awad, and we arranged everything…. [W]e already coordinate with them everything, and we update each other every once [in] a while, every two hours, three hours. And everything is being coordinated with CAIR and with MAS. Even today, I asked MAS-Arizona chapter, please, whatever you want to do, just let brother Nihad Awad and Ibrahim Hooper know about it before you [do]. That’s what we are doing, and we are going to do that in the future. Inshallah.”

In addition, within days, Congressman Keith Ellison asked for a meeting with executives from U.S. Airways and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), and Congressman John Conyers drafted a House resolution giving Muslims special civil-rights protections.

Now, the imams have filed a legal complaint against US Airways and MAC, and they are looking to sue individual passengers from the flight, those who alerted authorities, as well. The lawyer for the imams is Omar Mohammedi, the President of CAIR-New York, who is currently representing the Al-Qaeda-linked World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), in a 9/11 lawsuit for the murders of 3000 people, in which CAIR is also named a defendant.

While there is no mention of it in the NAIF program, CAIR is said to have participated at the NAIF conference. As well, pictures of CAIR’s National Executive Director, Nihad Awad, speaking at previous NAIF events are found on the NAIF website.

All of the above leads towards the question: Has all of this been pre-planned – some grand scheme to make those in society hesitant about reporting activity which they deem to be suspect in nature?

Considering the fact that all of those concerned, in some way, shape or form, have been involved in extremist pursuits, the answer may very well be yes. Of course, if that is the case, that makes those that spoke out and those that took action unwilling partners to an unsuspected crime. Regardless of the answer, though, the fact that these imams are radicals, in itself, suggests that they should not have been permitted on the plane and, instead, should have been placed on a “no-fly” list. It is measures, such as this, that need to be taken, in order to ensure that our nation is protected from those that wish to destroy us from within… and above.

Joe Kaufman is the chairman of Americans Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch. Gary Gross is the director of the Let Freedom Ring blog.
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« Reply #158 on: April 24, 2007, 08:28:05 AM »

Bomb Threats: Evacuations Not Always the Best Course of Action
The April 16 massacre at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., has generated a spate of bomb threats against schools and universities across the United States. In many cases, school authorities react to such threats by ordering the evacuation of students and faculty from buildings on campus. Evacuations, however, could expose students to a real danger lurking outside -- and should be used only as a last resort.

The University of Minnesota evacuated eight buildings on its Minneapolis campus April 18 after a student reported having found a typed bomb threat in a chemistry building's bathroom. All classes and meetings in those buildings were canceled and bomb-sniffing dogs were brought to search for explosives. A six-hour search of the campus, however, turned up nothing and the buildings were reopened the next day. Similar evacuations have taken place at numerous schools and universities in the four days since the Virginia shooting spree.

Ordering an evacuation tends to be the first response to any bomb threat, whether one occurs at schools and universities or public buildings and private businesses. The vast majority of these threats, however, turn out to be hoaxes, usually called in by pranksters or mentally disturbed individuals.

Although an evacuation can provide emotional reassurance that something is being done about the threat, it is not the best action to take when a nonspecific bomb threat is received. In cases in which the threat does not identify a specific classroom or building, sending people out into the open air can put them in more danger than keeping them in place. In a nonspecific threat, the bomb could be anywhere, including outside of buildings. Moreover, there is always the risk that a gunman called in the threat in order to shoot down a crowd of people gathered outside. In Jonesboro, Ark., in 1998, two students aged 13 and 11 set off the fire alarm at Westside Middle School and shot at people as they evacuated, killing four students and a teacher.

Of the bomb threats called into universities and high schools since the Virginia Tech massacre, none was connected to an actual bombing attempt. History has shown that people who intend to kill with explosives are unlikely to give any kind of warning. Furthermore, most cases of school violence involve guns rather than bombs. Although the two students who carried out the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., included pipe bombs in their arsenal, all of their victims were killed with guns.

The safest way to respond to a bomb threat against a campus or compound is to notify people over a public address system, providing only information that might assist in a search. Although the normal response would be to evacuate a classroom, dormitory or office that had been threatened, it is important to remember two things: Most bomb threats are hoaxes and the real danger might lie outside of the threatened area. Ideally, then, people in the threatened area should first search their immediate area, starting under tables and desks, then move to desktops and finally to shelves and cabinets. The people best suited to search for anything unusual in a room are those who use it daily and are familiar with potential hiding places -- and thus would be able to spot anything that was not there the day before.

Only if a suspicious object is found should an evacuation be ordered. Once such an order is given, students or workers should gather at a prearranged rally point or secondary location. There, a head count can be made and authorities notified of the status. Meanwhile, a cordon should be established around the affected building to keep people away from it.

Threats of bombing and other violence against schools and universities will likely continue as long as the Virginia Tech massacre remains fresh in the public consciousness -- and as long as schools provide students with time off every time one occurs. While evacuations can calm jittery nerves, they are not always the best course of action.
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« Reply #159 on: May 02, 2007, 08:14:08 AM »

The NYTimes, which has betrayed America more than once in this war (e.g. revealing that we were tracking the enemy's financial transactions and more) is certainly of dubious credibility in all this, but a President who chose and stands by an Attorney General who doesn't belive that habeas corpus is a Constitutional right has credibility problems of his own too.


Spying on Americans
Published: May 2, 2007

For more than five years, President Bush authorized government spying on phone calls and e-mail to and from the United States without warrants. He rejected offers from Congress to update the electronic eavesdropping law, and stonewalled every attempt to investigate his spying program.

Suddenly, Mr. Bush is in a hurry. He has submitted a bill that would enact enormous, and enormously dangerous, changes to the 1978 law on eavesdropping. It would undermine the fundamental constitutional principle — over which there can be no negotiation or compromise — that the government must seek an individual warrant before spying on an American or someone living here legally.

To heighten the false urgency, the Bush administration will present this issue, as it has before, as a choice between catching terrorists before they act or blinding the intelligence agencies. But the administration has never offered evidence that the 1978 law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, hampered intelligence gathering after the 9/11 attacks. Mr. Bush simply said the law did not apply to him.

The director of national intelligence, Michael McConnell, said yesterday that the evidence of what is wrong with FISA was too secret to share with all Americans. That’s an all-too-familiar dodge. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, who is familiar with the president’s spying program, has said that it could have been conducted legally. She even offered some sensible changes for FISA, but the administration and the Republican majority in the last Congress buried her bill.

Mr. Bush’s motivations for submitting this bill now seem obvious. The courts have rejected his claim that 9/11 gave him virtually unchecked powers, and he faces a Democratic majority in Congress that is willing to exercise its oversight responsibilities. That, presumably, is why his bill grants immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated in five years of illegal eavesdropping. It also strips the power to hear claims against the spying program from all courts except the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which meets in secret.

According to the administration, the bill contains “long overdue” FISA modifications to account for changes in technology. The only example it offered was that an e-mail sent from one foreign country to another that happened to go through a computer in the United States might otherwise be missed. But Senator Feinstein had already included this fix in the bill Mr. Bush rejected.

Moreover, FISA has been updated dozens of times in the last 29 years. In 2000, Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden, who ran the National Security Agency then, said it “does not require amendment to accommodate new communications technologies.” And since 9/11, FISA has had six major amendments.

The measure would not update FISA; it would gut it. It would allow the government to collect vast amounts of data at will from American citizens’ e-mail and phone calls. The Center for National Security Studies said it might even be read to permit video surveillance without a warrant.

This is a dishonest measure, dishonestly presented, and Congress should reject it. Before making any new laws, Congress has to get to the truth about Mr. Bush’s spying program. (When asked at a Senate hearing yesterday if Mr. Bush still claims to have the power to ignore FISA when he thinks it is necessary, Mr. McConnell refused to answer.)

With clear answers — rather than fearmongering and stonewalling — there can finally be a real debate about amending FISA. It’s not clear whether that can happen under this president. Mr. Bush long ago lost all credibility in the area where this law lies: at the fulcrum of the balance between national security and civil liberties.
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« Reply #160 on: May 08, 2007, 07:12:31 AM »

Six Arrested in Fort Dix Murder Plot

Tuesday , May 08, 2007

Six people were arrested on Monday night in connection with a plot to murder as many soldiers as possible at Fort Dix, reports.

The six ethnic Albanians attempted to purchase automatic weapons from an arms dealer working with the FBI and were arrested in New Jersey after officials learned of the plot, a law enforcement source said.

The undercover investigation followed the men, three of whom are brothers, from New Jersey to the Poconos, where they allegedly practiced firing automatic weapons.

Officials raided the homes of the men, described as Islamic radicals, and said there is video showing some of the planning.

NEW YORK -- Six men from New Jersey have been arrested in an alleged terror plot against soldiers at Fort Dix, according investigators.

Investigators said the men planned to use automatic rifles to enter Fort Dix and kill as many soldiers as they could at the N.J. base. Fort Dix was just one of several military and security locations allegedly scouted by this group, authorities said.

Investigators told Newschannel 4's Jonathan Dienst that these arrests are the result of a tip to the FBI and use of an informant to track the suspects. Authorities were alerted in January 2006 after the terror suspects traveled to the Pocono’s for a training exercise where they practiced firing automatic weapons, investigators said.

Sources have told Newschannel 4's Brian Thompson that the suspects tried to have a their training video tape converted to DVD at a store in Cherry Hill, N.J., but the store owner alerted authorities.

Authorities then inserted a cooperating witness into the alleged terror cell to be a go between in their attempt to purchase M16 and AK-47 semi-automatic rifles. Arrests were made Monday night after the informant delivered dummy weapons paid for by the alleged terror cell suspects.

Investigators said the group discussed targeting numerous locations like Dover Air base, Fort Monmouth, a Coast Guard building in Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Federal building before deciding on Fort Dix as their intended target. Fort Dix is run in part by the Army and is a reserve-training center, but active units take part in training, including some which focuses on counter-terrorism.

Sources tell Newschannel 4's Brian Thompson that the family of one of the suspects owns a pizzeria near Fort Dix and claimed to know the base "like the back of his hand." The same suspect told the alleged terror group it would be easy to penetrate to "get the most soldiers killed."

Investigators said the group of suspects have been discussing and planning for much of the last year. They allegedly pooled their savings to pay for the operation targeted at soldiers stationed here at home.

The six suspects arrested Monday night will face terror conspiracy charges. Three of the men are brothers, all believed to be Islamic radicals. Authorities have told Newschannel 4 that some of the men were born in Albania and the former Yugoslavia. Investigators said most of the suspects have spent several years here in the U.S.

Some of the group's alleged planning was caught on videotape, investigators said. On the videotape there is significant discussion of Martyrdom.

"Who is going to take care of my wife and kids," one suspect asks. Another responds, "Allah will take care of your wife and kids." The alleged terror cell is described by investigators as disciples of Osama Bin Laden. Among the evidence seized was the downloaded will and testament of two Sept. 11 hijackers.

Spokesmen for U.S. Attorney Chris Christie and the FBI in New Jersey and Philadelphia could not be reached for a comment.
The suspects will be arraigned this afternoon in front of a Federal Magistrate at 1 PM.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2007, 08:53:50 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #161 on: May 10, 2007, 10:31:13 AM »

The Terrorists Next Door?
Plot Suspects Lived Quietly in Suburb

By Anthony Faiola and Dale Russakoff
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, May 10, 2007; A01

CHERRY HILL, N.J., May 9 -- From the front porch of her two-story home on Mimosa Drive, Susan DeFrancesco looked out on the neighborhood she calls "a little United Nations." Pointing from one house to the next, she said: "They're Asian; that family's from Poland. They're from Canada. She's from India. "

Living among those varied families for the past seven years were the Dukas, a three-generational clan of ethnic Albanians. Their Muslim religious garb, repeated minor run-ins with the law, and a brood of up to 20 children, grandchildren and other relatives made them unusual, but hardly unwelcome.

"You don't want to single out a family because of where they're from or what they believe," DeFrancesco said.

On Tuesday morning, it suddenly looked different when three of the Duka brothers -- young, bearded men in their 20s who had spent most of their lives in New Jersey -- were among the six men indicted in an alleged terrorist plot to attack nearby Fort Dix with assault weapons.

For this bedroom community in the shadow of the Philadelphia skyline, they would become the accused jihadists next door -- their arrest immediately shattering assumptions both here and beyond about who Islamic militants are.

Experts have warned that the next big terrorist threat will come from homegrown extremists, unaffiliated with al Qaeda but harboring resentments fostered by materials easily available from the Internet. In fact, the few who have shown themselves thus far prove that there is no stereotype.

Most of the men arrested Tuesday were European rather than Middle Eastern. They hail from one of the most pro-American and secular parts of the Muslim world -- the ethnic Albanian regions of Macedonia, where gratitude for U.S. assistance in Kosovo during the 1990s still runs high.
They live in a garden-variety subdivision like those on the outskirts of cities from Washington, D.C., to Seattle -- once-homogeneous communities now quickly becoming ethnically and racially mixed. Their children play soccer and video games with the neighbors' kids; they hawked their roofing business at Friday prayers.

Had they not offered up an alleged jihadist video to be duplicated at a nearby Circuit City, they might never have been spotted.
That is precisely what has shaken this tree-lined suburb, where residents and leaders have prided themselves on tolerance and unity in the face of significant demographic shifts. Only last Sunday, leaders from the Islamic, Jewish and Roman Catholic faiths united with Mayor Bernie Platt on a empty patch of land in a moving groundbreaking ceremony for the community's first mosque.

Farhat Biviji, 54, a founding member of the soon-to-be-built Anjuman-I-Fakhri Mosque in Cherry Hill, said: "My heart sank when we heard of these horrible men who claimed to be Muslims. They are testing us all. Testing our ability to retain that tolerance. I pray that they have not damaged the goodwill of our community."

Perhaps they already have.

As a reporter approached the Duka house on Wednesday evening, two young mothers across the street yelled out, "Don't go over there and talk to them -- you don't know what they'll do."

Then Zurata Duka, the mother of the three arrested brothers, proclaimed their innocence, asking why neighbors now run from her.

"My sons got caught saying nothing -- there is no proof, no words from them in that affidavit, only the other three," she said. Wearing a headscarf and long robe, she threw her arms out, gesturing at her sons' pickup truck. "Look, it's their roofing truck. They're hard workers. If they were really terrorists, would they take that tape to Circuit City?"

A teenager who declined to give his name but said he was their younger brother declared: "I'm with my brothers 24-7. They never talked like terrorists."

In their daily lives, according to dozens of interviews with neighbors, authorities and acquaintances, the six arrested men largely blended into the cultural patchwork of southern New Jersey, a region emblematic of the changing face of suburban America.

In the Cherry Hill School District, children now speak 62 native languages, compared with 53 in 1998. White children made up 92 percent of the school district in 1980 -- compared with 76 percent today.

Within 10 miles of Cherry Hill, two mosques have sprung up over the past 15 years. One is the South Jersey Islamic Center in Palmyra, about 11 miles northwest of Cherry Hill, where the Duka brothers -- whose brother-in-law, Mohamad Ibrahim Shmewer, was also arrested Tuesday -- regularly worshiped on Friday evenings.

U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie said in an interview that it was inside the South Jersey Islamic Center that the Duka brothers met and recruited Serdar Tatar, 23, a Turkish-born legal U.S. resident raised in the south Jersey area.

Members of the mosque remember the Dukas differently. The eldest brother, Dritan, 28, was described as a friendly, outgoing man who would use the center to drum up customers for his roofing business, often telling jokes and heartily slapping backs. But as ethnic Albanians in a mosque dominated by Pakistani and Arabs, many of whom did not speak fluent English, conversations with the Dukas were often cursory.

"How are we supposed to know what they are thinking? The brothers came to the mosque for Friday prayers, but did not seem overly religious or interested in Muslim teachings," said a 41-year-old Tunisian butcher and regular worshiper at the mosque who requested anonymity.
"The oldest brother was a funny guy, a joker. But he was not North African or Pakistani, and the language barriers often force us to talk among our own ethnic groups. But they certainly did not seem like people who hated this country."

The Dukas were living in America illegally, having entered two decades ago on now-expired visas. In almost every way, they were products of typical U.S. suburban life. Shain, 26, and Eljvir, 24, attended Cherry Hill West High School and often played soccer in their front yard.

They were also no strangers to the police. Tatar and the Dukas were habitual offenders, stopped dozens of times a year for speeding, illegal passing and driving without a license. Dritan Duka pleaded guilty in 2000 to possession of drug paraphernalia and Shain Duka to possession of marijuana -- low-level charges that at the time did not trigger immigration background checks.

Only one brother had a driver's license, and only briefly. But they drove anyway and were ticketed regularly by Cherry Hill police -- including four citations in one five-week period for Dritan Duka. The three had their driving privileges suspended -- meaning they could not even apply for a license -- 54 times in less than a decade. William Kushina, a Cherry Hill Police Department spokesman, said the department could do nothing about serial unlicensed driving except continue to issue tickets and suspend privileges. "You can't physically restrain a person from driving," he said.

The six men are scheduled for a bail hearing on Friday. But for Cherry Hill, the question is whether the town will sustain the tolerance that is a hallmark of community pride.

Mike Levine, 38, who lives two doors from the Dukas, said they were good neighbors: They gave him vegetables from their garden and were unfailingly pleasant.

"They were your everyday Muslims," he said. "The kids would be out front playing soccer. They seemed hardworking. I would have believed they were aliens before I'd think they were terrorists."

"Now some people on the block are feeling guilty we didn't pick up on something," he continued. "I don't want to worry what the people next door are doing behind closed doors. I don't want to think like that, but maybe now I have to."
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« Reply #162 on: May 14, 2007, 08:03:39 AM »

Radical Muslim paramilitary compound flourishes in upper New York state
By Paul L. Williams Ph.D., (author of THE DAY OF ISLAM)

With the able assistance of Douglas Hagmann, Bill Krayer and Michael Travis

Friday, May 11, 2007

Dr. Paul Williams at the entrance of Islamberg
Situated within a dense forest at the foothills of the Catskill Mountains on the outskirts of Hancock, New York, Islamberg is not an ideal place for a summer vacation unless, of course, you are an exponent of the Jihad or a fan of Osama bin Laden.

The 70 acre complex is surrounded with "No trespassing" signs; the rocky terrain is infested with rattlesnakes; and the woods are home to black bears, coyotes, wolves, and a few bobcats.

Muslim Lane
The entrance to the community is at the bottom of a very steep hill that is difficult to navigate even on a bright sunny day in May. The road, dubbed Muslim Lane, is unpaved and marred by deep crevices that have been created by torrential downpours. On a wintry day, few, save those with all terrain vehicles, could venture forth from the remote encampment.

A sentry post has been established at the base of the hill.

The sentry, at the time of this visit, is an African American dressed in Islamic garb - - a skull cap, a prayer shawl, and a loose fitting shalwat kameez. He instructs us to turn around and leave. "Our community is not open to visitors," he says.

Behind the sentry and across a small stream stand dozens of inhabitants of the compound - - the men wearing skull caps and loose fitting tunics, the women in full burqa. They appear ready to deal with any unauthorized intruders.

The hillside is blighted by rusty trailers that appear to be without power or running water and a number of outhouses. The scent of raw sewage is in the air.

The place is even off limits to the local undertaker who says that he has delivered bodies to the complex but has never been granted entrance. "They come and take the bodies from my hearse. They won't allow me to get past the sentry post. They say that they want to prepare the bodies for burial. But I never get the bodies back. I don't know what's going on there but I don't think it's legal."

On the other side of the hill where few dare to go is a tiny village replete with a make-shift learning center (dubbed the "International Quranic Open University"); a trailer converted into a Laundromat; a small, green community center; a small and rather squalid grocery store; a newly constructed majid; over forty clapboard homes; and scores of additional trailers.

It is home to hundreds - - all in Islamic attire, and all African-Americans. Most drive late model SUVs with license plates from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The locals say that some work as tollbooth operators for the New York State Thruway, while others are employed at a credit card processing center that maintains confidential financial records.

While buzzing with activity during the week, the place becomes a virtual hive on weekends. The guest includes arrivals from the inner cities of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and, occasionally, white-robed dignitaries in Ray-Bans from the Middle East.

Venturing into the complex last summer, Douglas Hagmann, an intrepid investigator and director of the Northeast Intelligence Service, came upon a military training area at the eastern perimeter of the property. The area was equipped with ropes hanging from tall trees, wooden fences for scaling, a make-shift obstacle course, and a firing range. Hagmann said that the range appeared to have been in regular use.

Islamberg is not as benign as a Buddhist monastery or a Carmelite convent. Nearly every weekend, neighbors hear sounds of gunfire. Some, including a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, have heard the bang of small explosives. None of the neighbors wished to be identified for fear of "retaliation." "We don't even dare to slow down when we drive by," one resident said. "They own the mountain and they know it and there is nothing we can do about it but move, and we can't even do that. Who wants to buy a property near that?"

Islamberg's Grocery Store
Islamberg's Grocery Store
The complex serves to scare the bejeesus out of the local residents. "If you go there, you better wear body armor," a customer at the Circle E Diner in Hancock said. "They have armed guards and if they shoot you, nobody will find your body."

At Cousins, a watering hole in nearby Deposit, a barfly, who didn't wish to be identified, said: "The place is dangerous. You can hear gunfire up there. I can't understand why the FBI won't shut it down."

Islamberg is a branch of Muslims of the Americas Inc., a tax-exempt organization formed in 1980 by Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, who refers to himself as "the sixth Sultan Ul Faqr," Gilani, has been directly linked by court documents to Jamaat ul-Fuqra or "community of the impoverished," an organization that seeks to "purify" Islam through violence.

Though primarily based in Lahore, Pakistan, Jamaat ul-Fuqra has operational headquarters in New York and openly recruits through various social service organizations in the U.S., including the prison system. Members live in hamaats or compounds, such as Islamberg, where they agree to abide by the laws of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which are considered to be above local, state and federal authority. Additional hamaats have been established in Hyattsville, Maryland; Red House, Virginia; Falls Church, Virginia; Macon, Georgia; York, South Carolina; Dover, Tennessee; Buena Vista, Colorado; Talihina, Oklahoma; Tulane Country, California; Commerce, California; and Onalaska, Washington. Others are being built, including an expansive facility in Sherman, Pennsylvania.

Before becoming a citizen of Islamberg or any of the other Fuqra compounds, the recruits - - primarily inner city black men who became converts in prison - - are compelled to sign an oath that reads: "I shall always hear and obey, and whenever given the command, I shall readily fight for Allah's sake."

In the past, thousands of members of the U.S. branches of Jamaat ul-Fuqra traveled to Pakistan for paramilitary training, but encampments, such as Islamberg, are now capable of providing book-camp training so raw recruits are no longer required to travel abroad amidst the increased scrutiny of post 9/11.

Over the years, numerous members of Jamaat ul-Fuqra have been convicted in US courts of such crimes as conspiracy to commit murder, firebombing, gun smuggling, and workers' compensation fraud. Others remain leading suspects in criminal cases throughout the country, including ten unsolved assassinations and seventeen fire-bombings between 1979 and 1990.

The criminal charges against the group and the criminal convictions are not things of the past. In 2001, a resident of a California compound was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of a sheriff's deputy; another was charged with gun-smuggling' and twenty-four members of the Red House community were convicted of firearms violations.

By 2004 federal investigators uncovered evidence that linked both the DC "sniper killer" John Allen Muhammed and "Shoe Bomber" Richard Reid to the group and reports surfaced that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was captured and beheaded in the process of attempting to obtain an interview with Sheikh Gilani in Pakistan.

Even though Jamaat ul-Fuqra has been involved in terror attacks and sundry criminal activities, recruited thousands of members from federal and state penal systems, and appears to be operating paramilitary facilities for militant Muslims, it remains to be placed on the official US Terror Watch List. On the contrary, it continues to operate, flourish, and expand as a legitimate nonprofit, tax-deductible charity.


Paul Williams is the author of THE AL QAEDA CONNECTION and forthcoming THE DAY OF ISLAM. Lee Boyland is the author of THE RINGS OF ALLAH). Dr. Williams can be reached at:
« Last Edit: May 14, 2007, 11:05:36 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #163 on: May 26, 2007, 06:56:57 AM »

Mosques awarded Homeland Security grants
Posted: May 25, 2007 1:00 a.m. Eastern | © 2007

While the European Union investigates mosques for ties to Islamic terrorism, the U.S. government is giving mosques security grants that are designed to protect churches, synagogues and other nonprofit groups from Islamic terror.

Most recently, the Islamic Society of Baltimore landed a $15,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to upgrade security at its Maryland mosque.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations since April has been urging leaders of mosques and Islamic schools across the nation to apply for the DHS grants, even though the agency's program was set up to help protect nonprofit facilities that are at high risk for attacks by Islamic terrorists.
CAIR encouraged its Muslim members to take advantage of $24 million in federal funds DHS has made available – specifically, DHS says, for nonprofit organizations "deemed high-risk for a potential international terrorist attack."

Organizations in 46 urban areas designated high risk for Islamic terror attack are eligible to participate in the new Nonprofit Security Grant Program.

The CAIR alert issued April 29 to Muslim members reads as follows: "ACTION REQUESTED: All eligible 501(c)(3) American mosques and other Islamic institutions are urged to begin the application process to receive training and to purchase equipment such as video cameras, alarm systems and other security enhancements."

Several Islamic institutions already have applied and are receiving government approval.

U.S. officials who spoke to WND on condition of anonymity expressed dismay that CAIR would drain limited federal funds away from higher risk targets for terrorism. They argue mosques are among the lowest risk for such attacks.

In fact, a number of mosques across the nation actually have promoted Islamic terrorism and have been tied to Islamic terrorists, including the large Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Washington, where some of the 9/11 hijackers received spiritual guidance, as well as help obtaining housing and IDs.

Terrorism experts note some 80 percent of U.S. mosques are funded and controlled through the Saudi Arabian government.

"Mosques have tended to serve as safe havens and meeting points for Islamic terrorist groups," said terror expert Steve Emerson. "Of course, we are not referring to all mosques, but there are at least 40 episodes of extremists and terrorists being connected to mosques in the past decade."
Meanwhile, European Union security officials earlier this month announced they will analyze member-state mosques, examining the training and funding sources of imams, in a project to be completed by fall.
Even in the wake of 9/11, remarkably, U.S. authorities have yet to conduct any similar sweeping investigation of the nation's 2,000 mosques. There also has been no nationwide effort to identify Muslim clerics who preach terrorism, even as an alarming number of imams have been caught up in separate terrorism investigations.

Law enforcement sources blame the hesitancy on political pressure applied by Washington-based CAIR, which sits on the FBI's community advisory board and routinely lodges complaints about case agents who question mosque leaders and followers. The bureau seldom makes a raid in the Muslim community without first contacting CAIR officials.

CAIR claims mosques have been victims of "terrorist" attacks since 9/11, which the group says triggered a backlash of "Islamophobic" vigilantism. When pressed, the group cites only scattered cases of vandalism, however, many of which the FBI has investigated and ruled out as "hate crimes."

No mosque in America has suffered a bombing attack, and there are no examples of international Muslim terrorists attacking mosques in America – the whole point of DHS' target-hardening grant program.

CAIR itself has had ties to terrorism. The nonprofit lobby group is a foreign-funded spin-off of a Hamas front group, and it has seen several of its executives convicted of terror-related crimes since 9/11.
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« Reply #164 on: May 29, 2007, 11:02:46 AM »

Group: Terrorism not focus of Homeland Security
POSTED: 7:39 p.m. EDT, May 27, 2007

From Scott Bronstein

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Claims of terrorism represented less than 0.01 percent of charges filed in recent years in immigration courts by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a report issued Sunday by an independent research group.

This comes despite the fact the Bush administration has repeatedly asserted that fighting terrorism is the central mission of DHS.

The Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse said it analyzed millions of previously undisclosed records obtained from the immigration courts under the Freedom of Information Act.

Of the 814,073 people charged by DHS in immigration courts during the past three years, 12 faced charges of terrorism, TRAC said.

Those 12 cases represent 0.0015 percent of the total number of cases filed.

"The DHS claims it is focused on terrorism. Well that's just not true," said David Burnham, a TRAC spokesman. "Either there's no terrorism, or they're terrible at catching them. Either way it's bad for all of us."

The TRAC analysis also found that DHS filed a minuscule number of what are called "national security" charges against people in the immigration courts. The report stated that 114, or 0.014 percent of the total of roughly 800,000 individuals charged were charged with national security violations.

TRAC reported more than 85 percent of the charges involved more common immigration violations such as not having a valid immigrant visa, overstaying a student visa or entering the United States without an inspection.

According to the report by TRAC, which is affiliated with Syracuse University, the results show that there is an "apparent gap between DHS rhetoric about its role in fighting terrorism and what it actually has been doing."

DHS spokesman Russ Knocke called the TRAC report "ill-conceived" and said the group "lacked a grasp of the DHS mission."

Knocke said that, by clamping down on all forms of immigration, DHS has made it difficult for terrorists to come to the United States.
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« Reply #165 on: May 29, 2007, 11:23:19 AM »

I think defending our borders is of the utmost importance in maintaining a sovereign nation.  After spending a week in AZ with the minuteman project, I realized that our immigration problem is not merely poor immigrants (mainly Mexican) looking to better their lives, but a highly organized human smuggling ring complete with forced labor, sex slavery, and drug smuggling. There are autrocities that the media does not report on.  What stuck in my mind the most were the 'rape trees' where a woman is tied to a tree and gang raped and sometimes murdered afterwards.  Frequently bodies of these women were found scattered in the area after being left in the desert.  The Coyotes would leave trophies of panties and bras of their victims in the trees. 

I cannot and will not take the official story of our 'war on terror' seriously as long as our southern border is wide open. 

DHS spokesman Russ Knocke called the TRAC report "ill-conceived" and said the group "lacked a grasp of the DHS mission."

Knocke said that, by clamping down on all forms of immigration, DHS has made it difficult for terrorists to come to the United States.

Knocke, in my opinion is lying.  Our executives have no intention of regulating our borders or letting our BP agents do their job without fear of legal retaliation.
Power User
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« Reply #166 on: May 29, 2007, 01:04:03 PM »

***There are autrocities that the media does not report on.***

Why not in your opinion?
Posts: 34

« Reply #167 on: May 30, 2007, 10:53:03 AM »

"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." ~ William Colby, Former Director, CIA
(Operation Mockingbird

Reguarding our borders, if the public was aware of the reality and dangers of our limited border security then it would raise awareness about the proposed North American Community and the NAFTA Super Highway

In addition, drug running is a big business in which the CIA is interconnected.  For just a few examples, we can examine Mena, Arkanasas. Up until recently, the CIA was caught running the biggest single shipment of cocaine in America.  In addition it happened while Bush Sr. (former head of the CIA) was VP and Clinton was Govenor of Arkanasas.

The mainstream media used to be the watchdog of our government, a fourth check and balance so to speak.  Today, the media and government work hand in hand to further us toward a one world socialized government.  Some would say that corporate/government interconnectedness is called fascism.  The line between socialism and fascism is strangely difficult to distinguish in America.  Maybe a democracy is in the middle of that right and left paradigm.  Weren't we a Republic once before?

Go out and rent 'The Network' from 1977, it offers excellent insite into controlled media.

There are excellent documentaries online showing the government and pentagon involvment in the media including Hollywood movies.  One is 'Enemy Image' (viewed in 9 parts)

and one of many videos on CIA and drugs is

Mike Ruppert - CIA drug running

The movies I have seen on the border are not available online.  'Line in the Sand' and 'The Month of October' but there are others available for free I have not reviewed.

But the reasons are many as to why investigative jouralism is a dying phenomenon.  I believe we the people are the ONLY check and balance in existance.  And we the people must become experts ourselves on issues of importance today and no longer rely on anyone else to provide us with answers.

Power User
Posts: 42473

« Reply #168 on: June 01, 2007, 12:08:36 PM »

A Back Door for Terrorists

Published: June 1, 2007
AMID all of the xenophobia and nativism surrounding the immigration debate, there is a real security concern. In the language of the bureaucracy, the problem is referred to as the “O.T.M.’s,” or Other Than Mexicans.

Thousands of non-Mexicans are caught crossing the United States border every year. They cannot be sent back to Mexico, but must be deported to their home country. Until recently, most were given a deportation hearing date and then simply released. Not surprisingly, few showed up for their scheduled appearances. Beginning last year, however, most who are caught are put into detention. They are then put through a procedure called expedited removal, under which many are flown back home within a few weeks.

Many of these non-Mexicans come from Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, the Palestinian territories and other areas of concern to counterterrorism officials. What we don’t know is how many others are evading the Border Patrol every year and what happens to them when they leave the border area. It’s not too hard to imagine that these illegal immigrants, who have clearly spent a lot of money getting to Mexico and then into the United States, are able to buy themselves an identity and corroborating papers once in an American city.

Since 9/11, it has been far more difficult to get a visa to enter the United States if you are a citizen of a country considered a terrorism concern. But it is not difficult for a Pakistani, for example, to enter Mexico or another Central American country from which he can get to our border relatively easily, cross it and blend in.

The Real ID Act of 2005, which among other things established standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and non-driver’s identification cards, has now been put off until at least 2009. And many states are in open revolt against its tough requirements for issuing driver’s licenses.

The result is that potential terrorists here illegally can easily use phony licenses or, in many states, get real ones issued to them, along with credit cards and all of the other papers needed to blend into our society. (The only places in this country that seem to check the validity of drivers’ licenses are bars in college neighborhoods.) Indeed, those arrested for allegedly planning to attack Fort Dix in New Jersey included illegal immigrants who apparently had little difficulty getting along in this country.

In his commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy last month, President Bush was right to express concern that Al Qaeda is trying to bring terrorists into the United States. He was wrong, however, to claim that fighting in Iraq somehow helps stop such attempts. In the absence of a secure border and verifiable biometric identification systems, preventing terrorists from getting in to this country and setting up sleeper cells here is almost impossible. Maybe we will get serious after the next attack.

Richard A. Clarke, the former head of counterterrorism at the National Security Council, is the author of “Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror.”

Posts: 34

« Reply #169 on: June 04, 2007, 09:20:26 AM »

Excellent idea Richard Clark....'Verifiable biometric identification systems.'  HAH!  Lets give government even more control over our lives!  Lets put all of our personal, finacial, medical, and legal information into one database and then hand the government the keys.  I'll feel REAL secure then.

And if you haven't read about the EEVS program.... 

If you ask someone what the most dishonest profession is, they usually say lawyers or politicians, yet we hand them control over our lives everyday trusting they will take care of us.  Have Americans become so weak?

A new movie about our borders is coming out soon. to watch the trailer.

If a group of 'vigilantes' like the Minutemen can plug up holes in our borders armed only with radios, flashlights, and binoculars, why can't our almighty DHS do the same?  Because they don't want to secure our borders.  They only want to increase the problems, so our government can offer us solutions which do nothing more than limit our individual soveriegnty.
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« Reply #170 on: June 04, 2007, 08:34:30 PM »

The JFK Airport Plot and the Caribbean Connection
U.S. and Guyanese authorities were still searching June 4 for a fourth suspect wanted in connection with an alleged plot to blow up jet fuel pipelines and storage tanks at New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport. Although a serious flaw in the plot made the threat far smaller than the suspects apparently planned, the case does highlight the link between jihadism and the Caribbean islands -- and the effectiveness of jihadist propaganda.

Federal investigators charged four Muslims and arrested three -- two in New York and one in Trinidad and Tobago -- on June 2 in connection with the plot. One of the suspects in custody in New York, Guyana-born U.S. citizen Russell Defreitas, was employed at the airport until 1995 as a cargo handler, a position that would have allowed him to gain knowledge of the security and fuel-transfer systems. Another suspect arrested in New York, Kareem Ibrahim, is originally from Trinidad and Tobago, while a third suspect, Abdul Kadir, a former member of Guyana's parliament, is in custody in Trinidad and Tobago. The fourth alleged member of the cell, Abdel Nur, is believed to be at large in Guyana. The U.S. Justice Department described cell members as Islamists who, although they reached out to Jamaat al-Muslimeen (JAM), an Islamist group in Trinidad and Tobago, have no known ties to al Qaeda.

Although the arrests occurred after more than a year of surveillance, the plot reportedly was still early in the planning stage, and the cell still had not obtained explosives. Therefore, although the plotters were serious -- the plan apparently called for massive explosions at the airport -- they did not present an immediate threat. According to investigators, authorities acted against the cell because Kadir was about to leave for Iran, where keeping tabs on him would have been impossible.

The arrests, however, highlight the Caribbean islands' connections to jihadists. Some significant links between the region and jihadists already have been demonstrated, the most notable being Adnan El Shukrijumah, an alleged al Qaeda militant who was born in Saudi Arabia, lived in Guyana and has strong ties to Trinidad. Also, Germaine Lindsay, one of the suicide bombers involved in the July 2005 attack against London's mass transit system, was born in Jamaica. Authorities in Trinidad say Kadir and Nur are associated with JAM, which was involved in a 1990 coup attempt in that country that resulted in 24 deaths.

The Caribbean shares some similar characteristics with some other regions where jihadism has taken root, including much of the Middle East, Indonesia and East Africa. Although many Caribbean countries are wealthy (Trinidad and Tobago is a major oil producer), their often-corrupt governments siphon off much of the wealth and fail to provide adequate social services, leaving much of their populations poor and living in substandard conditions. Moreover, although the islands' Muslim populations are not large -- Trinidad and Tobago is about 6 percent Muslim, for example -- these communities are active.

Because it is a popular tourist destination, the Caribbean has well-developed transportation links to and from the United States. Someone making frequent trips to and from the resorts, therefore, would not arouse as much suspicion from intelligence and law enforcement agencies as, say, someone making frequent trips to Pakistan. This access, along with the Caribbean's confidential banking systems, allows for the easy transfer of funds, as well as for money laundering.

However, unlike places like Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia, where militant groups have been able to operate freely in remote, sparsely populated areas, the Caribbean islands are small and populous. The almost small-town-like environment makes it difficult for large, complex militant organizations to operate undetected. Furthermore, most Caribbean governments are not hostile to Washington, which wields significant political and financial influence in the region. This influence, then, makes it easy for U.S. intelligence and law enforcement to operate on the islands.

The JFK plot does highlight the effectiveness of al Qaeda's propaganda, which is inspiring autonomous grassroots cells to act with little or no contact with anyone even close to the core of al Qaeda. Al Qaeda and other militant groups have posted a steady stream of videos and messages on the Internet calling for Muslims to act on their own against the West. This has been effective in inspiring impromptu militant cells in Europe and the United States, most recently involving Fort Dix, N.J..

Even if the alleged plotters had succeeded in carrying out the attack, though, it likely would not have been as destructive as they had hoped. In the United States, most turbine-powered civilian aircraft use a fuel called Jet A, which is harder to set ablaze in the open air than AvGas, which is commonly used in piston-powered general-aviation aircraft. Although Jet A was a poor choice for the plotters' purposes, their tactic was sound. Had they chosen a location where AvGas could be used to cause explosions, the potential destruction would have been greater. Experienced militants who had done better research and target selection would have known better than to target Jet A tanks and pipelines.

While the Caribbean is an unlikely place for militant training camps and bases, it can produce recruits and be a transit point for the global jihadist movement.
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« Reply #171 on: June 18, 2007, 08:20:08 PM »


Exclusive: Suicide Bomb Teams Sent to U.S., Europe

June 18, 2007 4:45 PM
Brian Ross Reports:

Large teams of newly trained suicide bombers are being sent to the United States and Europe, according to evidence contained on a new videotape obtained by the Blotter on
Teams assigned to carry out attacks in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Germany were introduced at an al Qaeda/Taliban training camp graduation ceremony held June 9.
A Pakistani journalist was invited to attend and take pictures as some 300 recruits, including boys as young as 12, were supposedly sent off on their suicide missions.
Photos: Inside an al Qaeda/Taliban 'Graduation'
The tape shows Taliban military commander Mansoor Dadullah, whose brother was killed by the U.S. last month, introducing and congratulating each team as they stood.
"These Americans, Canadians, British and Germans come here to Afghanistan from faraway places," Dadullah says on the tape. "Why shouldn't we go after them?"
The leader of the team assigned to attack Great Britain spoke in English.
"So let me say something about why we are going, along with my team, for a suicide attack in Britain," he said. "Whether my colleagues, companions and Muslim brothers die today or tonight, every drop of our blood will invigorate the Muslim (unintelligible)."
Video: Watch the Taliban's 'Graduation' Ceremony
U.S. intelligence officials described the event as another example of "an aggressive and sophisticated propaganda campaign."
Others take it very seriously.
"It doesn't take too many who are willing to actually do it and be able to slip through the net and get into the United States or England and cause a lot of damage," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism official.
Watch Brian Ross' full report on "World News With Charles Gibson."
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« Reply #172 on: June 28, 2007, 06:41:45 PM »

In Defense of the Constitution

News & Analysis
014/07  June 27, 2007

CAIR & America's Political Class; Collusion or Confusion?

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) recently posted to its web site several articles trumpeting recent events and the list of distinguished attendees:   

June 17, 2007: Ohio Governor Ted Strickland attended a CAIR event in Columbus honoring CAIR-Ohio's "work":

Governor Strickland addressed the same CAIR-Ohio that defended the "charity" organization KindHearts when it was closed down for investigation by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2006. According to tax filings, KindHearts did fundraising through the notorious Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP).

The IAP was found civilly liable for the terror-murder of an American citizen by Hamas.  Hamas is yet another Islamist terrorist group that enjoys the support of CAIR.  (Is it a coincidence that the Islamic Association for Palestine is also the parent organization of CAIR?)

How is it that a sitting governor of a state that forms part of a union currently fighting a war against Islamist terrorism can sit down with the very self-same group that supports America's enemies with impunity? 
How many sons and daughters of Ohio have given their lives and limbs in the battle against Islamist terror? 
Is Governor Strickland guilty of collusion or confusion?

June 16, 2007: CAIR Minnesota held an event attended by members of the FBI, ACLU, Rep. Keith Ellison, and president of the American Council of the Blind for Minnesota:

CAIR-MN Communications Director Valerie Shirley:

"We thank the Minnesota community for its tremendous support in our first months of operation and hope to work with people of all faiths on future initiatives of benefit to our state and nation"

While making deceptive commentary designed to portray CAIR as something it is not, let's not forget that this is same CAIR that defends the outrageous behaviour of the "Flying Imams":

How many sons and daughters of Minnesota have given their lives and limbs in the battle against Islamist terror?
Is Representative Keith Ellison guilty of collusion or confusion?

June 16, 2007: CAIR New Jersey holds a meeting with "Security Officials" from the FBI, DHS, and State Police:

While many politically oriented law enforcement officials meet with CAIR in the spirit of "Muslim outreach", it should be noted that in the case of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), CAIR's constant promotion of a "relationship" with DHS is wearing thin:

According to the article in the Washington Times:
"The department does not have a formalized relationship with that particular organization .
we do have formalized relations with other community groups with whom we do contracts for training and consultation on matters that are specific to a given community. It is not uncommon for that particular organization to issue a press release attempting to overstate their interaction with the department."

A check reveals that since 2000, CAIR has not been awarded a grant or government contract.

From an MSNBC article we learn: 
"One senior law-enforcement official, who asked not to be identified talking about a sensitive matter, agrees that there is a "split in FBI culture" over the bureau's relationships with CAIR and says that some agents "hold their nose" when it comes to dealing with the group."

So much for the "special relationship"?

(Just who is CAIR trying to impress, their North American members or their Saudi leash olders?)

Is there a pattern here? 

Given CAIR's proven connections to Islamist terrorism and Islamist terrorist groups, and CAIR's recent inclusion on a list of "prominent" U.S. Islamic groups as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in a plot to fund the notorious Islamist terrorist group Hamas; can North Americans be forgiven if they are asking themselves why our so-called "leaders" are pandering to CAIR?

Why do many of our so-called "leaders" give a pass to CAIR? 

Why is the mainstream press so reluctant to give CAIR the sort of investigative attention they give to Paris Hilton's underwear hue? 

Why the disconnect between field agents of the FBI and the FBI's leadership?

Broken Moral Compass?

The simple fact is that many North Americans in leadership roles seem to have lost their sense of what is just; what is right.  Many of our "leaders" have developed a moral compass that has swung so far askew that it can't point to the truth even when they want it to; their needle is clearly broken:

Twenty years ago, would we have tolerated the presence of any invited members of law enforcement at KKK rallies or accepted a Representative of the People attending a rally for the NAZI party as an honored guest speaker? 

Where is our sense of outrage? 

Why are many of our political class willing to pander to CAIR? When not making mealy-mouthed statements calling for "understanding" and "tolerance", they are busy gadding about in search of approval from the very same groups that support the killing and maiming of America's brave warriors who are currently fighting - and dying - to defend our country from the very people they are telling us we must be "tolerant" of !

The time for "understanding" evil is long past. 

The time for "tolerance" in the face of unrestrained Islamist terror is over.

The time for action is now. Calls for "tolerance" should be answered with a resounding "NO!" when it comes to radical Islam and those persons and groups, like CAIR, that clearly support an evil ideology.

There was a time in American communities when those who committed evil were shunned.  People would not speak of them, or to them.  In short, they were 'non-persons' as far as the civilized community was concerned.  The person shunned usually had the good sense to move away.

We recommend CAIR make a move to Gaza.  No doubt CAIR's leadership would be among their own and CAIR's constant carping about everything Islamic would fall on sympathetic ears.

By our silence to the activities of CAIR and other Islamist terrorist supporting groups, are we complicit in their activities?  Do any of us share a little of the blame for CAIR's existence because we refuse to do anything about it?  Do we enable CAIR and other Islamist groups when we continue to re-elect representatives who shake hands and break bread with America's enemies?

How many of our leaders have forgotten the precious legacy handed down by the founders? 

How willingly they trade crass adulation for personal responsibility as they forget they represent America, not Hamas.

Where is America's champion... ?

Andrew Whitehead
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« Reply #173 on: July 11, 2007, 06:44:29 PM »
Al Qaeda Cell in the U.S. Or On Its Way, According to New Intel
 Share July 10, 2007 6:30 PM

Brian Ross Reports:

 Senior U.S. intelligence officials tell ABC News new intelligence suggests
a small al Qaeda cell is on its way to the United States, or may already be

The White House has convened an urgent multi-agency meeting for Thursday
afternoon to deal with the new threat.

  a.. Blotter Secret Document: U.S. Fears Terror 'Spectacular' Planned
  b.. Blotter Al Qaeda No. 2 Makes More Threats Against the U.K.
  c.. Click Here to Check Out Brian Ross Investigative Photos
Top intelligence and law enforcement officials have been told to assemble in
the Situation Room to report on:

--what steps can be taken to minimize or counter the threat,

--and what steps are being taken to harden security for government buildings
and personnel.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the Chicago Tribune
editorial board on Tuesday he had "a gut feeling" that an attack was coming.

"We do worry about whether they are rebuilding their capabilities," Chertoff
said. "We strike at them; we degrade them; but they rebuild."

"It suggests they have information that the cell or cells coming this
direction want to attack a government facility," Brad Garrett, a former FBI
agent and ABC News consultant, said.

Law enforcement officials say the recent failed attacks in London have
provided important new clues about possible tactics.

Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage.

And officials say the London attackers' use of the Internet left important
clues that are being used to decode other e-mails that had initially been
deemed unimportant but are now taking on new significance.

A senior administration official said the level of concern of a new terror
attack is now higher than it has been in some time, and the meeting this
week in the situation room is one of a number that have been convened in
light of the new intelligence and what happened in London.


"World News" closer between Charles Gibson and Brian Ross:

Charles Gibson: The obvious question, Brian, is how hard and how specific is
the intelligence?

Brian Ross: Not hard, but good. It's being taken very seriously, in
connection with increased chatter, e-mail traffic back and forth, the
attacks in London, and a general concern, as Secretary Chertoff said today,
that summer seems to be a time that al Qaeda likes to attack.

Charles Gibson: And there's been a bunch of tapes that have been coming from
al Qaeda lately.

Brian Ross: In fact, Zawahri put out his eighth tape today and says he had
easy access to the Internet, and he threatened new attacks against London.

Charles Gibson: Once was the day when this intelligence came in, they would
raise the level of concern going to a different color.

Brian Ross: The concern, now, by doing that and not telling Americans what
they can do, where the attack is coming, serves no useful purpose.


White House response:

After the attempted terrorist attacks in the U.K., the U.S. government
convened meetings to discuss the situation -- that is what citizens should
expect. There is no credible evidence of an imminent threat, however, and
counter-terrorism officials regularly meet -- that is not unusual. We are
taking all threats seriously and working to ensure we can keep the
terrorists from striking at innocent people.
« Reply #174 on: July 12, 2007, 11:39:54 AM »

FBI Patriot Act Abuse Documents: What Special Project Lives in FBI HQ Room 4944?
By Ryan Singel

In March, the Justice Department's Inspector General revealed that FBI agents had sent a flurry of fake emergency letters to phone companies, asking them to turn over phone records immediately by promising that the proper papers had been filed with U.S. attorneys, though in many cases this was a complete lie.  More than 60 of these letters were made public today as part of a FBI document dump in response to a government sunshine lawsuit centered on the FBI's abuse of a key Patriot Act power.

The most striking thing about these expedited letters (made public via the Electronic Frontier Foundation) is that they all use the same pathetic, passive bureaucratese:  "Due to exigent circumstances, it is requested that records for the attached list of telephone numbers be provided."

So far they seem to all be coming from the same office: the Communications Analysis Unit which looks to be located in Room 4944 in FBI Headquarters.  The "exigent letters" also refer almost exclusively to a "Special Project" and the only name on any of the letters is Larry Mefford.

Mefford was no rookie FBI agent. Mefford was the Executive Assistant Director, in charge of the Counterterrorism/Counterintelligence Division. In English, that means he was in charge of preventing another terrorist attack domestically.

What does that mean?  Well, Mefford's name is on documents that requested personal information on Americans.  Some of those requests included information known to be false to the agents signing them.  That's a federal crime, according to one former FBI agent.

What was this "Special Project" in the Communications Analysis Group?  What exactly were they doing that would require "expedited" letters that sometimes requested more than 2 pages of phone numbers from phone companies?  In the immortal words of the Butch Cassidy, who are those guys?

The documents also show that these "exigent letters" -- essentially end runs around the rules set up to keep the FBI from trampling on citizens rights -- weren't devised by some rogue Jack Bauer-style agent.  The form letters originated from inside FBI Headquarters and in some cases, bear the name of a senior level FBI offiicial who should have been aware of the letters' legal grey status and possibility for abuse.

The FBI is fully aware of the power handed to it by Congress's passage of the Patriot Act.  Indeed, as early as November 28, 2001, every field office was warned by the Office of the General Counsel that:

    NSLs are powerful investigative tools in that they can compel the production of substantial amounts of relevant information. However, they must be used judiciously. [...]  In deciding whether or not to re-authorize the broadened authority, Congress certainly will examine the manner in which the FBI exercised it.  Executive Order 12333 and the FCIG require that the FBU accomplish its investigations through the "least intrusive " means.  Supervisors should keep this in mind when deciding whether or not a particular use of NSL authority is appropriate.  The greater availability of NSLs does not mean that they should be used in every case.

From the looks of the audits coming out, that seems to be one memo FBI agents dutifully ignored.  And perhaps rightfully so, since Congress didn't bother to challenge Alberto Gonzales's knowingly false statements to Congress about the FBI's use of these powers before they made them permanent.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #175 on: July 12, 2007, 02:03:05 PM »

Is it possible there is a pressing investigation that caused those letters to be produced? I'm guessing the Communications Analysis Group means datamining, which means hunting for terrorist cells.
« Reply #176 on: July 12, 2007, 09:28:29 PM »

Report: Al Qaeda renewing efforts to sneak terror plotters into U.S.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Al Qaeda is stepping up its efforts to sneak terror operatives into the United States and has acquired most of the capabilities it needs to strike here, according to a new U.S. intelligence assessment, The Associated Press has learned.

The draft National Intelligence Estimate is expected to paint an increasingly worrisome portrait of al Qaeda's ability to use its base along the Pakistan-Afghan border to launch and inspire attacks, even as Bush administration officials say the U.S. is safer nearly six years into the war on terror.

Among the key findings of the classified estimate, which is still in draft form and must be approved by all 16 U.S. spy agencies:

    * Al Qaeda is probably still pursuing chemical, biological or nuclear weapons and would use them if its operatives developed sufficient capability.

    * The terror group has been able to restore three of the four key tools it would need to launch an attack on U.S. soil: a safe haven in Pakistan's tribal areas, operational lieutenants and senior leaders. It could not immediately be learned what the missing fourth element is.

    * The group will bolster its efforts to position operatives inside U.S. borders. In public statements, U.S. officials have expressed concern about the ease with which people can enter the United States through Europe because of a program that allows most Europeans to enter without visas.

      The document also discusses increasing concern about individuals already inside the United States who are adopting an extremist brand of Islam.

      On a positive note, analysts concluded that increased international efforts over the past five years "have constrained the ability of al Qaeda to attack the U.S. homeland again and have led terrorist groups to perceive the homeland as a harder target to strike than on 9/11."

      Those measures helped disrupt known plots against the United States, the analysts found.

      National Intelligence Estimates are the most authoritative written judgments that reflect the consensus long-term thinking of senior intelligence analysts.

      Government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has not been finalized, described it as an expansive look at potential threats within the United States and said it required the cooperation of a number of national security agencies, including the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security Department and National Counterterrorism Center.

      National security officials met at the White House on Thursday about the intelligence estimate and related counterterrorism issues. The tentative plan is to release a declassified version of the report and brief Congress on Tuesday, one government official said.

      Ross Feinstein, spokesman for National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, declined to discuss the document's specific contents. But he said it would be consistent with statements made by senior government officials at congressional hearings and elsewhere.

      The estimate echoes the findings of another analysis prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center earlier this year and disclosed publicly on Wednesday. That report -- titled "Al Qaeda better positioned to strike the West" -- found the terrorist group is "considerably operationally stronger than a year ago" and has "regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001," a counterterrorism official familiar with the report's findings told The Associated Press.

      On Thursday, news of the counterterrorism center's threat assessment renewed the political debate about the nature of the al Qaeda threat and whether U.S. actions -- in Iraq in particular -- have made the U.S. safer from terrorism.

      At a news conference Thursday, President Bush acknowledged al Qaeda's continuing threat to the United States and used the new report as evidence his administration's policies are on the right course.

      "The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September 11," he said. "That's why what happens in Iraq matters to security here at home."

      Yet Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, said Iraq has distracted the United States. He said the U.S. should have finished off al Qaeda in 2002 and 2003 along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

      Instead, "President Bush chose to invade Iraq, thereby diverting our military and intelligence resources away from the real war on terrorism," Rockefeller said. "Threats to the United States homeland are not emanating from Iraq. They are coming from al Qaeda leadership."

      Rockefeller, who voted in favor of toppling Saddam Hussein, called for the U.S. to end its involvement in what he called the Iraqi civil war.

      In recent weeks, senior national security officials have been increasingly worried about an al Qaeda attack in the United States.

      Appearing on a half-dozen morning TV shows Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff laid out a list of factors contributing to his "gut feeling" that the nation faces a higher risk of attack this summer: al Qaeda's increased freedom to train in South Asia, a flurry of public statements from the network's leadership, a history of summertime attacks, a broader range of attacks in North Africa and Europe, and homegrown terrorism increasing in Europe.

      "Europe could become a platform for an attack against this country," Chertoff told CNN, although he and others continue to say they know of no specific, credible information pointing to an attack here.

      National security officials are frustrated by an agreement last year between Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and tribal leaders in western Pakistan, which gave tribes near the Afghan border greater autonomy and has led to increased al Qaeda activity in the region.

      Nevertheless, Bush administration officials still view Musharraf as a partner.

      Speaking to a congressional hearing, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said that Pakistan under Musharraf has captured more al Qaeda operatives than any other country and that several major Taliban leaders were captured or killed this year.

      "There is a considerable al Qaeda presence at the border, but they are under pressure," Boucher told a House national security subcommittee.

      Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tennessee, was skeptical, saying Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders apparently feel safe there. "Is this a Motel 6 for terrorists?" he asked.

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Posts: 15532

« Reply #177 on: July 12, 2007, 09:46:49 PM »

Thankfully it's all just a conspiracy by the illuminati/Bush administration. There aren' really terrorists out to kill us.... grin
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Posts: 15532

« Reply #178 on: July 13, 2007, 12:00:45 AM »

Sheehan: Distinct Chance Of Staged Attack, Martial Law
Peace Mom warns of false flag terror as she prepares to take on sell-out Pelosi
Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cindy Sheehan, the famous Peace Mom who recently expressed her intention to run against Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco, says there's a "distinct possibility" that America will be hit with another staged terror attack that will allow Bush to enact the martial law provisions he recently signed into law.

Sheehan spoke to The Alex Jones Show as she prepares to embark on a two week trek towards Washington to confront Pelosi.

Asked what she thought of numerous recent comments on behalf of politicians, military analysts and GOP kingpins that the Bush administration needs more terror to save a doomed foreign policy, along with recent legislation that establishes the framework for martial law in the event of an emergency, Sheehan was open to the plausibility that another false flag attack could be visited upon the American people.

"I definitely think that is a distinct possibility, that there will be some kind of attack whether it's manufactured or real....I think it's really possible that these people will do that - why would he [Bush] put in that presidential directive if he didn't need to use it - I think it's really really frightening," Sheehan told The Alex Jones Show.

"Does anybody think that [Bush's] recent presidential decision directive wasn't for declaring martial law and suspending elections - that's why they have to be stopped," added Sheehan.

Recently liberated from the straightjacket of partisan control, Sheehan attacked the Democrats for failing to achieve what they were voted in to do last November.

"The culture of corruption doesn't stop at the Republican party and people need to realize that Democrats are not our saviors," said Sheehan.

"Over 600 soldiers have died since the Democrats took over power and many thousands of Iraqis, the blood is on their hands, they have the power to stop it and support our troops, support the people of Iraq, save America from more threats from the Bush administration and get them out of power," added the anti-war activist.

Sheehan told Pelosi that if she didn't have impeachment on the table by July that she would run against her in San Francisco and the Peace Mom has now taken that course of action.

"I will run against you and I will give you a run for your money," challenged Sheehan.

Sheehan slammed Pelosi as a warmongering elitist who lives in a mansion on a hill and is completely out of touch with her electorate, as well as a major supporter of AIPAC, a group which has expressed its explicit support for an attack on Iran.

"You can't have allegiance to two countries when you're a lawmaker in one of those countries," said Sheehan, adding that many politicians put America's best interests second behind Israel.

Asked why the candidacy of Ron Paul has become so popular, Sheehan commented "People are hungry for change, people are hungry for people to tell the truth, no matter what, people are hungry for those who act out of their integrity."
« Reply #179 on: July 13, 2007, 10:44:03 AM »

Recently liberated from the straightjacket of partisan control

I think that pretty much sums it up.

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« Reply #180 on: July 13, 2007, 11:01:20 AM »

S B,

You dare question St. Cindy?Huh   wink
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« Reply #181 on: July 13, 2007, 11:20:49 AM »

Put Ron Paul down for a staged attack as well. I wish someone would run down the various terrorist attack globally since 1979 and tell me which were actual terrorist attacks and which were staged.
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« Reply #182 on: July 22, 2007, 11:46:38 PM »

Weak airport security
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« Reply #183 on: July 25, 2007, 11:54:22 AM »,2933,290658,00.html
TSA Warns Airport Security About Terror Dry Runs
Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Aug. 100, 2006: A TSA officer carries a bin of confiscated items taken from travelers at a security checkpoint at Denver International Airport.

WASHINGTON  ?  Airport security officers around the nation have been alerted by federal officials to look out for terrorists practicing to carry explosive components onto aircraft, based on four curious seizures at airports since last September.

The unclassified alert was distributed on July 20 by the Transportation Security Administration to federal air marshals, its own transportation security officers and other law enforcement agencies.

The seizures at airports in San Diego, Milwaukee, Houston and Baltimore included "wires, switches, pipes or tubes, cell phone components and dense clay-like substances," including block cheese, the bulletin said. "The unusual nature and increase in number of these improvised items raise concern."

Security officers were urged to keep an eye out for "ordinary items that look like improvised explosive device components."

The 13-paragraph bulletin was posted on the Internet by NBC Nightly News, which first reported the story.

A federal official familiar with the document confirmed the authenticity of the NBC posting but declined to be identified by name because it has not been officially released.

"There is no credible, specific threat here," TSA spokeswoman Ellen Howe said Tuesday. "Don't panic. We do these things all the time."

Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke described the notice as the latest copy of a routine informational bulletin for TSA workers, airport employees and law enforcement officials.

A statement posted late Tuesday by the TSA on its Web site confirmed that "a routine TSA intelligence bulletin relating to suspicious incidents at U.S. airports" had leaked to news organizations. The statement added, "During the past six months TSA has produced more than 90 unclassified bulletins of this nature on a wide variety of security-related subjects."

The bulletin said the a joint FBI-Homeland Security Department assessment found that terrorists have conducted probes, dry runs and dress rehearsals in advance of previous attacks.

It cited various types of rehearsals conducted by terrorists before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; the July 7, 2005, London subway bombings; the Aug. 2, 2006, London-based plot to blow up trans-Atlantic flights using liquid explosives and the 1994 Bojinka plot in the Philippines to blow up multiple airliners over the Pacific Ocean.

The bulletin said the passengers carrying the suspicious items seized since September included men and women and that initial investigation had not linked them with criminal or terrorist organizations. But it added that most of their explanations for carrying the items were suspicious and some were still under investigation.

The four seizures were described this way:

? San Diego, July 7. A U.S. person ? either a citizen or a foreigner legally here ? checked baggage containing two ice packs covered in duct tape. The ice packs had clay inside them rather than the normal blue gel.

? Milwaukee, June 4. A U.S. person's carryon baggage contained wire coil wrapped around a possible initiator, an electrical switch, batteries, three tubes and two blocks of cheese. The bulletin said block cheese has a consistency similar to some explosives.

? Houston, Nov. 8, 2006. A U.S. person's checked baggage contained a plastic bag with a 9-volt battery, wires, a block of brown clay-like minerals and pipes.

? Baltimore, Sept. 16, 2006. A couple's checked baggage contained a plastic bag with a block of processed cheese taped to another plastic bag holding a cellular phone charger.

"This is as true in everyday life as it is in battle:
We are given one life, and the decision is ours whether
to wait for circumstances to make up our mind or whether
to act and, in acting, to live."
-- Omar Bradley, General
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« Reply #184 on: July 27, 2007, 09:45:01 AM »

On the Front Line in the War on Terrorism
Cops in New York and Los Angeles offer America two models for preventing another 9/11.
Judith Miller
Summer 2007
Three time zones, 3,000 miles, and a cultural galaxy apart, New York and Los Angeles face a common threat: along with Washington, D.C., they’re the chief American targets of Islamic terror. And both cities boast top cops, sometime rivals—the cities are fiercely competitive—who know that ensuring that a dog doesn’t bark will determine their legacies. After investing millions of dollars in homeland security, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly of New York and Chief William J. Bratton of L.A. can both claim counterterror successes. What can we learn from their approaches? And will they be able to continue preventing terrorist attacks in their cities?

On the face of it, the nation’s two biggest metropolitan forces seem to have adopted kindred counterterrorism strategies. Both have roving SWAT or “Emergency Service Unit” teams, equipped with gas masks and antidotes to chemical and biological agents. Both have set up “fusion” centers to screen threats and monitor secret intelligence and “open-source” information, including radical Internet sites, and both have started programs to identify and protect likely targets. Both have tried to integrate private security experts into their work. Both conduct surveillance that would have been legally questionable before September 11. Both have sought to enlist support from mainstream Muslims and have encouraged various private firms to report suspicious activity.

Yet despite such similarities, the terror-fighting approaches of New York and L.A., like the cities themselves, reflect very different traditions, styles, and, above all, resources. New York, which knows the price of failure and thus has a heightened “threat perception,” sets the gold standard for counterterrorism—and has the funding and manpower to do it. Kelly, 65, views his highest priority as ensuring that al-Qaida doesn’t hit the city again. “When your city has been attacked, the threat is always with you,” he tells me. Deploying its own informants, undercover terror-busters, and a small army of analysts, New York tries to locate and neutralize pockets of militancy even before potentially violent individuals can form radical cells—a “preventive” approach, as Kelly calls it, that is the most effective way that police departments, small or large, can help fight terror.

In L.A., a city that has never been attacked, terrorism is a less pressing concern than gang violence and other crime. Lacking the political incentive, and hence the resources, to wage his own war on terror, Bratton, 59, has instead pooled scarce funds, manpower, and information with federal and other agencies—an approach that federal officials hold up as a model for police departments that can’t afford New York’s investment.

Both cities can claim victories that underscore the central role that law enforcement can—and should—play in homeland security. Just this June, the NYPD and the FBI announced that they had foiled a new Islamic terror plot against New York, this time to blow up fuel-tank farms at John F. Kennedy International Airport. While the plot was extremely unlikely to succeed—law enforcement had penetrated it from the start—the arrests revealed that Trinidad and other Caribbean ports have become fertile ground for Islamic militancy. Since September 11, the NYPD has broken up at least seven terror plots. What the LAPD calls its “coming of age” terrorism case—as yet not widely reported—commenced with a concerned landlord’s call just days after September 11. It eventually led police investigators to a small group of Islamic militants who may have provided support for the 9/11 hijackers (see box).

Yet neither Kelly nor Bratton can rest on his laurels. Those playing defense must be constantly vigilant, while al-Qaida and like-minded militants need to be lucky only once.

Size matters. The NYPD has long been one of the world’s largest law enforcement agencies. On September 11, 2001, it was employing some 50,000 people—36,000 sworn officers and about 14,000 civilians—to protect more than 8 million people. The next five largest U.S. police departments combined don’t have as many employees, Bratton ruefully observes. His own adopted city of L.A.—he’s originally from Boston—has a civilian and sworn force of 12,800 covering a city of nearly 4 million. As the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a Washington-based think tank, concludes in a new report, the NYPD has the resources “to do things that other departments cannot.”

Shortly after taking office under Mayor Michael Bloomberg in January 2002, Kelly began his second tour of duty as Gotham’s top cop by drawing on those considerable resources to revamp and expand the NYPD’s terror-fighting capabilities. He hired two key counterterrorism deputies from Washington, D.C.: David Cohen, a former deputy director of the CIA’s operations wing, to head the NYPD’s Intelligence Division; and Michael Sheehan, former State Department head of counterterrorism, to run the force’s new Counter Terrorism Bureau. Then he assigned more than 1,000 people to their units, the largest deployment of any American city to combat terrorism. With funds from the Police Foundation, a private group, he also sent liaison officers overseas to work alongside police departments in some of the cities most frequently targeted by terror, including Amman, London, and Singapore.

Each day, the Counter Terrorism Bureau’s 205 officers analyze worldwide threats to determine how many officers should deploy where; provide training for all members of the force; assess risks to targets; and develop plans for protecting key sites in and near the city. Much of the NYPD’s recent counterterrorism work has focused on the financial district in lower Manhattan, home to 75 of the city’s 367 most sensitive sites, information about which is kept in a giant red binder, the “Red Book.” Kelly is weighing a plan to erect a “ring of steel”—cameras, random screenings, and sophisticated sensors like those that London installed after its own subway and bus terror attacks in 2005—to help protect the 1.5-square-mile district and its 1 trillion daily financial transactions. The city is also spending $250 million to install cameras in its subway and transit system.

The cutting edge of the NYPD’s antiterrorism efforts, though, is David Cohen’s Intelligence Division. “We’re looking at ‘clusters,’ at how and where people get together, what they do and where they go, how they raise funds,” Kelly says during an interview at One Police Plaza. “This analytical work is not being done anywhere else in government. It’s all about prevention.”

Before September 11, the Intelligence Division mainly developed intelligence on narcotics and violent crimes, and sought to protect visiting dignitaries to the city—a glorified “escort service,” Kelly once scoffed. Now, its personnel devote 95 percent of their time to terrorism investigations, the PERF report concludes (and sources confirm). Kelly says that the division has 23 civilian intelligence analysts, with master’s degrees and higher from Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, and other universities; some have come from leading think tanks, even from the CIA—giving the force a capability, he says, “that exists no place else.” The division’s “field intelligence officers,” one assigned to each of the NYPD’s 76 precincts, keep tabs on people, crimes, and arrests that might have terrorism links. “Core Collection” officers develop confidential informants, who could give early warning about people being radicalized by militant associates or websites.

Cohen’s division also supervises undercover agents who infiltrate potentially violent groups. The identities of these covert warriors, and other details of the program, remain fiercely guarded secrets. But information occasionally turns up in federal prosecutions, such as the NYPD’s use of an undercover agent in helping to foil the June JFK airport conspiracy, and of both a Bangladeshi undercover officer and an Egyptian-born confidential informant in disrupting a 2004 plot by Islamic terrorists to bomb the Herald Square subway station. “I want at least 1,000 to 2,000 to die in one day,” one of the accused told the informant in the subway case, a stunned New York jury heard last year. Though the men had not acquired explosives, police arrested them shortly before the Republican national convention in August 2004, after nearly two years of surveillance. The key plotter, Shahawar Matin Siraj, a 22-year-old Pakistani, recently received a 30-year sentence. “This is the kind of homegrown, lone-wolf case that starts way below federal radar,” Cohen says. “But had these two guys acted on their intentions”—to “fuck this country very bad,” as Siraj threatened on tape—“a lot of New Yorkers would have died and been injured.”

Undercover work capitalizes on the NYPD’s 870-plus civilian and uniformed speakers of Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, Pashto, Turkish, and Urdu—more linguists than the FBI’s New York field office employs. Of the 470 or so in uniform, more than 200 are “master linguists” in high-priority languages. The latest police academy class boasted graduates hailing from 65 countries, Cohen notes. Some will doubtless work for the division’s Cyber Intelligence Unit, a 25-person group situated in unmarked headquarters in a Chelsea industrial building; others may wind up in the Prison Intelligence program at Rikers Island, where they will work with officials from probations, the New York State Police, and other agencies to monitor the spread of militancy.

Richard Falkenrath, a counterterrorism expert who worked in the Bush White House and succeeded Deputy Commissioner Sheehan last year, says that New York’s intelligence efforts are “awe-inspiring,” beyond anything he’s seen at the local, state, and even federal levels. “New York is far more action-oriented than the feds,” he says, “partly because it’s a lot easier and faster to take action.” Even rivals like Bratton, who served as New York’s police commissioner in the mid-nineties before falling out with his boss, Rudy Giuliani, share the admiration. “The NYPD’s intelligence operation is widely regarded as the gold standard,” Bratton concluded in an article coauthored for the Manhattan Institute (City Journal’s publisher) last fall.

What Bratton criticizes—and he’s not alone—is the NYPD’s alleged refusal to give other law enforcement agencies access to the intelligence that it has so doggedly gathered. “New York has perfected an array of intelligence-gathering initiatives,” he observes. “My concern is that at the federal level, there are too few dots to connect, and in New York, what they collect is not being shared. As a result, law enforcement is not being formed by this information.”

Kelly dismisses this as “old criticism.” But neither he nor his deputies deny that for years after September 11, relations between the department and the FBI were rancorous. The NYPD blames the strain on FBI resentment of Kelly’s creation of what are basically a miniature FBI and CIA within the force. After Kelly tried unsuccessfully to take over the FBI-run Joint Terrorism Task Force—the nation’s first alliance between the bureau and local law enforcement, dating back to 1979—he stationed NYPD detectives overseas and authorized Cohen’s division to conduct its own surveillance and infiltration operations, despite FBI opposition. “For a long while,” Cohen says, “their attitude was: ‘If you’re not under our control, you’re out of control.’ ”

Kelly’s view that combating terrorism was “something we have to do ourselves” partly reflected the devastating effect of pre-9/11 intelligence failures on the law enforcement community. Not only did thousands of civilians die on 9/11; the city’s fire department lost 343 firefighters—the largest loss of life in one day in history for emergency responders; the Port Authority police suffered 37 deaths, the largest loss of life in one day in history for police; the NYPD itself lost 23 officers, the second-largest loss historically. “ ‘Trust us’ was no longer acceptable after 9/11,” observes Sheehan, who is writing a book on counterterrorism, Crush the Cell.

Tensions also grew between the FBI and Sheehan’s Counter Terrorism Bureau. In the summer of 2003, officials said, the FBI passed an unverified tip to the CTB that a “dirty bomb” might be on its way to New York. When Sheehan called a Friday afternoon meeting to discuss a possible deployment to the city of local, state, and federal investigators, emergency-response personnel, and nuclear-detection technology, the FBI began downplaying the threat. Furious, Kelly, Cohen, and Sheehan decided to use the tip to test the city’s emergency-response and intelligence teams in a massive drill. “What we learned from that episode was that when and if we needed federal assets, we were still on our own, even after 9/11,” a former senior city official complains.

Relations continued to deteriorate until the FBI replaced its senior leadership in New York in May 2005. Mark Mershon became the new head of the FBI’s 2,000-person New York field office (the bureau’s largest), and Joseph Demarest, Jr. took over its counterterrorism division. Both determined to repair what they saw as a crucial partnership. A turning point, both sides agree, came in November 2005, when FBI director Robert Mueller III visited the NYPD and had a private sit-down with Kelly. “The director was impressed by New York’s programs,” Demarest says. Mueller agreed with Kelly that New York was “big enough and enough of a target to warrant some independence,” an NYPD official recalled.

The FBI began seeing Cohen’s Intelligence Division not as a rival or nuisance but as an additional source of vital intelligence. Mueller also blessed Mershon’s desire to make the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force, with its 180 FBI and 125 police members, more inclusive. The senior-ranking NYPD official on the task force even became its “comanager.” “You get a real buy-in,” explains Demarest. “Important decisions are no longer made alone.” Cohen adds: “It’s hard to overstate how far we’ve come from the animosity of the early days.” He estimates that, though the FBI has the “first right of refusal” on tips and leads—35,000 have come in since the city set up its counter-terrorism hotline five years ago—the NYPD has pursued almost two-thirds of them.
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« Reply #185 on: July 27, 2007, 09:46:04 AM »

NYPD officials insist that the department doesn’t deserve its reputation for arrogance and that its counterterrorism programs have always required cooperation with private businesses and other law enforcement agencies. Since launching Operation Nexus in 2002, notes Cohen, the NYPD has visited more than 30,000 businesses in New York and beyond, encouraging them to report suspicious purchases or other potentially terrorism-related activity.

Another initiative, Operation Shield, helps area businesses assess, and revise, security. The program also shares unclassified intelligence and security tips with private security firms. “Shield is all about sharing with the private sector on a real-time basis,” Kelly says. “Two days after the bombings in Mumbai”—the devastating simultaneous bombings of seven trains in India last year that killed over 200 and wounded hundreds more—“our lieutenant did a teleconference from there with 100 Shield members in our pressroom, giving more specifics about the attack than anyone else had.” A recent session, with more than 500 in attendance, discussed the chlorine bombs that American forces have faced in Iraq.

New York’s “fusion center,” the nation’s first, now includes counterterrorism reps from approximately 40 local, state, and federal agencies. The NYPD coordinates, too, with the numerous agencies that operate the city’s massive public transportation system, with its 6.5 million daily riders. The NYPD protects that system mostly with its own funds, since the federal government has spent only $386 million nationally on transit security—far less than the $24 billion it has spent bolstering aviation security. In 2007, Falkenrath disclosed in March, there had already been 22 subway bomb threats and 31 intelligence leads on subway attack plots.

Despite these outreach efforts, state officials and leaders in other cities still occasionally grumble that the NYPD is reluctant to work with other police departments or, more often, that it neglects to inform them about its operations on their turf. Michael Sheehan, quoting his former colleague Cohen, responds: “There is no such thing as intelligence sharing; there is only intelligence trading.” Even small police forces can develop useful tips and leads with the proper skills and a little creativity, he points out; that’s why the NYPD has invested considerable resources to train and work with police from the tristate area. “But yes,” Sheehan acknowledges, “we prefer to work with people who are seriously in the game—those that run informants and collect real information, rather than just circulate watered-down, nonspecific threat information provided by the Department of Homeland Security.”

Getting more partners “in the game” is the goal of Operation Sentry, the NYPD’s discreet new effort to forge counterterrorism partnerships within a 200-mile radius of the city. Recognizing that the 9/11 attacks began not in New York but in Boston and Portland, Maine, Kelly invited law enforcement officials from counties and cities as far away as Baltimore to a three-day meeting late last year to discuss such issues as the radicalization of Muslim youth and what New York has learned about how to identify terrorism-related conduct.

Francisco Ortiz, New Haven’s police chief, calls Sentry “invaluable.” Through Sentry, he now gets updates on regional threats as they unfold, as well as invitations to bimonthly sessions in New York featuring the latest threat assessments and training courses on improving security at sensitive sites. “They’re helping us become a better listening post in Connecticut for New York,” he says. Ortiz now intends to use some of his own 400-officer force to start a version of New York’s Nexus program to sensitize local businesses to potential threats. New York police trainers have already visited New Haven to help.

Utica police chief C. Allen Pylman finds the Sentry sessions “eye-opening”—particularly one that focused on the “Toronto 18” plot, disrupted last year, to behead the Canadian prime minister, bomb high-profile targets, and conduct random shootings in shopping malls. “My city of 65,000 people is not likely to be a target of terrorism,” Pylman notes. “But are there people here who may be supporting radical causes? Yes, I think so.”

In many ways, Los Angeles and New York might as well be on different planets. Tim Connors, the director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Policing Terrorism, which has been advising the LAPD, argues that differences of geography, history, politics, and culture result in dramatically different attitudes toward, and resources for, fighting terrorism.

The sheer mass of sprawling territory that William Bratton’s 12,800-member force and other law enforcement agencies must cover is daunting. “What is New York at its widest—40 miles?” asks L.A. city councilman Jack Weiss, a champion of Bratton’s campaign for more funds and flexibility for the LAPD, especially its counter-terrorism efforts. “The city of Los Angeles alone is some 450 square miles. The county is 4,000 square miles, with 88 incorporated and unincorporated cities and the world’s seventh-largest economy. We have 45 separate police departments.” The FBI’s L.A. field office must protect 18 million residents in seven separate counties, says its head, J. Stephen Tidwell. “Ray Kelly has an army of 37,000. Well, nobody has an army here, so no one can do it by himself.”

“You’re talking about protecting a county that has multiple climates,” agrees John Sullivan, a lieutenant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and an early champion of intelligence sharing and of redefining police as “first preventers” of terrorism. The county, he points out, contains 85 percent of California’s critical assets.

Civic culture and history also constrain Bratton’s terrorism-fighting capabilities. The LAPD’s notorious resort to illegal surveillance in the past led to extremely tight legal restrictions on whom it could monitor, and for what kinds of suspected offenses. Bratton is trying to loosen those restrictions, but Angelenos remain deeply suspicious of the police. Further, while most New Yorkers witnessed the 9/11 attacks, spent months breathing in air thick with ashes and the stench of scorched metal, lost friends and relatives, or knew people who knew victims, for Angelenos the day was “a disaster movie,” says Amy Zegart, a counterterrorism expert at UCLA. Terrorism—except in the L.A.-based TV show 24—is something that happens to others, not to them.

Another constriction is L.A.’s byzantine political system, dominated by competing fiefdoms and myriad jurisdictions with overlapping responsibilities. The California Highway Patrol, for example, polices the freeways that dissect Bratton’s territory. The Port of Los Angeles, through which some 45 percent of the nation’s cargo passes, has its own police force. So do the area’s airports. The biggest, best-funded local law enforcement office in the city isn’t even Bratton’s LAPD; it’s the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which has a sworn and civilian force of 16,216. And Sheriff Leroy Baca, a savvy elected politician, enjoys a $2.1 billion yearly budget—twice the LAPD’s. Of its $1.2 billion budget, the LAPD spends roughly $24 million on counter-terrorism; New York spends $204 million.

The Police Commission, a five-member panel appointed by the mayor, chooses Los Angeles’s chief cop and is likely to endorse Bratton for a second five-year term. But it’s the 15-member city council that approves Bratton’s budget and personnel levels. While Bratton could in theory shift officers from gang duty to counter-terrorism, Weiss tells me, it would be difficult without the council’s blessing. Nor can Bratton unilaterally create an LAPD career path in intelligence, as New York has done. Sacramento, seat of the state government, also wields far greater leverage over Los Angeles than Albany does over New York. “Everyone has a view on what we should and should not be doing,” Bratton says. “Even the L.A. Times seems to think it runs the police force.”

Such limitations make Bratton’s progress on counterterrorism since his appointment five years ago all the more remarkable. Working with Weiss and a handful of other supporters, he has added 75 officers permanently to the group of 33 who worked on terrorism before 9/11, and he has won the authority to hire or shift another 44 later. Still, the perpetual shortage of manpower and funds has made “sharing,” “jointness,” and “force multiplier” Bratton mantras. He has relentlessly sought to forge closer ties with other law enforcement and public-safety agencies in the region, particularly the FBI. “In this department, you need to justify exclusion,” Bratton says. The FBI’s Tidwell describes law enforcement cooperation in L.A. as “almost genetic,” a tradition, reinforced by Bratton and Baca, forged by decades of joint responses to earthquakes, fires, floods, and other natural disasters that plague the Southland. On the Joint Terrorism Task Force squads, to which Bratton has assigned some 15 officers, the FBI clearly leads. “And that doesn’t cause anyone any problems here,” Tidwell maintains. His office, too, has changed its own attitude toward sharing intelligence. “Our motto used to be ‘restrict and share what you must.’ It’s the opposite today.” Tensions between the LAPD and the Department of Homeland Security have also eased somewhat after DHS secretary Michael Chertoff met last year with the chiefs of the nation’s 15 largest police departments.

Homeland Security now has an official stationed full-time at L.A.’s crown jewel of “jointness”: the Joint Regional Intelligence Center, or “Jay-Rick,” which both Bratton and Chertoff hold up as a model for similar fusion centers soon to be operational in more than three dozen U.S. cities. Launched with a $4 million Homeland Security grant and opened last year in a concrete federal building in Norwalk, a 45-minute drive (without traffic) from downtown L.A., the center has 16 LAPD staffers and some 30 designees from other law enforcement and public-safety agencies. Inside, it resembles a modern-day newsroom: a vast open working space, shoulder-level partitions separating the analysts’ gray desks, computer screens everywhere, and wall-mounted television monitors showing various American and foreign-language news broadcasts.

The JRIC’s analysts don’t conduct investigations; instead, they vet tips and leads—nearly 25 new ones per week—to identify the 1 percent that prove serious. If someone threatens to spread anthrax in the city, for instance, the JRIC’s “threat squad” of some 20 analysts from federal and local agencies tries to figure out if the danger is real. Is the threat written or oral? From someone who seems scientifically knowledgeable? Have hospitals reported people with flu-like symptoms or who are having trouble breathing? Are adequate antibiotics on hand?

The JRIC’s heavy workload troubles Amy Zegart, among others. “The track-every-lead, confiscate-every-toenail-clipper approach may be a political winner, but it’s a counterterrorism loser,” she says. “Officials need to narrow the scope of inquiry to avoid more wild-goose chases rather than conduct them.” Experts also complain that it’s hard to tell who leads the JRIC. In theory, the LAPD, the sheriff’s office, and the FBI “comanage” the center. But what that might mean in an actual crisis is far from clear.

Moreover, the JRIC’s remote location makes it an unlikely assembly point in an emergency. John Miller, Bratton’s former deputy for counterterrorism and now an assistant FBI director in Washington, D.C., denies that the center’s location had anything to do with low rents, as some critics have charged. The choice of Norwalk, he says, ensured that the JRIC would be near, but not too near, logical targets in downtown and West L.A. Also, some officials say, since the FBI-led Joint Drug Intelligence Group already had an office in the building, it was relatively cheap and easy to link the bureau’s classified and unclassified computer lines to the fusion center’s. “The concept is right; the people are right; and they’ll grow into it,” Miller says.

However, staffing shortages prevent the center from operating “24/7,” as envisaged. Getting security clearances has also been a problem, according to Robert Fox, the LAPD lieutenant who comanages the center. “Clearances can take a year,” he says.
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« Reply #186 on: July 27, 2007, 09:46:38 AM »

Al-Qaida in Hollywood?

A source of both frustration and pride within the LAPD, the “Hollywood case”—details of which haven’t yet become public—shows how good police work can break up terrorist networks. But this tangled saga also highlights unanswered questions that continue to surround the 9/11 plot. Two senior detectives from the LAPD’s Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Section agreed to discuss the case, provided that they weren’t identified by name, since both remain active terrorism investigators.

The inquiry, they say, began three days after 9/11, when the manager of an apartment building in the heart of Hollywood called the police about a group of French-speaking North Africans who kept rotating into and out of one of his units. Immediately after 9/11, he told police, the men shaved their beards, changed out of traditional Islamic garb, and stopped praying openly and attending the King Fahd mosque, one of the area’s largest, in neighboring Culver City. The manager also claimed that he’d seen the renters remove a license plate from their car, which they pushed to a side street, off the busier boulevard where they usually parked it.

The police quietly sent an officer with a bomb-sniffing dog. The car was clean, but the police impounded it, anyway, for failing to display its plates. They became more suspicious after a series of visits to the apartment. Located in a slightly run-down four-story building in a soon-to-be-gentrified neighborhood, it had no furniture save bedrolls on the floor—“earmarks of a classic safe house,” one of the detectives points out. Posters of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, a known al-Qaida target, and New York’s glittering skyline adorned the walls. One officer spotted a pair of suitcases in the hallway: the luggage tags showed that they had been on a plane coming from Germany.

Learning that 9/11 bomber Mohammad Atta had belonged to a radical cell in Hamburg, “we knew enough to be worried,” a detective recalls. One of the North Africans, questioned by the police, claimed that the luggage belonged to his brother, who had recently arrived from Germany. But the police found no trace of the brother, either at the apartment or anywhere in L.A.

The North Africans told other inconsistent stories. Virtually all were jobless; several had registered to obtain pilot’s licenses or shown an interest in doing so. (The police later learned that enrolling in pilot’s school was a quick way of securing a student visa.) One was already a pilot. A police check of public records disclosed that he had claimed on an application to have attended a Florida flight school that, it later turned out, one of the 9/11 hijackers had also attended. Public records also showed that he had registered at an address in Arizona, not far from where a second hijacker had gone to flight school. “It wasn’t enough for the FBI at the start, but it was for us,” a detective notes.

The LAPD put the apartment and its residents—as well as their friends and associates, some 250 people in all—under surveillance. Eventually, it assigned more than 150 investigators and support employees to the case. Their focus eventually narrowed to a core of eight or ten suspects. “We knew we were dealing with a network of some kind,” a detective says. But investigators couldn’t prove that the group that they were watching was, as they suspected, an al-Qaida support cell in the heart of Hollywood.

When the police discovered that two of the men initially questioned were in the country illegally, they arrested them. One by one, others under surveillance were quietly arrested on various criminal charges—identity theft, illegal gun possession, and marriage and insurance fraud—none of which even mentioned terrorism. In some cases, immigration authorities deported the men on immigration charges. In other cases, suspects pleaded guilty and went to jail, or voluntarily left the country. One of the two men originally arrested on immigration charges bailed himself out of jail. The second secretly tried to obtain firearms in prison. Deported in 2002, both have now disappeared.

The investigation soon focused on a man who seemed to be at the cell’s hub—Qualid Benomrane, a North African taxi driver mentioned in a footnote of the 9/11 Commission Report. Arrested on immigration charges in early 2002, he told the police that prior to the attacks he had driven “two Saudis” around L.A. and to San Diego’s Sea World, after being introduced to them by Fahad al-Thumairy, a diplomat at the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles. Benomrane also told police that someone at the consulate had asked al-Thumairy to take care of the two men.

According to the 9/11 report, Benomrane, shown pictures of Khaled al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, two of the 9/11 hijackers, at first pulled their photos out of the group he was shown, but later claimed not to recognize them. The 9/11 commission investigators concluded that “the hypothesis that Benomrane’s ‘two Saudis’ were Hazmi and Midhar” couldn’t be substantiated.

But the LAPD detectives who investigated the case remain convinced that Benomrane and al-Thumairy were militants in the al-Qaida support network and that Benomrane’s passengers were, in fact, the two hijackers. “Our investigation found, for instance, that Benomrane had taken photos of the structural supports of the Golden Gate Bridge during a trip to northern California,” a detective says. The LAPD also discovered that Benomrane had taken his two Saudi passengers to a gas station where one of the two San Diego–based hijackers had worked before heading east to carry out his deadly mission. (The FBI, which participated in the investigation, declined comment since the inquiry was classified, but a commission investigator said that the bureau has no record of such a side trip.)

The LAPD investigators decided to question Benomrane in jail once more, but they never got the chance: he was deported on the eve of their visit to see him (a textbook example of one part of government’s not talking to another). Benomrane, too, has disappeared. But using standard policing tactics and procedures, the LAPD investigators broke up what they believe was a cell that supported al-Qaida’s 9/11 mission in ways still not fully understood. “We did all the right things without knowing it,” a detective notes, calling the case the LAPD’s “coming of age” in counterterrorism.

“Only the police are close enough to the ground to be able to go after terrorists like this by using standard criminal investigations,” argues Stephan C. Margolis, who now heads the LAPD’s Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Section. “The FBI has 12,000 agents for the entire country, only some of whom do counterterrorism. Local and state law enforcement includes some 800,000 people who know their territory. We are destined to be frontline soldiers in what could be a very long and complicated war.”

Operation Archangel, a second pillar of the LAPD’s counterterrorism effort (also financed by millions in Homeland Security funds), uses sophisticated computer software to identify, prioritize, and protect vulnerable targets—so far, 500 of them, ranging from Disneyland to nuclear plants, officials say. Archangel asks the owners and operators of these sites to provide the latest structural information—floor plans, air-conditioning and electrical-system locations, entrances and stairwells, and so on—which goes into a massive database; the software then assesses vulnerabilities and devises deterrence and prevention strategies, as well as emergency response plans. “We’re basically doing what we did before, but on steroids,” says Tom McDonald, the LAPD lieutenant who runs Archangel and sees it, as many federal officials do, as something that other cities can emulate.

If such a system sounds obvious, it isn’t, Miller points out. For instance, during the Columbine massacre, students had to help police sketch the school’s floor plan on top of a squad car with a marker. “Archangel is the kind of automated system you would need in an emergency,” Miller says.

But Archangel, located in the deliberately nondescript basement of an office building in West L.A., operates with just 15 people—one-third its projected staffing—and not around the clock. “We are hurt, not just in this program, by the fact that our city does not permit federal Homeland Security funds to pay for full-time city employees,” says Michael Downing, who spent time in London studying terrorism before taking command of the LAPD’s Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau this spring. “Resources are definitely a challenge.”

Another, adds McDonald, is the reluctance of some private businesses to associate openly with his program, fearing that being identified as targets will drive away business. Such concerns rule out L.A.’s adoption of the NYPD’s “in-your-face” exercises, like its random deployments of heavily armed police and vehicles to sites around the city. Bearing names like “Atlas” and “Hercules,” these displays of force, says Kelly, deter terrorists by showing them that New York is just too tough a target. “There’s less fear here than in New York, and less interest in generating fear,” says William McSweeney, chief of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Office of Homeland Security.

The lack of public urgency means that Bratton must work doubly hard to get the counterterrorism manpower, money, and information that he needs. And that, in turn, has involved lots of travel, for which he has faced criticism. While Kelly is famously a homebody—he’s taken no vacation since starting in October 2002 and has made only five day trips from the city since then—Bratton was out of town more than a third of 2005, and nearly as often last year. Staunchly defended by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Bratton says that the LAPD and the city benefit from the information and cooperation that he gets from his travels. The explanation has satisfied most critics. Nor do Angelenos balk at their chief’s $300,000-plus salary, much heftier than Commissioner Kelly’s $189,700.

Continuing to promote “jointness,” Bratton is now trying to get several cities to pool resources to station detectives overseas, as New York has for several years; these liaison officers would share their reports among those who helped finance their posts. Supported by the Manhattan Institute and the Department of Homeland Security, he is also planning a national police academy in Los Angeles to train police from across the country in intelligence-led policing skills. “The nation’s 18,000 local police departments have been crying out for such advanced training and broader strategic guidance,” says Jerry Ratcliffe, who teaches at Temple University and attended the first planning meeting.

Despite their differences, both the NYPD and the LAPD agree that a key way to crush incipient terrorist cells and thwart terrorism is to use local laws and follow locally generated leads, which, after all, is what good police departments do best. Relying on this low-key approach, Downing says, the LAPD has arrested some 200 American citizens and foreigners with suspected ties to terrorist groups since September 11. At present, he adds, his division has 54 open intelligence cases, involving at least 250 “persons of interest.” One of the most celebrated examples of the strategy is the 2005 Torrance case, in which the arrest of two men for robbing a gas station in that city eventually unraveled a militant Islamic plot to attack U.S. military facilities, synagogues, and other places where Jews gather in Los Angeles County. But L.A., Downing admits, still lacks the resources to develop its own undercover agents and informants. “We do that with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force,” he says.

Because most American cities resemble L.A. more than they do New York, Bratton’s priority of pooling resources and information is likely to be a more attractive, if less ambitious, model than New York City’s approach, which includes running its own undercover counter-terrorism operations. But Washington has begun to acknowledge the virtue of New York’s argument that thwarting terrorism requires better local intelligence about what potentially dangerous groups and individuals are planning. Last year, the Department of Homeland Security’s “Urban Area Security Initiative” began to offer grants to help local police strengthen their ability to collect and analyze intelligence. Our cities, L.A. and New York included, will be safer for it.

Research for this article was supported by the Brunie Fund for New York Journalism.
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« Reply #187 on: August 09, 2007, 10:36:15 PM »
Californian seeks hearing on Islamic, Mexican ties
By Sara A. Carter
August 9, 2007


A ranking House Republican yesterday demanded a hearing based on recent reports that Islamic terrorists embedded in the United States are teaming with Mexican drug cartels to fund terrorism networks overseas.

Rep. Ed Royce, ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs terrorism and nonproliferation subcommittee, said the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) document ? first reported yesterday by The Washington Times ? highlights how vulnerable the nation is when fighting the war on terrorism.

"I'll be asking the terrorism subcommittee to hold a hearing on the DEA report's disturbing findings," said Mr. Royce of California. "A flood of name changes from Arabic to Hispanic and the reported linking of drug cartels on the Texas border with Middle East terrorism needs to be thoroughly investigated."

Likewise, Rep. John Culberson, Texas Republican, said the DEA document revealed startling evidence that Islamic radicals are camouflaging themselves as Hispanics while conducting business with violent drug-trafficking organizations.

"I have been ringing the bell about this serious threat of Islamic individuals changing their surnames to Hispanic surnames for three to four years," Mr. Culberson said. "Unfortunately, Homeland Security's highest priority is to hide the truth from Congress and the public. I just hope we're not closing the barn door after terrorists have already made their way in."

Mr. Culberson, a member of the House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee, yesterday wrote a letter to the subcommittee's chairman, Rep. David E. Price, North Carolina Democrat, requesting a full investigation and hearing into the matter. A spokesman for Mr. Price said the committee is contacting the law-enforcement agencies and will work closely with Mr. Culberson's office on the matter.

"We certainly want to learn more about the matter from the agencies involved," said Paul Cox, press secretary to Mr. Price.

The 2005 DEA report outlines several incidents in which multiple Middle Eastern drug-trafficking and terrorist cells in the U.S. are funding terrorism networks overseas with the aid of Mexican cartels. These sleeper cells use established Mexican cartels with highly sophisticated trafficking routes to move narcotics ? and other contraband ? in and out of the United States, the report said.

These "persons of interest" speak Arabic, Spanish and Hebrew fluently, according to the document.

The report includes photographs of known Middle Easterners who "appear to be Hispanic; they are in fact, all Spanish-speaking Arabic drug traffickers supporting Middle East terrorism from their base of operations" in the southwestern United States, according to the DEA.

Michael Maxwell, a senior analyst with the House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee, said that the report is evidence that terrorism cells exist in the U.S. and are being aided by dangerous narco-trafficking cartels.

"While the procurement of fraudulent or multiple identities by terrorists to hide criminal activity is not new, the information suggests terrorist tradecraft is evolving and relationships now exist between Mexican and Middle Eastern individuals or groups, embedded here in the United States," he added.

The ties are as deep as family, according to the DEA report, which said that a Middle Eastern member of the Muslim Brotherhood, involved in narcotics sales and other crimes, married into a Mexican narcotics family.

"One of the targets of this investigation is an Arabic man," the document said.

A 2006 Department of Homeland Security intelligence report — also obtained by The Times — said that Al Qaeda has tried and is planning on using the Southwest border to enter the U.S.

Mark Juergensmeyer, director of the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara and a terrorism specialist, said that links between terrorism and narcotics trafficking have been well-established in foreign nations, such as Afghanistan.

But Mr. Juergensmeyer said the DEA report linking terrorist organizations in the United States to Mexican drug cartels displays a new evolution in terrorist tactics and poses a serious concern in the area of security.

"In some ways, that's even more frightening to think that drug-trafficking organizations in Mexico may adopt some jihadist ideology," he said. "If it's an ideology being adopted by a drug culture then that makes this situation very dangerous."

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« Reply #188 on: August 13, 2007, 06:03:09 PM »

The Coming Urban Terror
Systems disruption, networked gangs, and bioweapons
John Robb
Summer 2007

For the first time in history, announced researchers this May, a majority of the world’s population is living in urban environments. Cities—efficient hubs connecting international flows of people, energy, communications, and capital—are thriving in our global economy as never before. However, the same factors that make cities hubs of globalization also make them vulnerable to small-group terror and violence.

Over the last few years, small groups’ ability to conduct terrorism has shown radical improvements in productivity—their capacity to inflict economic, physical, and moral damage. These groups, motivated by everything from gang membership to religious extremism, have taken advantage of easy access to our global superinfrastructure, revenues from growing illicit commercial flows, and ubiquitously available new technologies to cross the threshold necessary to become terrible threats. September 11, 2001, marked their arrival at that threshold.

Unfortunately, the improvements in lethality that we have already seen are just the beginning. The arc of productivity growth that lets small groups terrorize at ever-higher levels of death and disruption stretches as far as the eye can see. Eventually, one man may even be able to wield the destructive power that only nation-states possess today. It is a perverse twist of history that this new threat arrives at the same moment that wars between states are receding into the past. Thanks to global interdependence, state-against-state warfare is far less likely than it used to be, and viable only against disconnected or powerless states. But the underlying processes of globalization have made us exceedingly vulnerable to nonstate enemies. The mechanisms of power and control that states once exerted will continue to weaken as global interconnectivity increases. Small groups of terrorists can already attack deep within any state, riding on the highways of interconnectivity, unconcerned about our porous borders and our nation-state militaries. These terrorists’ likeliest point of origin, and their likeliest destination, is the city.

Cities played a vital defensive role in the last major evolution of conventional state-versus-state warfare. Between the world wars, the refinement of technologies—particularly the combustion engine, when combined with armor—made it possible for armies to move at much higher speeds than in the past, so new methods of warfare emphasized armored motorized maneuver as a way to pierce the opposition’s solid defensive lines and range deep into soft, undefended rear areas. These incursions, the armored thrusts of blitzkrieg, turned an army’s size against itself: even the smallest armored vanguard could easily disrupt the supply of ammunition, fuel, and rations necessary to maintain the huge armies of the twentieth century in the field.

To defend against these thrusts, the theoretician J. F. C. Fuller wrote in the 1930s, cities could be used as anchor or pivot points to engage armored forces in attacks on static positions, bogging down the offensive. Tanks couldn’t move quickly through cities, and if they bypassed them and struck too deeply into enemy territory, their supply lines—in particular, of the gasoline they drank greedily—would become vulnerable. The city, Fuller anticipated, could serve as a vast fortress, requiring the fast new armor to revert to the ancient tactic of the siege. That’s exactly what happened in practice during World War II, when the defenses mounted in Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad played a major role in the Allied victory.

But in the current evolution of warfare, cities are no longer defensive anchors against armored thrusts ranging through the countryside. They have become the main targets of offensive action themselves. Just as the huge militaries of the early twentieth century were vulnerable to supply and communications disruption, cities are now so heavily dependent on a constant flow of services from various centralized systems that even the simplest attacks on those systems can cause massive disruption.

Most of the networks that we rely on for city life—communications, electricity, transportation, water—are overused, interdependent, and extremely complex. They developed organically as what scholars in the emerging field of network science call “scale-free networks,” which contain large hubs with a plethora of connections to smaller and more isolated local clusters. Such networks are economically efficient and resistant to random failure—but they are also extremely vulnerable to intentional disruptions, as Albert-Laszlo Barabasi shows in his important book Linked: The New Science of Networks. In practice, this means that a very small number of attacks on the critical hubs of a scale-free network can collapse the entire network. Such a collapse can occasionally happen by accident, when random failure hits a critical node; think of the huge Northeast blackout of 2003, which caused $6.4 billion in damage.

Further, the networks of our global superinfrastructure are tightly “coupled”—so tightly interconnected, that is, that any change in one has a nearly instantaneous effect on the others. Attacking one network is like knocking over the first domino in a series: it leads to cascades of failure through a variety of connected networks, faster than human managers can respond.

The ongoing attacks on the systems that support Baghdad’s 5 million people illustrate the vulnerability of modern networks. Over the last four years, guerrilla assaults on electrical systems have reduced Baghdad’s power to an average of four or five hours a day. And the insurgents have been busily finding new ways to cut power: no longer do they make simple attacks on single transmission towers. Instead, they destroy multiple towers in series and remove the copper wire for resale to fund the operation; they ambush repair crews in order to slow repairs radically; they attack the natural gas and water pipelines that feed the power plants. In September 2004, one attack on an oil pipeline that fed a power plant quickly led to a cascade of power failures that blacked out electricity throughout Iraq.

Lack of adequate power is a major reason why economic recovery has been nearly impossible in Iraq. No wonder that, in account after account, nearly the first criticism that any Iraqi citizen levels against the government is its inability to keep the lights on. Deprived of services, citizens are forced to turn to local groups—many of them at war with the government—for black-market alternatives. This money, in turn, fuels further violence, and the government loses legitimacy.

Insurgents have directed such disruptive attacks against nearly all the services necessary to get a city of 5 million through the day: water pipes, trucking, and distribution lines for gasoline and kerosene. And because of these networks’ complexity and interconnectivity, even small attacks, costing in the low thousands of dollars to carry out, can cause tens of millions and occasionally hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

Iraq is a petri dish for modern conflict, the Spanish Civil War of our times. It’s the place where small groups are learning to fight modern militaries and modern societies and win. As a result, we can expect to see systems disruption used again and again in modern conflict—certainly against megacities in the developing world, and even against those in the developed West, as we have already seen in London, Madrid, and Moscow.

Another growing threat to our cities, commonest so far in the developing world, is gangs challenging government for control. For three sultry July days in 2006, a gang called PCC (Primeiro Comando da Capital, “First Command of the Capital”) held hostage the 20 million inhabitants of the greater São Paulo area through a campaign of violence. Gang members razed police stations, attacked banks, rioted in prisons, and torched dozens of buses, shutting down a transportation system serving 2.9 million people a day.

The previous May, a similar series of attacks had terrified the city. “The attackers moved on foot, and by car and motorbike,” wrote William Langewiesche in Vanity Fair. “They were not rioters, revolutionaries, or the graduates of terrorist camps. They were anonymous young men and women, dressed in ordinary clothes, unidentifiable in advance, and indistinguishable afterward. Wielding pistols, automatic rifles, and firebombs, they emerged from within the city, struck fast, and vanished on the spot. Their acts were criminal, but the attackers did not loot, rob, or steal. They burned buses, banks, and public buildings, and went hard after the forces of order—gunning down the police in their neighborhood posts, in their homes, and on the streets.”

The violence hasn’t been limited to São Paulo. In December 2006, a copycat campaign by an urban gang called the Comando Vermelho (“Red Command”) shut down Rio de Janeiro, too. In both cases, the gangs fomenting the violence didn’t list demands or send ultimatums to the government. Rather, they were flexing their muscles, testing their ability to challenge the government monopoly on violence.

Both gangs had steadily accumulated power for a decade, helped in part by globalization, which simplifies making connections to the multitrillion-dollar global black-market economy. With these new connections, the gangs’ profit horizon became limitless, fueling rapid expansion. New communications technology, particularly cell phones, played a part, too, making it possible for the gangs to thrive as loose associations, and allowing a geographical and organizational dispersion that rendered them nearly invulnerable to attack. The PCC has been particularly successful, growing from a small prison gang in the mid-nineties to a group that today controls nearly half of São Paulo’s slums and its millions of inhabitants. An escalating confrontation between these gangs and the city governments appears inevitable.

The gangs’ rapid rise into challengers to urban authorities is something that we will see again elsewhere. This dynamic is already at work in American cities in the rise of MS-13, a rapidly expanding transnational gang with a loose organizational structure, a propensity for violence, and access to millions in illicit gains. It already has an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 members, dispersed over 31 U.S. states and several Latin American countries, and its proliferation continues unabated, despite close attention from law enforcement. Like the PCC, MS-13 or a similar American gang may eventually find that it has sufficient power to hold a city hostage through disruption.

The final threat that small groups pose to cities is weapons of mass destruction. Though most of the worry over WMDs has focused on nuclear weapons, those aren’t the real long-term problem. Not only is the vast manufacturing capability of a nation-state required to produce the basic nuclear materials, but those materials are difficult to manipulate, transport, and turn into weapons. Nor is it easy to assemble a nuke from parts bought on the black market; if it were, nation-states like Iran, which have far more resources at their disposal than terrorist groups do, would be doing just that instead of resorting to internal production.

It’s also unlikely that a state would give terrorists a nuclear weapon. Sovereignty and national prestige are tightly connected to the production of nukes. Sharing them with terrorists would grant immense power to a group outside the state’s control—the equivalent of giving Osama bin Laden the keys to the presidential palace. If that isn’t deterrent enough, the likelihood of retaliation is, since states, unlike terrorist groups, have targets that can be destroyed. The result of a nuclear explosion in Moscow or New York would very probably be the annihilation of the country that manufactured the bomb, once its identity was determined—as it surely would be, since no plot of that size can remain secret for long.

Even in the very unlikely case that a nuclear weapon did end up in terrorist hands, it would be a single horrible incident, rather than an ongoing threat. The same is true of dirty bombs, which disperse radioactive material through conventional explosives. No, the real long-term danger from small groups is the use of biotechnology to build weapons of mass destruction. In contrast with nuclear technology, biotech’s knowledge and tools are already widely dispersed—and their power is increasing exponentially.

The biotech field is in the middle of a massive improvement in productivity through advances in computing power. In fact, the curves of improvement that we see in biotechnology mirror the rates of improvement in computing dictated by Moore’s Law—the observation, borne out by decades of experience, that the ratio of performance to price of computing power doubles every 24 months. This means that incredible power will soon be in the hands of individuals. University of Washington engineer Robert Carlson observes that if current trends in the rate of improvement in DNA sequencing continue, “within a decade a single person at the lab bench could sequence or synthesize all the DNA describing all the people on the planet many times over in an eight-hour day.” And with ever tinier, cheaper, and more widely available tools, a large and decentralized industrial base that is hiring lab techs at a double-digit growth rate, and the active transfer of knowledge via the Internet (the blueprints of the entire smallpox virus now circulate on the Web), biotech is too widely available for us to contain it.

In less than a decade, then, biotechnology will be ripe for the widespread development of weapons of mass destruction, and it fits the requirements of small-group warfare perfectly. It is small, inexpensive, and easy to manufacture in secret. Also, since dangerous biotechnology is based primarily on the manipulation of information, it will make rapid progress through the same kind of amateur tinkering that currently produces new computer viruses. Terrorists also have a growing advantage in delivering bioweapons. The increasing porousness of national borders, size of global megacities, and volume of air travel all mean that the delivery and percolation of bioweapons will be fast-moving and widespread—potentially on several continents at once.

It is almost certain that we will see repeated, perhaps incessant, attempts to deploy bioweapons with new strains of viruses or bacteria. Picture a Russian biohacker who, a decade from now, designs a new, deadly form of the common flu virus and sells it on the Internet, just as computer viruses and worms get sold today. The terrorist group that buys the design sends it to a recently hired lab tech in Pakistan, who performs the required modifications with widely available tools. The product then ships by mail to London, to the awaiting “suicide vectors”—men who infect themselves and then board airplanes headed to world destinations, infecting passengers on the planes and in crowded terminals. The infection spreads quickly, going global in days—long before anyone detects it.

It’s very possible that many cities will fall in the face of such deadly threats. Megacities in the developing world—which often, because of their rapid growth, widespread corruption, and illegitimate governance, aren’t able to provide security or basic services for their citizens—are particularly vulnerable. However, cities in the developed world that properly appreciate the threats arrayed against them may devise startlingly innovative solutions.

In almost all cases, cities can defend themselves from their new enemies through effective decentralization. To counter systems disruption, decentralized services—the capability of smaller areas within cities to provide backup services, at least on a temporary basis—could radically diminish the harmful consequences of disconnection from the larger global grid. In New York, this would mean storage or limited production capability of backup electricity, water, and fuel, with easy connections to the delivery grid—at the borough level or even smaller. These backups would then provide a means of restoring central services rapidly after a failure.

Similarly, cities may combat networked gangs by decentralizing their own security. Cities have long maintained centralized police forces, but gangs can often overwhelm them. Many governments are responding with militarized police: China is building a million-man paramilitary force, for example; and even in the United States, the use of SWAT teams has increased from 3,000 deployments a year in the 1980s to 50,000 a year in 2006. But militarized police may too easily become an army of occupation, and, if corrupt, as they are in Brazil, they may become enemies of the state along with the gangs.

A better solution involves local security forces, either locally recruited or bought on the marketplace (such as Blackwater), which can be powerful bulwarks against small-group terrorism. Such forces may become a vital component in our defense against bioterrorism, too, since they can enforce local containment—and since large centralized services, like the ones we have today, might actually accelerate the propagation of bioweapons. Still, if improperly established, local forces can also become rogue criminal entities, like the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia and the militias in Rio de Janeiro. Governments need to regulate them carefully.

In the future, we probably won’t know exactly how we will be attacked until it happens. In highly uncertain situations like this, centralized solutions that emphasize uniform responses will often collapse. Heterogeneous systems, by contrast, are unlikely to fail catastrophically. Moreover, local innovation—supplemented by a marketplace in goods and services that improve security, detection, monitoring, and so on—is likely to develop responses to threats quickly and effectively. Other localities will copy those responses that prove successful.

In June 2007, the FBI and local law enforcement halted a plot to blow up the John F. Kennedy International Airport’s fuel tanks and feeder pipelines. This was another great example of how police forces, if used correctly, can defuse threats before they become a menace [see “On the Front Line in the War on Terrorism”]. However, our current level of safety will not last. The selection of the target demonstrated clearly that future attackers will take advantage of our systems’ vulnerability to disruption, which will sharply increase the number of potential targets. It also showed that these threats can emerge spontaneously from small groups unconnected to al-Qaida. More and more attempts will come, with higher and higher rates of success. Our choice is simple: we can rely exclusively on our current security systems to stop the threats—and suffer the consequences when they don’t—or we can take measures to mitigate the impact of these threats by exerting local control over essential services.
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« Reply #189 on: August 30, 2007, 08:13:24 AM »

Tomorrow Bensman will be the keynote speaker presenting his findings at a conference of some 120 Assistant United States Attorneys whose jurisdiction covers the Texas/Mexico border. Bensman has kindly summarized his findings for us:
-- More than 5,700 illegal migrants from 43 Islamic countries, including State Sponsors of Terror, have been caught while traveling over the Canadian and Mexican borders along well-established underground smuggling routes since 9-11, a traffic that continues daily. People caught coming from these countries in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa are labeled by our federal law enforcement agencies as "Special Interest Aliens."
-- I have estimated that between 20,000 and 60,000 have gotten through without getting caught since 9/11. Most are probably economic or politically persecuted migrants but all of those who evaded border patrol also did not undergo terror watch list screening and are walking around the country anonymous. This evasion constitutes the primary national security vulnerability of our unguarded borders.
-- These migrants, though relatively small in total numbers, are high risk because they hail from countries where American troops are actively battling Islamic insurgents such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and the Philippines. They come from nations where radical Islamic organizations have bombed U.S. interests or murdered
Americans, such as Kenya, Tanzania, and Lebanon. And they come from State Sponsors of Terrorism such as Syria, Iran and Sudan. And lastly, they come from Saudi Arabia.
-- Unguarded U.S. borders are most certainly in terrorist playbooks as a means of entering the country. Since the late 1990s, at least a dozen confirmed terrorists have sneaked over U.S. borders, including operatives from Hezbollah, Hamas, the Tamil Tigers and one Al Qaida terrorist once No. 27 on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list.
-- The general flow of routes across the world almost always head toward South America and Central America first because it puts them within easy striking distance of the Mexican border. Corrupt customs and government officials, as well as Arab settler populations in those countries help keep this this traffic moving northward, providing safe haven, jobs and smuggling connections.
-- Latin American consulates based in the Middle East are selling tourist visas outright for bribes or simply issuing them to local travelers in places like Damascus, Beirut and Amman Jordan without regard to U.S. security interests.
-- Large numbers eventually pass through Guatemala, which issues visas regularly from its foreign consulate offices in places like Jordan and Egypt, making illegal border crossings through Texas possible.
-- Since 9/11, Mexico has fielded a surprisingly robust effort to interdict Special Interest Migrants. Mexican intelligence officers interrogate and often deport special interest aliens in partnership with American FBI and CIA agents. Often, the Mexicans allow American agents inside their detention facilities. But severe shortages of manpower and interpreters result in the release of many onto the streets of Mexico -- without thorough threat assessements -- to continue on toward the U.S. border.
-- On the U.S. side of the border, the FBI is supposed to interrogate and conduct a threat assessment and interrogations on every captured special interest alien. But the process is severely flawed and open to error. Often, the FBI signs off on captured SIAs (allowing them access to the political asylum process) without conclusively knowing whether they are or are not terrorists.
-- Furthermore, border patrol agents are simply using a process called "expedited removal" to kick SIAs back into Mexico, where they will certainly try to cross again, with no investigation or FBI referral whatsoever.
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« Reply #190 on: August 30, 2007, 09:11:48 AM »

Speaking of SIAs....
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« Reply #191 on: August 30, 2007, 03:43:55 PM »

Special Dispatch Series - No. 1702
August 31, 2007   No.1702

On Islamist Websites: How to Join Al-Qaeda, Form a Jihad Cell, and Select a Western Target – '[Is] Assassinating the American Ambassador... Difficult For Someone Who Has Already Crushed America in His Home?'
On August 26, Islamist websites posted an item titled "How to Join Al-Qaeda." It is not clear when the item was written; it was produced by the website Al-Thabitoun 'Ala Al-'Ahd, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda in Egypt and is currently inactive.

The item calls on every Muslim to regard jihad as a personal duty and to take initiative to establish a jihad cell without waiting for recognition from Al-Qaeda. It goes on to elaborate on how to form and run the cell, how to raise funds, and how to select a target, "for example, assassinating the American ambassador," which, it states, "takes no more than a gun and a bullet."

The following are excerpts from the item:

"You feel that you want to carry a weapon, fight, and kill the occupiers, and that it is our duty to call for jihad as much as to call for prayer... All that is required is a firm personal decision to fulfill this obligation, and participation in jihad and the resistance...

"Do you really have to meet Osama bin Laden in person in order to become a jihad fighter? Do you have to be recognized by Al-Qaeda as one of its members to become a jihad fighter? If Al-Qaeda commanders should be killed, would the jihad be eliminated? What would you do if Al-Qaeda did not exist today? How is Osama bin Laden different from you? - [yet] he managed to establish the world jihad organization. Who provided training to Osama bin Laden and Abdallah 'Azzam when they went to Afghanistan to become the first Arab jihad fighters?

"The answers to these questions are the following: I don't have to meet Osama bin Laden to become a jihad fighter. Moreover, there is no need to meet even one jihad fighter to become one. Neither do I need recognition from Al-Qaeda...

"As the first step, imagine that Al-Qaeda does not exist and that you are interested [in waging] jihad - what would you do in this case?... If you know any young people - whether one, two, or more - in your area, mosque, or university who are as dedicated and enthusiastic about jihad as you are, come to an understanding with them, and together form a cell whose objective is to help Islam and only Islam...

"At first, your cell should have no more than five members, all absolutely trustworthy... The cell must have a commander and a shura council... The commander must clearly realize that he is Osama bin Laden to the cell members...

"Each cell should have a source of funding... When you have several members, you will [surely] find the funds for your cell... Then you should buy weapons, make plans, brainstorm, plot your plans, monitor your enemy's important objectives, and study its moves. Set a goal; for example, assassinating the American ambassador - is it so difficult? Is it [indeed] difficult for someone who has already crushed America in her home?

"What is the difference between you and the hero of the New York attack, Muhammad Atta, who planned an action which even today shakes the world every time it is mentioned? Assassinating the ambassador takes no more than a gun and a bullet. One could disguise oneself as a peddler in order to tail [the target], which shouldn't cost a lot of money...

"The cells must maintain contact among themselves, but by no means in a direct or conventional way. The contact must be spiritual: What will unite you is the love of Islam and the motto "There is no God but Allah." Even if the contact between [your] cell and the rest is indirect, it will be close... You must meet once a month... You must not meet in the same place twice... Personal meetings with a small number of people [must take place] once a week...

"From the moment the cell is established, its members must be divided - into secret members, members who do not [act] openly and are not wanted by the authorities, and members who are wanted (who have been arrested in the past or on whom the intelligence apparatuses have a file)... The secret members must perform intelligence tasks, collect information, raise funds, recruit [new members], and assist in [actual operations]. Those who act in the open must perform the primary military operations, such as assassinations, firing at enemy facilities, etc.

"You must be aware that you have brothers everywhere, and that they are expecting the actions of you and your friends even if they don't know you in person or by name...

"Every jihad cell is a microcosm of the world jihad organization."
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« Reply #192 on: August 30, 2007, 10:08:26 PM »

TSA Worried About 'Things That Look Normal'
August 30, 2007 - 6:05am

J.J. Green, WTOP Radio

WASHINGTON -- The seventh floor of Transportation Security Administration headquarters is quiet when we walk in, but behind the calm, a storm is brewing.

It's a massive, ominous problem spanning 3.7 million square miles, 9,500 miles of coastline and 2,500 miles of land border with Canada --a government warning that a terror attack may be about to happen somewhere in the U.S. before summer's end.

This warning has put TSA Administrator Kip Hawley in a difficult position.

"Staying ahead of the threat and if you look at an environment where the threat picture says there are people interested in doing an attack, but you don't have the specifics on the who, what, where, when and how; what do you do about it?" Hawley says. "How do you put in places security measures that respond to threats that are out there, but you don't know exactly how it's going to come?"

For Hawley, this time period can't be business as usual. He says looking for things out of the ordinary isn't good enough.

"We have to pay attention to things that look normal --and that's the hard part."

As a result, TSA's Visible Intermodal Protection and Response teams - or VIPER - and Behavior Detection teams have been put on alert. They patrol Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, Los Angeles rail lines; ferries in Washington state; bus stations in Houston; and mass transit systems in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore and more.

The VIPER teams usually are made up of two air marshals, one TSA bomb-sniffing-canine team, one or two transportation security inspectors and a local law enforcement officer. It's one of the best tools Hawley's got to go looking for a needle in a haystack.

"TSA isn't reinventing the wheel. [The Department of Transportation] has been working transportation safety issues for a long time. Many of those measures form a very solid security foundation. Our job is to link with the safety activities and add value on top of that where there are particular security-specific needs," Hawley told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. "Intelligence sharing, vulnerability analysis, technology sharing, and our VIPER teams are examples of that value-add."

Among the areas of most concern for the Homeland Security community are high density passenger transit systems in urban areas with underwater or underground tunnels; and highly toxic chemicals in rail cars that are standing unattended in high risk urban areas.

How serious is the threat?

U.S. intelligence officials believe a resurgent Al-Qaeda may have people in the U.S. engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S. The lack of precise tactical detail is perhaps the reason why Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he had a "gut feeling" recently, but did not adjust the threat level. On top of that, one of the nation's top counter terrorism officials puts this all into context.

Ret. Vice Admiral John Scott Redd, the Head of the National Counter Terrorism Center, told Newsweek magazine, another attack on America is "inevitable".

"We have very strong indicators that al-Qaeda is planning to attack the West and is likely to [try to] attack, and we are pretty sure about that. We know some of the precursors ... they would like to come West, and they would like to come as far West as they can," he says.

It's not just his words that bring this home. The fact that he said anything at all is telling, because he's the E.F. Hutton of the intelligence community.

He never talks just to hear himself.
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« Reply #193 on: September 02, 2007, 02:10:22 PM »

Counterterrorism Blog

The Tampa Bombers: Jihadists or "Beach Boys?"

By Walid Phares

Six years after 9/11, the mainstream reading of the war on Terror still circles around the essence of the conflict. Two young men indicted for charges of possession of explosives aren't yet perceived as part of an Urban Jihadist campaign inside the United States, despite the fact that a number of cells and of individuals have been arrested over the past years, all linked to Jihadism. Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, 24 and Youssef Samir Megahed (in Egyptian accent it reads “Mujahid”) 21, are affiliated with South Florida University in Tampa. As one reviews all news reporting (until this day), no link was made yet to an ideology which is the master chain between the perpetrators and their action. The AP story begins with "two Egyptian students at the University of South Florida were indicted Friday on charges of carrying explosive materials across states lines and one was accused of teaching the other how to use them for violent reasons." The News Agency doesn't explain what these violent reasons are. Was it about drugs, social crisis, Palestine, Americans Politics, Egyptian politics, Abortion, or other matters? The mainstream media says "Terrorism," and so advances the Government, so far.

Ahmed Mohamed is an engineering graduate student and teaching assistant at the Tampa-based University. He and Megahed are facing "terrorism" charges for "teaching and demonstrating how to use the explosives." The question is: using them against whom, in which war, by whose instructions, under which doctrine? If none of this information is available how to define the terror factor beyond criminal charges?

According to AP, Mohamed was charged with "distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction, which is a terrorism-related statute, a Justice Department official said. The crime carries a maximum of 20 years in prison." Fine, but the American public needs to know more about the motives. The story doesn't begin with a Police unit stopping them on a highway and charging them of transporting explosives in interstate commerce without permits. This is not a criminal story happening on an ordinary day. The media reports said in South Carolina, where Mohamed and Megahed have been held in the Berkeley County jail, "U.S. Attorney Reginald I. Lloyd praised state and federal authorities for cooperating in the four-week investigation that initially did not look like a terrorism case." So what caused the mutation from crime to Terrorism? The AP writes that "since the Aug. 4 arrest, authorities sought to determine whether Mohamed and Megahed were fledgling terrorists or merely college students headed to the beach with devices made from fireworks they bought at Wal-Mart in their car, as they claimed. The local sheriff in South Carolina said the explosives were “other than fireworks.” A non expert reader would conclude that it is the “type” of explosives that made the case into Terrorism, not the actions, intentions and the combat doctrine of the perpetrators. Had the explosives been licensed, the two men would be free now. Had the material been large fireworks, they would have also been free. So, short of capturing them moving with illegal explosives, they wouldn't have been persons of interest. But is there any other way in our legal system to arrest Terrorists than catching them with explosives? Other than presenting an evidence that they “want” to cause harm, actually there isn't. That's why we weren't able to capture Mohammed Atta and Ziad Jarrah on 9/11 before they dive with the captured airliners. Mohammed and Ziad didn't have illegal explosives in their hands before they board, and not even after they boarded. Because they chose not to use explosives, and yet they were Jihadi Terrorists who have intended to massacre thousands of Americans. So, in fact, as I made the case several times to Government and NGO entities, including legislative committees, our legal system doesn't enable the Government to stop the Terrorists before they are caught armed or with sufficient evidence that they were about to detonate the material. The next question is: can we change the system? The answer is fast and natural: no we can't and we shouldn't on the essence. All persons are presumed innocents until proven guilty.

But what we can and should do is to learn from each case: If we are lucky enough to catch them before they act, at least we have to learn from the operation all what is needed to abort other potential ones. What we must know are the motives, the big picture and the positioning of the perpetrators in the larger war. Are they part of a cell and of a movement? What are their doctrinal beliefs, their ideology, their objectives, the literature and material that indoctrinated them and transformed them into Jihadi Terrorists? Short of this information, we wouldn't (the public, the Government and the experts) be able to assess the “Terror act” and place it in the widest context. If this action is the result of two persons who were planning on having fun blasting explosives, but didn't obtain a license is one thing, with no value related to the ongoing War on Terror; but if Mohamed and Megahed were part of a larger picture, even of a homegrown experiment, this would have tremendous consequences on Homeland Security. So which is the case?

According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) Mohamed had "rented a room in a house in Temple Terrace, a suburb of Tampa, which was used as the office for the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), a think-tank founded by former USF Professor Sami Al-Arian. In 2006, Al-Arian pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Evidence presented at his trial showed Al-Arian served on the PIJ governing board.” The next question then is: Are Mohamed and Megahed linked to the activities of Al Arian? Were the activities of the latter linked to them? Is there a wider activity linking both parties in the US? Mohamed and Megahed are Egyptians hence it is less likely that they would be part of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. But they can be Jihadist regardless of not being part of PIJ. So, if a link exists between these two parties, this could also mean that PIJ and the vast Jihadist movement operating in America are connected. We’re advancing these theories because the Salafi Jihadi movement is transnational and is operating against the US and other liberal democracies. These are the conclusions of many counter terrorism authorities such as the Task Force on Future Terrorism of the Department of Homeland Security, the New York Police Department, and recently too the US Air Force report on Terrorism. This and other arrests should be analyzed under the new parameters emerging from various centers in Government and across the specialized NGOs.

Another intriguing development was –according to the Investigative Project- that the Jury in Tampa heard from the representative of a local advocacy Islamist group: CAIR. The question is why would a particular American association testify in a Terrorism case? Logically it would be called upon if it has an expertise on Terrorism, if the two indicted persons were members of the organization, or if the latter was opposing the indictment on the basis of defending the ideology behind the act. In this case, what are the reasons invoked? CAIR isn’t a qualified counter Terrorism association, which leaves the two remaining arguments: membership or advocacy. Answers on both issues are warranted to solve the enigma. But the IPT report said “M. Ahmed Bedier, spokesman for the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), testified under subpoena. Bedier has acted as a family spokesman for the Megahed family.” The next question is to know if M Bedier acted personally or as a representative of his organization. This fact is important as it would open another series of questions as to the relationship between “advocacy groups” and the Jihadist ideology. For the CAIR representative told the Tampa Tribune “that the men were being scrutinized due to their ethnicity.” But as far as it was reported they are Egyptian citizens who have been caught with illegal explosives. There are many Egyptian-Americans, Arab-Americans, and Middle Eastern Americans who are working within Law Enforcement. Actually, when documents are translated by Government in Terrorism cases, it is often that Arab-American translators are the ones tasked with the translation. So how then are the two Egyptians scrutinized “due” to their ethnicity while among those who are protecting the Homeland Security –and often on these cases- are people who belong to the same ethnicity: Law Enforcement, analysts, translators, etc?

"Obviously their heritage and background is playing a major role in blowing this out of proportion," Bedier said. "If these were some good old boys, I doubt this [story] would be played around the world." Actually, it is the other way around. While the Government is not –unfortunately- providing the public with the ideological material leading to the actions, the “advocacy groups” who sympathize with these Jihadists ideologies are attempting to transform any arrest into an “ethnic” case. For one would ask these “groups” why don’t they move with the same vigor if Copts, Sudanese, Assyrians, Kurds, Arab Christians, anti-Jihadist Muslims? If the Islamist advocacy groups are coming to the defense of individuals just for belonging to an ethnic group, the argument is flawed, as CAIR is not representative of an ethnic group, but of a (self described) ideological agenda. But on the other hand, if CAIR comes to the defense of the indicted persons because of their affiliation with a religious group, the argument needs to be made based on statements made by the two Egyptians. That is the link between their alleged religious beliefs and the fact that they had explosives: In fact there was none, for we haven’t read or heard from them or others that they were on a “religious mission.” Hence, CAIR must present another reason for their involvement, assuming that Mr Bedier acts on behalf of the organization in this case.

Which brings the analysis back to the initial question: Did Mohamed and Megahed act as Jihadists or not? US law doesn’t need such an answer. It has them under the charge of possession of explosives. But since CAIR and other advocacy groups are claiming that there something “else” involved, it should be beneficial to the American public –and certainly to the national security planners- to learn more about the ideological context of this case. For failing to address this dimension in the War on Terror would end up being compared with the following –virtual- dramatic interpretation: 1943: Two German young men born in Berlin were arrested in South Carolina for the possession of explosives and willing to use them against the US. While the two men were charged with this crime, regardless of WWII, an advocacy group accused the US Government of being “Germanophobe.” Better, among the Law enforcement that proceeded with the arrest were many German-Americans.

Dr Walid Phares is the Director of Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the author of The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracies.

By Walid Phares on September 1, 2007 11:18 PM
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« Reply #194 on: September 07, 2007, 02:48:20 PM »

Although this is about what happened in Germany, this thread seems to me the place for this post:

Germany: The Poorly Executed Militant Plot
German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble held an emergency meeting with state officials in Berlin on Sept. 7 to discuss anti-terrorism measures in the wake of the arrest of three men -- two German converts to Islam and a Turk -- in connection with an alleged plot to carry out militant attacks in the country. Although the militant fixation on soft targets in Europe is well-documented, this case demonstrates that jihadists' sloppy tradecraft can -- and does -- lead to their undoing. Moreover, the pressure that has been brought to bear on jihadists in places such as Afghanistan and Africa makes it much more difficult nowadays for them to get proper training.

The investigation began in late 2006 when a man was observed surveilling U.S. military installations around the town of Hanau in the southwestern state of Hessen. U.S. and German intelligence and law enforcement personnel began keeping tabs on the suspect, which led them to his accomplices. By March, Germany's federal criminal police, or Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), became convinced that a militant plot to attack U.S. facilities in Germany was being developed. In April, the U.S. Embassy in Berlin issued a Warden Message on a nonspecific security threat to U.S. diplomatic and military facilities in Germany. At the time, security officials leaked that they were concerned about "attacks by Iraqi Kurds and terrorists who have snuck into Germany from Iraq." In May, German authorities briefly detained two people on suspicion of surveilling Patch Barracks, a U.S. military facility just north of Stuttgart. Those suspects, who allegedly had ties to the Islamic Jihad Union, an al Qaeda-affiliated Uzbek group, are not the same ones arrested in this case.

The investigation culminated Sept. 5 in the small town of Oberschledorn when the GSG-9 counterterrorism unit and BKA officials raided a small cottage where the main suspects allegedly were preparing to move a large quantity of hydrogen peroxide to another location for the purposes of constructing improvised explosive devices. Approximately 30 other locations in Germany were raided at that time in connection with the investigation, though it is unclear whether more arrests were made or evidence seized.

The Germans had their suspects under investigation and surveillance for a long time, and yet the suspects never realized the authorities were onto them. German intelligence, which has a generally good reputation for its ability to conduct physical and technical surveillance, reportedly was even able to substitute a harmless chemical compound for the suspects' bombmaking material without their knowledge.

The sloppy tradecraft of the suspected jihadists, however, was directly responsible for the plot's failure. While surveilling potential targets and making their plans, the suspects failed to notice that they themselves were under surveillance. This enabled the BKA and other agencies to track their movements and follow leads to other parts of the plot -- as evidenced by the large number of raids conducted throughout Germany.

The suspects reportedly had not settled on a target set, although there were indications that they were considering Frankfurt International Airport and the U.S. air base at Ramstein. The U.S. facilities that allegedly were surveilled by the militants, Patch Barracks and Hanau, are relatively soft targets, as their security is not as tight as that at an air base or a tank park, for example. Indications that Patch Barracks was being surveilled, however, were particularly alarming, as it is home to the headquarters of the U.S. European Command and is an important communications node for the Defense Information Systems Agency in Europe.

Hanau in particular has a number of soft, isolated targets. Unlike most Army installations in the United States, it is made up of several small facilities, or kasernen, scattered around town. These facilities include Pioneer Kaserne, which has military police and transportation units; the New Argonner Kaserne, with a PX, military family housing, a dental clinic and a heath clinic; Underwood Kaserne, headquarters of the 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery; Yorkhof Kaserne, headquarters of the U.S. Army's Hessen Garrison; and Grossauheim Kaserne, home to the 502nd Engineering Company, a bridging unit.

In this case, the militant plotters failed for months to notice that they were under surveillance. This failure allowed authorities to uncover the plot and to stage raids in 30 other places. Whether the three suspects in this case received any proper training is unclear, but it is clear that militants are being deprived of safe-havens and training in places such as Afghanistan and Africa. With this kind of pressure on them, jihadists cannot improve their skills or learn new ones -- which could mean their efforts will continue to be sloppy. This is good news for those who are attempting to stop them.
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« Reply #195 on: September 07, 2007, 08:16:45 PM »

Counterterrorism Blog

SITE Institute: Transcript of Bin Laden Video

By Jeffrey Imm

The following is the transcript of the latest Osama Bin Laden Video as provided by the SITE Institute:

SITE Institute: Transcript of Osama Bin Laden video (PDF file 7 pages long)

SITE Institute: One minute video clip of new Osama Bin Laden video

"All praise is due to Allah, who built the heavens and earth in justice, and created man as a favor and grace from Him. And from His ways is that the days rotate between the people, and from His Law is retaliation in kind: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and the killer is killed. And all praise is due to Allah, who awakened His slaves' desire for the Garden, and all of them will enter it except those who refuse. And whoever obeys Him alone in all of his affairs will enter the Garden, and whoever disobeys Him will have refused."

"As for what comes after: Peace be upon he who follows the Guidance. People of America: I shall be speaking to you on important topics which concern you, so lend me your ears. I begin by discussing the war which is between us and some of its repercussions for us and you."

"To preface, I say: despite America being the greatest economic power and possessing the most powerful and up-to-date military arsenal as well; and despite it spending on this war and is army more than the entire world spends on its armies; and despite it being the being the major state influencing the policies of the world, as if it has a monopoly on the unjust right of veto; despite all of this, 19 young men were able - by the grace of Allah, the Most High- to change the direction of its compass. And in fact, the subject of the Mujahideen has become an inseparable part of the speech of your leader, and the effects and signs of that are not hidden."

"Since the 11th, many of America's policies have come under the influence of the Mujahideen, and that is by the grace of Allah, the Most High. And as a result, the people discovered the truth about it, its reputation worsened, its prestige was broken globally and it was bled dry economically, even if our interests overlap with the interests of the major corporations and also with those of the neoconservatives, despite the differing intentions."

"And for your information media, during the first years of the war, lost its credibility and manifested itself as a tool of the colonialist empires, and its condition has often been worse than the condition of the media of the dictatorial regimes which march in the caravan of the single leader."

"Then Bush talks about his working with al-Maliki and his government to spread freedom in Iraq but he in fact is working with the leaders of one sect against another sect, in the belief that this will quickly decide the war in his favor."

"And thus, what is called the civil war came into being and matters worsened at his hands before getting out of his control and him becoming like the one who plows and sows the sea: he harvests nothing but failure."

"So these are some of the results of the freedom about whose spreading he is talking to you. And then the backtracking of Bush on his insistence on not giving the United Nations expanded jurisdiction in Iraq is an implicit admission of his loss and defeat there. "

"And among the most important items contained in Bush’s speeches since the events of the 11th is that the Americans have no option but to continue the war. This tone is in fact an echoing of the words of neoconservatives like Cheney, Rumsfeld and Richard Pearle, the latter having said previously that the Americans have no choice in front of them other than to continue the war or face a holocaust."

"I say, refuting this unjust statement, that the morality and culture of the holocaust is your culture, not our culture. In fact, burning living beings is forbidden in our religion, even if they be small like the ant, so what of man?! The holocaust of the Jews was carried out by your brethren in the middle of Europe, but had it been closer to our countries, most of the Jews would have been saved by taking refuge with us. And my proof for that is in what your brothers, the Spanish, did when they set up the horrible courts of the Inquisition to try Muslims and Jews, when the Jews only found safe shelter by taking refuge in our countries. And that is why the Jewish community in Morocco today is one of the largest communities in the world. They are alive with us and we have not incinerated them, but we are a people who don't sleep under oppression and reject humiliation and disgrace, and we take revenge on the people of tyranny and aggression, and the blood of the Muslims will not be spilled with impunity, and the morrow is nigh for he who awaits."

"Also, your Christian brothers have been living among us for 14 centuries: in Egypt alone, there are millions of Christians whom we have not incinerated and shall not incinerate. But the fact is, there is a continuing and biased campaign being waged against us for a long time now by your politicians and many of your writers by way of your media, especially Hollywood, for the purpose of misrepresenting Islam and its adherents to drive you away from the true religion. The genocide of peoples and their holocausts took place at your hands: only a few specimens of Red Indians were spared, and just a few days ago, the Japanese observed the 62nd anniversary of the annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by your nuclear weapons."

"And among the things which catch the eye of the one who considers the repercussions of your unjust war against Iraq is the failure of your democratic system, despite it raising of the slogans of justice, liberty, equality and humanitarianism. It has not only failed to achieve these things, it has actually destroyed these and other concepts with its weapons - especially in Iraq and Afghanistan- in a brazen fashion, to replace them with fear, destruction, killing, hunger, illness, displacement and more than a million orphans in Baghdad alone, not to mention hundreds of thousands of widows. Americans statistics speak of the killing of more than 650,000 of the people of Iraq as a result of the war and its repercussions."

"People of America: the world is following your news in regards to your invasion of Iraq, for people have recently come to know that, after several years of the tragedies of this war, the vast majority of you want it stopped. Thus, you elected the Democratic Party for this purpose, but the Democrats haven't made a move worth mentioning. On the contrary, they continue to agree to the spending of tens of billions to continue the killing and war there, which has led to the vast majority of you being afflicted with disappointment."

"And here is the gist of the matter, so one should pause, think and reflect: why have the Democrats failed to stop this war, despite them being the majority?"

"I will come back to reply to this question after raising another question, which is:"

"Why are the leaders of the White House keen to start wars and wage them around the world, and make use of every possible opportunity through which they can reach this purpose, occasionally even creating justifications based on deception and blatant lies, as you saw Iraq?"

"In the Vietnam War, the leaders of the White House claimed at the time that it was a necessary and crucial war, and during it, Rumsfeld and his aides murdered two million villagers. And when Kennedy took over the presidency and deviated from the general line of policy drawn up for the White House and wanted to stop this unjust war, that angered the owners of the major corporations who were benefiting from its continuation."

"And so Kennedy was killed, and al-Qaida wasn’t present at that time, but rather, those corporations were the primary beneficiary from his killing. And the war continued after that for approximately one decade. But after it became clear to you that it was an unjust and unnecessary war, you made one of your greatest mistakes, in that you neither brought to account nor punished those who waged this war, not even the most violent of its murderers, Rumsfeld. And even more incredible than that is that Bush picked him as secretary of defense in his first term after picking Cheney as his vice president, Powell as secretary of state and Armitage as Powell's deputy, despite their horrific and blood history of murdering humans. So that was clear signal that his administration - the administration of the generals- didn't have as its main concern the serving of humanity, but rather, was interested in bringing about new massacres. Yet in spite of that, you permitted Bush to complete his first term, and stranger still, chose him for a second term, which gave him a clear mandate from you - with your full knowledge and consent- to continue to murder our people in Iraq and Afghanistan."

"Then you claim to be innocent! This innocence of yours is like my innocence of the blood of your sons on the 11th - were I to claim such a thing. But it is impossible for me to humor any of you in the arrogance and indifference you show for the lives of humans outside America, or for me to humor your leaders in their lying, as the entire world knows they have the lion's share of that. These morals aren't our morals. What I want to emphasize here is that not taking past war criminals to account led to them repeating that crime of killing humanity without right and waging this unjust war in Mesopotamia, and as a result, here are the oppressed ones today continuing to take their right from you."

"This war was entirely unnecessary, as testified to by your own reports. And among the most capable of those from your own side who speak to you on this topic and on the manufacturing of public opinion is Noam Chomsky, who spoke sober words of advice prior to the war, but the leader of Texas doesn't like those who give advice. The entire world came out in unprecedented demonstrations to warn against waging the war and describe its true nature in eloquent terms like "no to spilling red blood for black oil," yet he paid them no heed. It is time for humankind to know that talk of the rights of man and freedom are lies produced by the White House and its allies in Europe to deceive humans, take control of their destinies and subjugate them. "

"So in answer to the question about the causes of the Democrats' failure to stop the war, I say: they are the same reasons which led to the failure of former president Kennedy to stop the Vietnam war. Those with real power and influence are those with the most capital. And since the democratic system permits major corporations to back candidates, be they presidential or congressional, there shouldn't be any cause for astonishment - and there isn't any- in the Democrats' failure to stop the war. And you're the ones who have the saying which goes, "Money talks." And I tell you: after the failure of your representatives in the Democratic Party to implement your desire to stop the war, you can still carry anti-war placards and spread out in the streets of major cities, then go back to your homes, but that will be of no use and will lead to the prolonging of the war."

"However, there are two solutions for stopping it. The first is from our side, and it is to continue to escalate the killing and fighting against you. This is our duty, and our brothers are carrying it out, and I ask Allah to grant them resolve and victory. And the second solution is from your side. It has now become clear to you and the entire world the impotence of the democratic system and how it plays with the interests of the peoples and their blood by sacrificing soldiers and populations to achieve the interests of the major corporations."

"And with that, it has become clear to all that they are the real tyrannical terrorists. In fact, the life of all of mankind is in danger because of the global warming resulting to a large degree from the emissions of the factories of the major corporations, yet despite that, the representative of these corporations in the White House insists on not observing the Kyoto accord, with the knowledge that the statistic speaks of the death and displacement of the millions of human beings because of that, especially in Africa. This greatest of plagues and most dangerous of threats to the lives of humans is taking place in an accelerating fashion as the world is being dominated by the democratic system, which confirms its massive failure to protect humans and their interests from the greed and avarice of the major corporations and their representatives."

"And despite this brazen attack on the people, the leaders of the West - especially Bush, Blair, Sarkozy and Brown- still talk about freedom and human rights with a flagrant disregard for the intellects of human beings. So is there a form of terrorism stronger, clearer and more dangerous than this? This is why I tell you: as you liberated yourselves before from the slavery of monks, kings, and feudalism, you should liberate yourselves from the deception, shackles and attrition of the capitalist system."

"If you were to ponder it well, you would find that in the end, it is a system harsher and fiercer than your systems in the Middle Ages. The capitalist system seeks to turn the entire world into a fiefdom of the major corporations under the label of "globalization" in order to protect democracy."

"And Iraq and Afghanistan and their tragedies; and the reeling of many of you under the burden of interest-related debts, insane taxes and real estate mortgages; global warming and its woes; and the abject poverty and tragic hunger in Africa: all of this is but one side of the grim face of this global system."

"So it is imperative that you free yourselves from all of that and search for an alternative, upright methodology in which it is not the business of any class of humanity to lay down its own laws to its own advantage at the expense of the other classes as is the case with you, since the essence of man-made positive laws is that they serve the interests of those with the capital and thus make the rich richer and the poor poorer."

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« Reply #196 on: September 07, 2007, 08:18:05 PM »

"The infallible methodology is the methodology of Allah, the Most High, who created the heavens and earth and created the Creation and is the Most Kind and All-Informed and the Knower of the souls of His slaves and the methodology that best suits them."

"You believe with absolute certainty that you believe in Allah, and you are full of conviction of this belief, so much so that you have written this belief of yours on your dollar."

"But the truth is that you are mistake in this belief of yours. The impartial judge knows that belief in Allah requires straightness in the following of His methodology, and accordingly, total obedience must be to the orders and prohibitions of Allah Alone in all aspects of life."

"So how about you when you associate others with Him in your beliefs and separate state from religion, then claim that you are believers?!"

"What you have done is clear loss and manifest polytheism, And I will give you a parable of polytheism, as parables summarize and clarify speech."

"I tell you: its parable is the parable of a man who owns a shop and hires a worker and tells him, "Sell and give me the money," but he makes sales and give the money to someone other than the owner. So who of you would approve of that?"

"You believe that Allah is your Lord and your Creator and the Creator of this earth and that it is His property, then you work on His earth and property without His orders and without obeying Him, and you legislate in contradiction to His Law and methodology."

"This work of yours is the greatest form of polytheism and is rebellion against obedience to Allah with which the believer becomes an unbeliever, even if he obeys Allah in some of His other orders. Allah, the Most High, sent down His orders in His Sacred Books like the Torah and Evangel and sent with them the Messengers (Allah's prayers and peace be upon them) as bearers of good news to the people."

"And everyone who believes in them and complies with them is a believer from the people of the Garden. Then when the men of knowledge altered the words of Allah, the Most High, and sold them for a paltry price, as the rabbis did with the Torah and the monks with the Evangel, Allah sent down His final Book, the magnificent Quran, and safeguarded it from being added to or subtracted from by the hands of men, and in it is a complete methodology for the lives of all people."

"And our holding firm to this magnificent Book is the secret of our strength and winning of the war against you despite the fewness of our numbers and materiel. And if you would like to get to know some of the reasons for your losing of your war against us, then read the book of Michael Scheuer in this regard."

"Don't be turned away from Islam by the terrible situation of the Muslims today, for our rulers in general abandoned Islam many decades ago, but our forefathers were the leaders and pioneers of the world for many centuries, when they held firmly to Islam."

"And before concluding, I tell you: there has been an increase in the thinkers who study events and happenings, and on the basis of their study, they have declared the approach of the collapse of the American Empire."

"Among them is the European thinker who anticipated the fall of the Soviet Union, which indeed fell. And it would benefit you to read what he wrote about what comes after the empire in regard to the United States of America. I also want to bring your attention that among the greatest reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union was their being afflicted with their leader Brezhnev, who was overtaken by pride and arrogance and refused to look at the facts on the ground. From the first year of the Afghanistan invasion, reports indicated that the Russians were losing the war, but he refused to acknowledge this, lest it go down in his personal history as a defeat, even though refusal to acknowledge defeat not only doesn't do anything to change the facts for thinking people, but also exacerbates the problem and increases the losses. And how similar is your position today to their position approximately two decades ago. The mistakes of Brezhnev are being repeated by Bush, who - when asked about the date of his withdrawing of forces from Iraq - said in effect that the withdrawal will not be during his reign, but rather, during the reign of the one who succeeds him. And the significance of these words is not hidden."

"And here I say: it would benefit you to listen to the poignant messages of your soldiers in Iraq, who are paying - with their blood, nerves and scattered limbs - the price for these sorts of irresponsible statements. Among them is the eloquent message of Joshua which he sent by way of the media, in which he wipes the tears from his eyes and describes American politicians in harsh terms and invites them to join him there for a few days. Perhaps his message will find in you an attentive ear so you can rescue him and more than 150,000 of your sons there who are tasting the two bitterest things: "

"If they leave their barracks, the mines devour them, and if they refuse to leave, rulings are passed against them. Thus, the only options left in front of them are to commit suicide or cry, both of which are from the severest of afflictions. So is there anything more men can do after crying and killing themselves to make you respond to them? They are doing that out of the severity of the humiliation, fear and terror which they are suffering. It is severer than what the slaves used to suffer at your hands centuries ago, and it is as if some of them have gone from one slavery to another slavery more severe and harmful, even if it be in the fancy dress of the Defense Department's financial enticements."

"So do you feel the greatness of their sufferings?"

"To conclude, I invite you to embrace Islam, for the greatest mistake one can make in this world and one which is uncorrectable is to die while not surrendering to Allah, the Most High, in all aspects of one's life - ie., to die outside of Islam. And Islam means gain for you in this first life and the next, final life. The true religion is a mercy for people in their lives, filling their hearts with serenity and calm."

T"here is a message for you in the Mujahideen: the entire world is in pursuit of them, yet their hearts, by the grace of Allah, are satisfied and tranquil. The true religion also puts peoples' lives in order with its laws; protects their needs and interests; refines their morals; protects them from evils; and guarantees for them entrance into Paradise in the hereafter through their obedience to Allah and sincere worship of Him Alone."

"And it will also achieve your desire to stop the war as a consequence, because as soon as the warmongering owners of the major corporations realize that you have lost confidence in your democratic system and begun to search for an alternative, and that this alternative is Islam, they will run after you to please you and achieve what you want to steer you away from Islam. So your true compliance with Islam will deprive them of the opportunity to defraud the peoples and take their money under numerous pretexts, like arms deals and so on. "

"There are no taxes in Islam, but rather there is a limited Zakaat [alms] totaling only 2.5%. So beware of the deception of those with the capital. And with your earnest reading about Islam from its pristine sources, you will arrive at an important truth, which is that the religion of all of the Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them) is one, and that its essence is submission to the orders of Allah Alone in all aspects of life, even if their Shari'ahs [Laws] differ."

"And did you know that the name of the Prophet of Allah Jesus and his mother (peace and blessings of Allah be on them both) are mentioned in the Noble Quran dozens of times, and that in the Quran there is a chapter whose name is "Maryam," i.e. Mary, daughter of 'Imran and mother of Jesus (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both)? It tells the story of her becoming pregnant with the Prophet of Allah Jesus (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both), and in its confirmation of her chastity and purity, in contrast to the fabrications of the Jews against her. Whoever wishes to find that out for himself must listen to the verse of this magnificent chapter: one of the just kings of the Christians - the Negus - listened to some of its verses and his eyes welled up with tears and he said something which should be reflected on for a long time by those sincere in their search for the truth."

"He said, "verily, this and what Jesus brought come from one lantern": i.e., that the magnificent Quran and the Evangel are both from Allah, the Most High; and every just and intelligent one of you who reflects on the Quran will definitely arrive at this truth. It also must be noted that Allah has preserved the Quran from the alterations of men. And reading in order to become acquainted with Islam only requires a little effort, and those of you who are guided will profit greatly. And peace be upon he who follows the Guidance."

By Jeffrey Imm on September 7, 2007 6:30 PM

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« Reply #197 on: September 08, 2007, 08:23:50 PM »

September 8, 2007
Deadline For Terrorism: September 15th

The terrorists arrested in Germany had a deadline for their attack on Ramstein Air Base and the Frankfurt airport, given to them by their al-Qaeda masters: September 15th. Why that date, rather than the more obvious 9/11 anniversary? AQ has more current politics in mind:

Three suspected Islamist militants who were planning to attack U.S. installations in Germany had orders to act by Sept. 15 and knew police were hot on their trail before their arrest, a magazine said on Saturday.
The plan was foiled on Tuesday when police arrested two German converts to Islam and a Turk in the biggest German police operation in 30 years.

According to surveillance details published in Der Spiegel magazine, the men had been given a two-week deadline for their planned strikes in a late August call from northern Pakistan that was monitored by German police.

Congress set a deadline on September 15th as well -- the due date for a progress report on the Iraq War from President Bush. (Power Line incorrectly notes this as the date of General Petraeus' testimony, which will happen on the 11th.) AQ wanted to replicate the Tet offensive, only not in Iraq but in Europe. A devastating attack before Bush delivered his report would tend to discredit the forward strategy pursued by the administration since the 9/11 attacks.

Why attack Europe? Osama wants the US out of the Middle East, especially Iraq and Afghanistan. If he could convince the American critics of the administration that the forward strategy had failed, Osama thinks he could gain enough leverage over Bush to force a withdrawal of troops in Iraq, if not Afghanistan. He wants to hit behind our lines to push us into a retreat from the real fronts against AQ in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His video message was timed to deliver that purpose. His announcement would have immediately preceded the attacks in Germany and Denmark, emphasizing AQ's ability to strike anywhere in the world. And it probably would have had the effect Osama intended, had it worked; there is little doubt that war critics would have redoubled their effort to discredit the forward strategy and force Bush to pull out of Iraq.

Ask yourselves this: why does Osama want to push us out of the Middle East, especially Iraq and Afghanistan? It's not because we're losing in either theater. If we were losing, he'd be happy to beat American military forces for as long as we stuck around. He wants us out because he's losing -- and he tried to hit Germany and Denmark because he can't beat the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Or perhaps people think it's a coincidence that Osama finally reappeared after the surge pushed AQI all the way to the Syrian border?

Finally, let's just take a moment to acknowledge how this cell got discovered in the first place:

The arrests were the culmination of an investigation that began a year ago, when U.S. officials alerted German authorities to e-mails intercepted from Pakistan.
Chalk one up for the NSA. Nice work, folks.

Posted by Ed Morrissey on September 8, 2007 11:41 A
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« Reply #198 on: September 10, 2007, 12:44:24 PM »

TB, the dems and political correctness.
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« Reply #199 on: September 11, 2007, 07:34:03 AM »

Lessons in War
Reflections on 9/11, six years later.

By Victor Davis Hanson

On that day, we watched tape of the doomed in suits diving head first from the burning floors, hoping to splatter on roofs rather than crush and kill incoming firefighters — as some tragically did.

I remember reading about the last hours in the stairwell of the Cassandra FBI agent John O’Neill, who chose to go back into the inferno. His year-long, near solitary race to save us against the evil of the al Qaeda planners Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh came to an end that day — and with it O’Neill himself.

And I remember reading the accounts of a smiling bin Laden, fresh off from buying his fifth wife for $5,000 (a 15-year-old girl no less). At that very moment in Afghanistan, always the inveterate liar, he was haughty after his recent cowardly murder of the far better fighter Massoud.

That day bin Laden snickered to the radio reports of his 9/11 jihadists, now holding up a finger for each plane’s impending crash to his adoring acolytes in Afghanistan — and soon to be alternately denying culpability in his fear, then boasting of it in his hubris.

Then there were the incomprehensible statements of our own that followed — of Michael Moore, the later darling at the Democratic Convention, claiming that a Democratic city’s blue-state, anti-Bush voters ipso facto should have won an exemption from the killers’ target list.

We heard too from the now apparently warped novelist Norman Mailer, at last relieved that his aesthetic skyline was cleared of the bothersome looming towers (“two huge buck teeth”) — and with them, for Ward Churchill at least, the ashes of the “Little Eichmanns,” of his “technocrats of empire.”

We remember the firemen and police who went up into the towers even as they came down. And always there were the nightlong, lit-up scenes of the construction and rescue workers who brought a majestic dignity to the macabre task of sifting for hundreds in the detritus of lower New York.

We keep thinking as well that if there had not been a Todd Beamer and a few kindred brave souls on United Flight 93, there would have been no more Capitol at all, its century-old dome instead reduced to smithereens like that of the golden mosque of Samara. It perhaps would now still be sitting there, six years later, a quarter rebuilt amid scaffolds, its restoration unfinished as it was during the Civil War — and its smoldering skeleton plastered on every poster in Gaza, in DVDs sold in all the bazaars of Pakistan.

September 11 was not the first and won’t be the last terrorist assault on our citizens and culture. And the subsequent factionalism and left/right bickering over the proper course to defeat the jihadists — whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, the courts, at the Hague, or the United Nations — did not originate solely after 9/11.

But the day reminded us that for a near-quarter century prior, only luck and the impotence — not the intent — of radical Muslims had prevented the murder of Americans on such a horrific scale. It re-taught to us, as would surely a second or third such attack, that in war there aren’t really good choices. Instead, once the fighting breaks out, only the bad choices either of incurring casualties and expense to prevent greater such losses to our civilization in the future, or (far worse) of inaction in hopes of searching for reason or decency where they are not to be found, remain.

Bin Laden’s killers tore off a great scab on September 11; at once they exposed to billions the evil of radical Islam and with it the Western world’s shock, fright, and difficulty in confronting it and defeating it. That uncertainty ultimately does not arise from our enemies, but from within ourselves — this strange disease of thinking we fight back too much when we often do too little.

It was the particularly evil genius of bin Laden to see not that we are militarily weak as he alleged — indeed the United States is more powerful than ever — but that we are apologetic over the source of our bounty and the reasons for our success, to the point of a collective stasis.

The more we push for democratic change abroad, the more the democracy-hating terrorists slander us that we do not. The more we accommodate the religion and culture of detainees, the more the beheaders and bombers cry to the world that we are savage while musing among themselves that we are weak. The more that we tolerate the great asymmetry of reciprocity between Islam and the West; the more we are supposed to apologize for just that tolerance and liberality. The more we pay for outrageously priced oil, the more we are to concede that we are stealing it.

Our shock, and again their insight, is not that they level such absurd charges, but that they do so in such utter confidence that they will find a receptive audience in the West, an audience that has the desire and ability to curtail the American response.

We laugh that on this sixth anniversary a clownish Bin Laden, in dyed chin-whiskers no less, urges us from a cave in Waziristan to read more Chomsky and Scheuer. We laugh that radical Islam hates us for global warming, corporate profits, and high-priced mortgages. We laugh that its jihadists, as a result of these American “sins,” were forced to kill us for the Neocons, and Richard Perle, and Hiroshima, and the 19th-century Indian wars, and all the other American crimes that Hollywood and the universities have globally peddled into a lucrative industry. But the laugh is not that fascists would so clumsily crib our Left to justify their killing, but that they are convinced that they could do so in such amateurish fashion to such great effect.

So is the joke on them or on us?

Bin Laden and his evil Rasputin Dr. Zawahiri were confident on September 11 that such guilt and self-loathing in our hearts could be seasoned, and that it could then be harvested through their own arts of revisionism, victimization, and lies. And consequently within a brief six years of his murdering, our own voices — indeed the very elites of the West — in the luxury of calm before the next attack, are often emboldened to proclaim that the government of America, not the terrorists abroad, is the real danger.

The great lesson of September 11 was not that the jihadists ever believed that they could kill us all. Rather, they trusted that enough of the West and indeed enough of us here in America, might at the end of the day declare that we had it coming.

In this long war, that belief was — and is — far deadlier even than an unhinged murderer at the controls of an airliner.

—Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson fellow in military history and classics at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. This September he is teaching at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan as the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History.
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